Taiwan Invests Millions in Development of new Battery Technology & Hub Motor
Another major accomplishment by ITRI is the development of a super-slim hub motor. According to the research institute it is 50% lighter and 70% thinner. As well, the new motor produces two to three times the torque generated by traditional units of the same weight, with comparable production costs.
The two electric vehicle offerings are currently only available in certain markets in the U.S.; the Leaf, for example, is only offered in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Hawaii and Tennessee until April when it launches in an additional eight states. Rob Peterson, a Volt spokesman, said that the slow sales are actually expected as the majority of Volts produced in February ended up at dealerships as demo units for customers to take test rides in.
"I wouldn't go so far as to say that sales were down," Peterson said. "I would say that more production was earmarked toward demos. The average daily inventory is the lowest in our fleet, if not the lowest in the industry." He expects Volt sales to pick up significantly after April when all 600 Chevy dealerships have gotten their Volt demo models.
Sales of Leaf models, on the other hand, are also suffering as a result of supply problems. David Reuter, the vice president of corporate communications at Nissan, said "the first three to four months of production haven't brought as man across to America as we hoped to." Nissan's move was intentional, though, as the company wanted to ensure there were no supply chain mishaps affecting car quality.
"We won't be up to full speed production until the end of this month," affirmed Reuter. "Then, we'll be producing 3,000 to 4,000 cars per month. We've been producing less than half of that until now to ensure quality."
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