…As Japanese automakers drags in EV global migration
With major automakers transitioning to electric vehicles in line with the global automotive shift to electrified vehicles, currently, electric cars account for less than 3 percent of global sales. Checks by BusinessAM indicates that, there are many reasons behind this. However, it seems the most worrisome reasons are the high price tags for electric vehicles, coupled with limited range of models and engine specifications, scarcity of charging points in many countries, especially the developing countries like Nigeria and also the longer charging time it takes before the vehicle could be put on the road.
While most countries that are front-liners in automotive manufacture, the Japanese carmakers are threading with cautious optimism in joining the electric vehicle revolution and it appears the body language of these Japanese companies are running counter to the current mainstream trend.
According to data from EV-volumes.com, Japanese cars account for less than 5% of global pure electric vehicle sales in 2020. This share is mainly attributable to the enduring popularity of Leaf, which accounts for nearly 65% of battery electric vehicle sales in Japan.
Checks by BusinessAM shows that, there are two main reasons for this; one is that the Japanese automakers have invested heavily in the field of hybrid electric cars. So they don’t want to abandon this idea, and secondly, they worry about the technical obstacles inherent in electric cars. This it is feared will cause damage to the traditional automotive industry ecosystem.
Just over a decade ago, Nissan Motor Co. became the world’s first car manufacturer to mass-produce pure battery cars. At least by the standards of electric vehicles, its hatchback Leaf is a very popular electric model, with more than 500,000 sold by the end of 2020.
But as the trail that Nissan blazed becomes increasingly crowded, Japan’s mighty auto industry is in danger of being left behind. While governments and automakers worldwide are staking out bold pledges to transition to electric-only vehicles, Japanese car companies and regulators are hedging their bets.
Japanese automakers still dominate the current global market for environmentally friendly vehicles (hybrid electric vehicles) following the global unveiling of the Nissan Leaf. The automaker hopes to use their huge investments in this technology for as long as possible to obtain more returns. However, Leaf’s original chief designer Masato Inoue said that this short-term streak carries the risk that the country’s most important industry will miss a transformative moment. He added that ‘when it comes to disruptions, there is always fear. A big wave of electric vehicles is really coming.’
While the Japanese automakers are having slow transformation joining the electric vehicle league , Tesla was one of the most active electric carmakers, thereby putting the company on the top of the list of electric vehicle pioneers. In January of this year, General Motors became the first major automaker to announce that it would eliminate all vehicle exhaust emissions and vowed to achieve this goal by 2035.
Just recently, Volvo pledged to only produce electric cars by 2030 to surpass larger competitors. In addition to traditional automakers, start-ups like Weilai Automobile, as well as giants in other industries such as Apple, are all seeking to take a share in this booming market.
Automakers in the United States, China, Europe, and South Korea are already rapidly surpassing Japanese competitors. Toyota did not launch the first pure electric car in the consumer market until early 2020. And Honda is relying on General Motors to produce electric cars for the US market.
Part of the reason for the electric vehicle boom is that China, European countries and other regions plan to increase sales of electric vehicles in the next few years, or ban gasoline vehicles. Scientists say that abandoning the use of fuel vehicles is vital to climate change.
Frontpage September 14, 2018