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Senior Auto Execs See EV Spending on the Rise, Despite Slow Sales

But fuel cells remain on the radar, too.

by on Jan.06, 2012

The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.

Despite clear concerns, even outright misgivings, auto industry leaders expect to see a steady ramp-up in spending on automotive electrification in the years ahead, that money going to everything from motors to battery packs and other technologies.

But the survey by consulting firm KPMG expects a relatively slow rise in the actual sales of electric vehicles, the various technologies such as hybrids, plug-ins and full battery-electric vehicles (or BEVs) expected to account for barely 15% of the overall market by 2025.

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And the survey finds industry leaders plan to hedge their bets by exploring alternatives to electrification.  Fuel cell technology, for one, is expected to see increased investment according to 65% of those who participated in the study.  But, significantly, the executives still believe that the greatest potential will come from optimizing the time-tested internal combustion engine.

“What’s interesting is that automakers are placing bets across the board, and large bets at that, because no one knows which technology will ultimately win the day with consumers,” added Gary Silberg, KPMG’s national automotive industry leader.