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Top 10 Plug-In Electric Car Makers

Pike Research has finished a report giving us who’s leading the Plug-in Electric Vehicle race. You might be surprised to see who’s on top of the pile, or not.

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Pike Research has published a report giving us a global view of the plug-in electric vehicle, PEV market. While the market truly began with Tesla, Nissan and GM, respectively with the Roadster, the Leaf and the Volt, other mainstream manufacturers joined the race and are starting to challenge them.

The Pike Research Strategy. Pike Research rates manufacturers using a 12 criteria system for strategy and execution. This includes vision, go-to-market strategy, partners, product strategy and roadmap. Geographic reach is also taken into consideration, as well as market share, sales and marketing, product performance, product quality and reliability, pricing, product portfolio, and staying power. Using this methodology, vendors are profiled, rated, and ranked giving us what the research center hopes to be an objective assessment of these companies’ relative strengths and weaknesses in this growing market.

GM Chevrolet Earns Top Position. Although many consider the Volt a plug-in hybrid, PHEV instead of an electric car, the ratings show that Chevrolet is in the current top spot in the PEV market. Pike Research also this is largely due to its high ratings in both strategy and execution.

Renault, Toyota and Nissan are very close contenders for leadership, although both have missing products in their portfolio and, or pricing issues that have affected the results. Interestingly, Ford is the sleeping giant in this market. While Pike Research feels the company has a strong strategy, it has unproven products that have yet to launch. It’s true that the Ford Focus Electric is barely out the door but so far, feedback has been very positive.

The List. So who makes up the rest of the list?

2. Renault
3. Ford Motor Company
4. Nissan
5. Toyota
6. Tesla
7. BMW
8. Smart
9. Mitsubishi
10. Honda

Surprises anyone? Pike Research does show one consistent trend, the big car manufacturers still commend the biggest part of the Lion’s share. One interesting tidbit is to see a startup make the top ten list. Tesla after all, has defied all logic and is now up to its second generation of electric vehicle, EV uses nothing less than regular and commonly available lithium-ion battery technology. It’s interesting to see the company make it to the halfway bar.

As we move forward in the years, we will see more dramatic shifts and re-arrangement of this landscape. After all, the German carmakers are barely kicking their hybrid and electric drive platforms onto the market, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see Audi and Mercedes come up the ranks. Still, this Pike Research shows the electric car market is here to stay.

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Ryan (not verified)    October 3, 2012 - 12:46PM

Tesla should be a little higher in my opinion. Not only have they designed a far superior EV (Model S, and now Model X), but they are also creating the infrastructure for EV's, something that turns off the potential customers of other automakers. Also, a good handful of the companies on this graph use Tesla's drive train.

Jerry (not verified)    October 3, 2012 - 12:49PM

Interesting that BMW is so far ahead of Tesla in strategy. In fact BMW is ahead of most everybody in strategy except the obvious leaders (Chevy, Nissan etc). They must have something good going on there that we don't know much about yet

Nicolas Zart    October 3, 2012 - 2:29PM

In reply to by Jerry (not verified)

And thank you for pointing the second obvious one, BMW doesn't have much out the door yet. Although their i3 and 8 are certainly accomplishments, Tesla has already churned out two cars open to the general public. Again, I think the number favored bigger companies, so it's not bad to see Tesla that high.