Research just released by Deloitte Consulting claims that high overall costs, particularly in the area of batteries, will significantly impact the overall consumer acceptance of electric vehicles and hold their share to between two and five percent by 2020. That figure is far below the roughly 10 percent slice of the vehicle universe that Nissan contends these near-zero-emission transport modules will claim by that same date.
While Deloitte's date cites range anxiety and performance questions as elements that will impact buyer preferences, it's the price of the power cells that will continue to constitute the real tipping point. The firm expects to see the average cost per energy unit drop by nearly 40 percent during the next four years from its current $1,000 per kilowatt hour index. However, even with that dramatic reduction, it still feels the consumer adoption rate will be well under what Nissan -- and other automakers now working on their own EV programs -- believes will be true.
Speaking during a webcast, Deloitte representative Robert Hill also noted that, as in the case of conventional autos, purchase decisions for these new strains of electric vehicles will be directly influenced by brand. According to the Deloitte study, 17 percent of consumers showing preferences put Toyota at the top of their list with Honda and Ford Motor following at 15 and 12 percent, respectively. Behind that double-digit power trio were Chevrolet (eight percent), Audi and BMW (seven percent), GM and Lexus (five percent). Despite high-profile promotion for its new LEAF EV due out later this year, Nissan managed only ninth place in this hierarchy, with a four-percent preference mark.