Better Place is working with GE to finance purchases of batteries for its switching stations and electric car system. But since most EVs come with the batteries built in, the financing won't be a panacea for the pricey new cars.
The electric vehicle industry's major hurdle these days is the exact same piece of hardware that's supposed to power it. Batteries for electric cars can cost up to $10,000 a piece. That's almost a third of the price of some of the new EVs -- like the Nissan Leaf -- that are starting to hit the market.
In this first round of electric vehicle rollout, manufacturers will most likely take a loss, thanks largely to the pricey battery. But that's not a concern for them right now -- Nissan, GM and the other electric manufacturers will benefit from rolling out electric cars even without profiting off of them immediately.
Carmakers probably won't sell huge numbers of new electric car models in the first five years anyway, according to a report from J.D. Power and Associates. With current technology, battery-fueled electric vehicles can cost up to two times as much as a comparable regular car. That higher cost significantly deters customers, according to the report, such that electric car sales won't live up to the hype when customers actually have to fork over more cash for smaller products. More
Venture capital firms are staking late stage electric car startups with huge cash to help them scale up and IPO
By Shelley DuBois, reporter
The age of the electric car is upon us, or so the numbers would suggest.
Companies in cleantech, especially those making cars, received over $400 million in funding in the second quarter of 2010, according to an Ernst & Young analysis based off of Dow Jones VentureSource data.
A company MOREAug 5, 2010 11:44 AM ET
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