Electric compact cars sold in 2014 are now worth only 23% of their original sticker price, compared with 41% for comparable combustion vehicles. Accordingly, U.S. drivers now lease almost 80% of battery electric vehicles and 55% of plug-in hybrids.
The Japanese company's system requires a driver to wear a skullcap that measures brain-wave activity and transmits its readings to steering, acceleration and braking systems that can start responding before the driver initiates the action.
Geely already owns the Swedish car brand Volvo. Now it is poised to become the biggest shareholder in AB Volvo, the world’s second-largest truck manufacturer in a transaction worth more than $3 billion.
In addition to making batteries more powerful to extend the driving range of single-owner cars, manufacturers will also need to develop devices that can withstand the rigors of near-constant driving and short-range trips.
“There’s certainly more hype than real growth in sales volume. How long have we been talking about EVs? We’re now finally seeing them in numbers, but the sales numbers are not taking over the industry by any means.”
Detroit’s three automakers sell more than 2 million large pickups a year in the U.S., generating annual revenue of more than $90 billion, with estimated profits of at least $10,000 per truck — and even more for high-end models.
Nissan is rolling out the test as the number of foreign visitors to Japan has hit record highs ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Major carmakers have promised to have self-driving models rolling off assembly lines as early as 2020.