Different Car Makers, Different EV Approach

If you have been following the way BMW and Nissan are approaching the market with their electric vehicles, EV, you will have noticed it couldn’t be any more different and yet reflect their profound cultural contrast.  Who has the better approach?

The gist is that both want to be leaders in the EV markets, both have good products to offer but both approach the EV market in drastic different ways.

Nissan & BMW EV Market Strategies.  It seems the difference with how both companies are approaching the EV market is very revealing about themselves.  BMW is true to its tutonic values of careful approach backed by plenty of research, tests and trials.  In the Mini E instance, it wants its customers to be able to drive the cars in the conditions it was meant to, for instance by making sure how they are charged.  What is obviously intelligent is that they will see any issues that come up and deal with them before committing to mass producing the Minis.

Nissan, on the other hand wants to get as many out the door, thousands of EV-02 on the road as fast as possible.  Contrary to BMW, Nissan seems confident their car is going to be what EV drivers will want. And with 5,000 Nissan EVs for sale by the end of 2010, Nissan is playing its joker card with hopes of tens of thousands in production by 2011.  It doesn’t mean the company hasn’t done intensive testing.  Indeed it has but it has also worked on a longer term approach to a sustainable EV market by partnering with local utilities and now leasing companies.  A very smart move on their part.

Ultimately it is hard to see who has the better strategy.  The Germans are notoriously slower to adopt newer technologies, leaving the research and development team to test out the bugs before final delivery.  On the other hand, the Japanese/French alliance with their Brazilian boss is betting that being out on the market early will give them clout and enough momentum to continue the developments later on.  However, another important aspect of the success of both EVs will be their price.  While Nissan plans to sell their EV at around $20,000 after tax incentive, we see the Mini E going for a little more.  They might not fight the same consumer segment.  We feel both have valid strategies and both ultimately work for the same goal, getting EVs as soon as possible while developing the technology.  The obvious winners here are the consumers.