Car Industry’s response to the Electric Car

Carmakers emerging from a savage crisis hope to lure drivers to electric cars in the coming years, but cost, range and safety considerations mean many are still cautious, holding back from predicting an early sales boom.  As automakers showcased gleaming, futuristic electric cars at the Detroit Auto Show this week — some of which will be on the road in 2010 — executives’ views varied on how quickly and comprehensively the technology will be adopted.

IHS Global Insight analyst Rebecca Lindland said governments are the ones pushing hybrid and electric technologies. “I do think we need to be careful that we’re not being overly aggressive because the consumer has not chosen those vehicles yet,” she told Reuters Insider.

Dealership AutoNation’s COO, Mike Maroone, said cost could also be a major factor in holding back wide-scale adoption of the fledgling technology.

“I’m excited about it. Is it ever going to be 15, 20 percent of our business? I don’t think so until the price-value story gets put together. You can’t build a price-value story today in electric.”

Automakers are relying heavily on government cash to make early electric vehicles accessible in price to drivers.

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