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Electric cars take back seat at auto show in Geneva – Taipei Times

After being the starring act for several years, the electric car backed into the shadows at this year’s International Geneva Motor Show as carmakers grow weary of waiting for sales to take off.
Electric vehicles were not completely absent from the showrooms as the 83rd edition of the Geneva show began, but no new models were unveiled and car company executives on site for the media days on Tuesday and Wednesday barely mentioned them.
“Public confidence [in electric] has really fallen since its peak at the Paris show in 2010, when we only talked electric,” BIPE analyst Clement Dupont-Roc told reporters.
Back then, French carmaker Renault, which leads the electric market, opened the order books for its first electric models and CEO Carlos Ghosn said he expected the cars to represent 10 percent of the market by 2020.
Renault’s compatriot PSA also plunged into the space, as did Japan’s Nissan with its Leaf.
However, as things stand today, sales have fallen far short of expectations.
In France, which claims to be the leading market in Europe for electric, less than 6,000 new such vehicles were registered last year.
The low volumes are part of the explanation for the weak offering on display in Geneva, but there are other issues as well.
“There are three tasks we have to overcome when it comes to electric vehicles. One is pricing, second is the milage they can cover and the third is infrastructure,” Mitsubishi president Osamu Masuko told reporters at the show.


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