Opportunities and Obstacles for “Clean” Advanced Automotive Technologies

A.E. Mascarin
IBIS Associates, Inc., US


fuel cells electric vehicles manufacturing cost analysis


With the goal of reducing environmental impact, the introduction of a new technology almost always comes at an increased usage cost. If the long term economic balance of the new system can’t be clearly demonstrated, adoption will be slow and difficult, if it happens at all. This is especially true of the automotive industry, where price competition is fierce and margins are always being reduced. Although fuel cells and electric vehicle technology offer the promise to provide clean operation, they have yet to achieve the cost-performance relationship needed for adoption. There are a wide range of approaches to cell technology, fuel storage, battery materials, and motor design being pursued to improve the economic competitiveness with incumbent combustion engine technology. In this paper, the authors, with extensive experience in economic analysis of automotive materials and manufacturing technologies will explore the required manufacturing costs, production volumes, and efficiencies required of critical advanced powertrain elements for successful competition with conventional vehicles.

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