But what about so called "low mass, high efficeny designs" that seem to be coming out of different carmakers in the world?
Renault's Twizy, VW Xl-!, Opel's RAK-e, and Toyota-s FT-Bh?
I was going to explore pros and cons of these cars for analysis later...but they are here now and they might represent a new trend on the market, even if they may not be rewarded with an instant volume market.
the article mentions Google selling autonomously driven cars...I don't think Google sells those...they might be able to receive a sliver of revenues in teh future (if and when these happen) but they clearly have no capability to build and sell cars!
"In essence, unless there is a sizeable market guaranteed, why would big 3 be interested in going after a niche market?"
I think DMcCunney is right on target, Junko. This same scenario has been repeated countless times. The answer is always the same. In order to make a low-demand product survive, it has to have a strong niche following, AND it will cost a lot of money. The reason the Detroit automakers aren't interested is only that they are interested in surviving, in the marketplace.
And yet, GM does build the Corvette, right? So it's not like they "don't get it." They understand niche as well as the next guy. But the tiny-car niche in the US is simply very tiny. They come and they go, I mean figuratively and not literally, for that reason.
Or said another way, the "blame" for this goes where blame usually belongs. Not with the automakers, but with the buying public.
Excellent point. The A/C issue has been one of my concerns about owning an EV -- any EV -- in our hot climate. Even for short commutes, A/C is mandatory for 8 months out of the year, and at least somewhat desirable during the other 4 months!
@Paul020: Why can't I buy a new car for $5k or $10k in the USA? Why should I have to spend the $20k, $50k, or $90k that new cars now cost?
Dead easy: it's not possible to make and sell a car profitably at that price.
Show me a place where you can buy a new car for $5K or $10K, and if you can, tell me if you would want to own and drive it.
And note that gas prices in Europe are at least partly a result of government regulation. A good bit of the price is taxes specifically intended to increase the price and reduce consumption, because they don't for the most part have domestic petroleum sources and don't wish to be dependent on imported supplies.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.