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In 2016, Shouldn’t the DeLorean be Electric?

The DeLorean Motor Company announced last week that the iconic DeLorean DMC-12, best known as the time machine in the “Back to the Future’ series, will be back in production soon (CNBC, Jan 2016). The plan at the moment is to produce 300 replica cars using existing spare parts stock. Is this an opportunity missed to really bring the famous time machine into the future? Collectors may want to see the classic DeLorean in an unaltered state but in keeping with the spirit of the iconic Spielberg film, perhaps the car should come back with a few bells and whistles of modernity. It is obvious that the automotive industry is not quite ready to begin installing “Mr. Fusion” units – much has changed since 1986. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) have become commonly accepted and these powertrain types well understood. Now, with the meteoric rise in popularity of Tesla Motors, the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) is joining, and even surpassing in some ways, the likes of HEV’s and PHEV’s. Currently, depending on the market, BEV sales make up between 0.3% and 2% of all automotive sales as of 2015 (excluding Norway which is closer to 5%). The chart below shows that BEV’s represent the greatest growth segment of the EV market. Considering that car sales have been relatively flat over the past 10 years, it could be said that BEV’s represent the greatest growth segment of all automotive sales, especially in the long term.

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