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On a charge: why your next car could be electric

LEADING THE CHARGE: Better range and infrastructure will be key to more electric car sales, with a UK study showing Tesla (unsurprisingly) currently leads the way.
LEADING THE CHARGE: Better range and infrastructure will be key to more electric car sales, with a UK study showing Tesla (unsurprisingly) currently leads the way.

EMBRACED the hybrid and electric car revolution yet? If not, you're being left behind, as a new study suggests there'll be nearly 17million on our roads globally by 2020.

UK-based global hi-tech communications sector researcher Juniper Research has published a white paper on hybrid and electric vehicles, stating its study showed ownership was set to boom as more manufacturers brought these cars to market along with a general reduction in "range anxiety", where buyers are put off by the belief they'll run out of electric charge and be stranded.

The study also focused on fully electric vehicles (that have no internal combustion engine backup) and, surprise surprise, it ranked Tesla as the leading electric vehicle manufacturer. The American brand was followed in the list by BMW, Nissan, Chevrolet and Ford, with factors rated including range, vehicle sales, infrastructure implementation, time spent in development and future plans and innovation.

2015 BMW i3. Photo: Iain Curry / Sunshine Coast Daily
2015 BMW i3. Photo: Iain Curry / Sunshine Coast Daily Iain Curry

"Whilst BMW and Nissan have witnessed high sales, their electric vehicle capabilities lag behind Tesla," Juniper said.

Juniper estimated there were 12million hybrid and electric cars on roads in 2015, but for real progress, manufacturers and policy-makers needed to "establish the viability and desirability of electric vehicles with consumers and adopt an aggressive 'go to market' strategy".

Such measures include the rolling out of an ongoing and committed wide-scale public charging infrastructure, improving vehicle battery life and range per charge, and conducting consumer education campaigns.

Australia currently doesn't offer anything in the way of incentives to buy electric, despite countries like the UK adopting a government-funded Plug-In Car Grant, which saw sales of plug-ins and EVs there jump over 200% in 2015.

Juniper singled out Tesla and Chevrolet (GM) for prioritising range as the key issue, saying these manufacturers have focused on efforts towards ensuring that their models' range can exceed 200 miles (322 kilometres) on a fully charged vehicle.

CHARGE TIME: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV getting charged by a plug point.
CHARGE TIME: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV getting charged by a plug point. Iain Curry

Topics:  cars news, electric cars, electric vehicles, ev, motoring, tesla


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