Planet Gore

Tesla Co-Founder: Never Mind About Electric Family Cars

EE Times:

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The average American family probably not replace its car with an electric vehicle, but some kinds of hybrid EVs will help some users save money and see significant adoption. That’s the view of Ian Wright, an engineer, serial entrepreneur and self-described EV skeptic.

The high cost of batteries will keep pure electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt out of the mainstream consumer market, he said. Ironically, Wright co-founded Tesla Motors which has popularized EVs, and is chief executive of Wrightspeed which is building power train subsystems for medium duty fleet trucks.

“You will get early adopters with the Leaf, but you will not get to the mass market,” said Wright in a keynote to the Custom Integrated Circuits Conference here.

EV batteries currently cost about $1,000 per kilowatt hour, and costs are projected to come down as much as half in the next several years. Today’s Chevy Volt is well designed, but will cost about twice as much as a similar gas vehicle.

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