Most automakers have displayed at least an inkling of interest in plug-in vehicles. Some, like Nissan, Tesla and General Motors, have already launched their first new models. Others, such as Toyota, Hyundai and Fiat, have announced plans to debut a battery-powered auto soon. Earlier this month, Automotive News (sub. req.) detailed ten automotive industry leaders that strongly support advanced technology vehicles. A rundown of that list looks something like this:
  • Akio Toyoda: Toyota's CEO shows an affinity for all types of electric-drive vehicles.
  • Carlos Ghosn: Nissan-Renault CEO is devoted to dominating the battery-powered vehicle segment.
  • Chung Mong-Koo: Hyundai's chairman is determined to make the automaker a technological leader.
  • Elon Musk: Tesla's CEO has reached out to automakers to expand the use of its electric-drive components.
  • Sergio Marchionne: Chrysler-Fiat CEO looks to revamp vehicles, improve fuel efficiency and launch electric autos.
  • Ferdinand Piech: Volkswagen's chairman strives to turn VW into the world's largest automaker. VW-Audi have numerous plug-in vehicles in the works.
  • Joel Ewanick: GM's CMO aims to expand the market for the automaker's plug-vehicles, which include the Volt and Opel Ampera.
  • Ed Whitacre: GM's former CEO played an influential role in launching the Volt.
  • Frank Stronach: Former head of Magna who is credited with creating the supplier's E-Car Systems division.
  • Jeffrey Immelt: General Electric's CEO who recently announced the company's intent to purchase 25,000 plug-in vehicles.
We couldn't help but notice that electric drive is now pretty much synonymous with being at the forefront. The auto industry seems to agree on this one thing, at least.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]