Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is electrified. They think, next-generation automobiles will make up as much as half of the new passenger cars sold in Japan in 2020, says The Nikkei [sub].
By 2020, the ministry aims to have 2 million household chargers for electric vehicles installed, along with 5,000 fast-charging stations for commercial fleets. The ministry promotes joint development of infrastructure projects between the government, industry and academia to help pave the way for Japan to become the world’s most electrified nation.
People who make cars for a living have a more conservative outlook. Privately, they think the ministry should lay off the sake.
Ford forecasts that by 2020, plug-ins, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids might garner “up to 25 percent of total vehicle sales in the U.S., Europe and Japan.” That’s “up to.”
Renault’s and Nissan’s Ghosn thinks that electric cars will account for at least 10 percent of worldwide sales by 2020. That’s “at least.”
Volkswagen sees the share of electrified cars reach 3 percent by 2018. Sorry, no 2020 target, VW is years ahead of everybody and 2018 is the target for everything at Volkswagen. By 2018, Volkswagen wants to be the world’s largest auto manufacturer, with 3 percent of the cars running on electricity.
Bob Lutz sees a market of 250,000 to 300,000 rechargeable vehicles, about 3 percent of industry-wide U.S. auto sales in 2010.
That doesn’t faze the Japanese. “A change in thinking is necessary to ensure that Japan excels with technology but doesn’t get beaten by the competition,” said METI Minister Masayuki Naoshima in a study group meeting on Monday.
Lowering costs for electricity in Japan would also help.