Although it is not considered extremely difficult for automakers to expand into the electric vehicles field, some key elements of an electric vehicle require intensive technological development and capital investment. Furthermore, the cost savings on gas can hardly cover the price difference if consumers were to switch to electric vehicles.
Except for Japanese market, electric vehicles are far more expensive than cars that run on gas. Consumers also feel it is unreasonable for the price difference considering the light weight and speed limitation of electric vehicles. As a result, the development of electric vehicles and batteries for electric vehicles should be supported by governments through subsidies and infrastructure planning.
The financial crisis in 2008 crashed American automakers, resulting in wide layoffs and possible bankruptcy of a few big names. U.S. department of energy announced bail out plans for Ford and Nissan.
Nissan was received loans to build its manufacturing facility in Tennessee State which is expected to start operation before 2013, capable of producing 100,000 electric vehicles. Meanwhile, Ford obtained loans totaling 5.9 billion dollars. Ford plans to introduce 13 new series of electric vehicles and produce 50 to 100 million EVs, starting 2011. Tesla Motors in California also obtained 465 million dollars.