There is no escaping the fact that the automobile industry is under extreme pressure with news that Mitsubishi Motors falsified fuel economy data on more than 600,000 vehicles. While no electric cars were involved in this alleged cover-up, which is being investigated by the Japanese authorities, there are concerns about the overall impact this will have on the image of the automobile industry, including electric vehicles.
[B]Is this positive for electric cars?[/B]
On one hand you might take the Mitsubishi scandal to be yet another nail in the coffin of traditional fuel vehicles coming hot on the heels of the Volkswagen issue. The very fact that an array of new car companies has been created which focus wholly upon electric vehicles should in some way distant the sector from these scandals. However, is it really that easy to differentiate different types of vehicles when the whole industry is under pressure?
[B]What next for Mitsubishi Motors?[/B]
The company has already admitted falsifying fuel economy data and there are concerns this could be but the tip of the iceberg. The Japanese authorities are currently investigating various claims and the company has until 27 April to hand in a report detailing the falsified data. This scandal will most certainly hang over the automobile industry for some time to come and has had a major impact upon trust levels.
[B]Is this a PR opportunity for the electric car industry?[/B]
There is the potential for the electric car industry to issue an array of public relations information and test data to differentiate itself from these ongoing problems with the likes of Volkswagen and Mitsubishi. The fact that both of these companies have touched upon electric vehicles is obviously a concern from an image point of view but not necessarily the end of the world.
Over the next few months it is imperative that electric vehicle companies do their utmost to distance themselves from the growing scandal within the traditional fuel car market.