Eco-auto enthusiasts who have eagerly anticipated Monaco-based Venturi’s first electric sports car, called the Fetish, will have to wait a little longer.
The company, which had previously told Greentech Media it would deliver its first Fetish in September, now expects to start delivery of its speedy €450,000 ($612,225) car in June of 2009, according to an AutoblogGreen.com post this week.
AutoblogGreen.com had previously said the car was expected to hit the streets sometime this month.
The Fetish is not the first electric car to see production delays, of course.
Competitor Tesla Motors experienced transmission problems with its Roadster, resulting in several delays to the vehicle. In February, the San Carlos, Calif.-based company finally made good, delivering its first production Roadster to its chairman, PayPal co-founder Elon Musk (see First Tesla Production Roadster Arrives).
According to AutoblogGreen.com and its French translation of a Le Blog Auto posting, Venturi is blaming the pushback on its own set of upgrades, such as tweaking the engine for more horsepower and reducing the weight of the car.
In spite of the delays, electric cars have been making steady, if slow, progress (see Green Cars Cruise Forward, Ford to Cut Emissions, Make More Soy Seats and Who’s Reviving the Electric Car?). But they still face a number of challenges, including the cost and efficiency of their batteries, which led Eric Fedewa, vice president for global powertrain forecasts at CSM Worldwide, to say earlier this month that the cars could still be years away.
As if bringing electric cars to market wasn’t hard enough, a new problem is arising in the sector – infighting.
On Thursday, Fisker Automotive responded to a lawsuit Tesla filed earlier this month that accuses Fisker of stealing Tesla’s design and trade secrets.
"The lawsuit is nonsense," Henrik Fisker, CEO of the Irvine, Calif.-based company, said in a statement.
Fisker Automotive struck back, alleging that Tesla had breached an arbitration agreement between the two companies when it filed the "meritless claims."
Fisker Automotive said it’s still on track to deliver the Fisker Karma, a plug-in hybrid with asolarpanel, which it unveiled in January.
Could such a quarrel distract the companies, potentially slowing the small, burgeoning electric-car industry’s progress?
"No," says David Bodde, a professor at Clemson University's Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
Bodde said observers should contrast the dispute with the stronger market influence of the rising price of oil and petroleum-based motor fuels.
"If there is a great need in the market place, then one competitor suing another is of secondary importance," he said.