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The Comeback of the Electric Car?

How Real, How Soon, and What Must Happen Next

January 15, 2009 By Michael Book , Marcus Groll , Xavier Mosquet , Dimitrios Rizoulis , and Georg Sticher

In the quest to safeguard the environment and create more sustainable ways of using the earth’s resources, the automotive industry has a major role to play. Many observers now see the comeback of the electric car, which was first marketed in the early 1900s and then revived unsuccessfully in the 1990s, as an important cornerstone of this effort. But what kinds of new propulsion technologies are likely to make sense, both technically and commercially? Where and when can we expect to see them entering the market? And what kinds of cars, finally, will consumers be willing to buy and drive?

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank their colleagues at The Boston Consulting Group who contributed to this report, especially Michael Aust, Balu Balagopal, Pascal Bruckner, Kathleen Lancaster, Jan Pfeiffer, Stefan Reiter, and Albert Waas for their insights and helpful discussions.

For further information about the topics discussed in this report, please contact any of the authors.

BCG’s Energy and Industrial Goods practices sponsored this report. For inquiries about the practices’ activities, please contact their global leaders.

The Comeback of the Electric Car?
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