2021 Auto News japan automobiles

JAPAN HAS ITS OWN REASONS FOR NOT TRANSITIONING TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Credits: www.gizchina.com

The major automakers are now transitioning to electric cars. But the behavior of Japanese companies seems to run counter to the current mainstream trend. There are two main reasons for this. One is that Japanese automakers have invested heavily in the field of hybrid electric cars. So they don’t want to abandon this idea. Second, they worry about the technical obstacles inherent in electric cars. This 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.

Nissan Leaf

Japanese automakers still dominate the current global market for environmentally friendly vehicles (hybrid electric vehicles). And they hope 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.’

However, currently, electric cars account for less than 3% of global sales. There are many reasons behind this. But it seems the most bothersome reasons are the high prices, limited range and longer charging time. We should admit that only some luxury models provide the best performance.

JAPANESE AUTOMAKERS HAVE SLOW TRANSFORMATION

Tesla was one of the most active electric carmakers. So it is logical to see this company on the top of the list. 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.

General Motors electric vehicles

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.

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.