Automakers invest heavily in electric vehicles despite still-low demand

0
3

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Demand for electric vehicles remains low in the U.S. market, but industry executives at the New York auto show this week said they are pushing ahead with billions of dollars in investments even while preaching patience.

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A Rivian R1S All-Electric SUV is displayed at the 2019 New York International Auto Show in New York City, U.S, April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Officials said their companies are charging ahead with a flurry of new electric vehicle (EV) models, citing rising regulatory requirements globally.

Last year, only about 2 percent of U.S. auto sales were comprised of full electric or plug-electric hybrid models, with Tesla Inc accounting for more than a third of those sales. The United States ranks seventh in EV sales as a percentage of overall sales, according to the International Energy Agency.

Michelle Krebs, analyst at online marketplace Autotrader, expects EV sales to remain relatively modest until charging infrastructure, prices and battery performance improve.

“It’s going to be a pretty long runway,” Krebs said, adding EV sales may first rise dramatically in government and corporate fleets.

In New York, industry executives said they face hurdles to selling EVs – persistently low