To transform the vehicle fleet, you need to work on both ends — accelerating the purchase of cleaner new vehicles and the retirement of old clunkers. The California legislature is sending a package of bills to Governor Brown’s desk that does just that. Taken as a whole, these policies will ensure Californians at all income levels enjoy the environmental, public health, and financial benefits of cleaner, more efficient vehicles.
The final decider between the Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf could be styling. For those who don’t want to show off their environmental leanings, the Focus EV is designed for the generic aisle of the dealership. Its styling is edgy, sporty, decidedly European and its green credentials are incognito. Tough choice, huh? But if you want to drive one of the sharpest-looking cars on the road while smiling to yourself because you have no personal connection to OPEC, the Focus Electric might be the EV for you.
When speaking recently at a “Open Garage” talk at Stanford’s Automotive Innovation Center, Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn pointed with pride that his Alliance has put 70,000 EVs on the road around the world (of the roughly 100,000 pure battery electrics currently out there). He said that in spite of failing to hit his own targets for volume, he believes electric vehicle technology will be the winner as it approaches scale production – and he believes that is inevitable. The secret ingredient, he said, was emotion.
Nissan has dropped the price by $6,000 for the new 2013 Nissan LEAF to $28,800 for the newly added S grade, making it the lowest priced five-passenger electric vehicle sold in the United States. In states like California, you can buy this all-electric car for as low as $18,800 with qualifying federal and state tax credits. For the almost 2 years, my wife and I have been driving the all-electric 2011 Nissan LEAF. We love the car.
This all-electric city car is priced so low that I had to ask 3 times to confirm. I heard it right. Spring 2013 you can order the smart fortwo electric drive (yes the car name is not capitalized) for $25,000 and be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. Your state may offer added incentives. $17,500!
The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV will be priced by GM at less than $32,500 and eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit and added incentives in several states. Now that GM leads electric car sales in the United States with the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, it will go after urban dwellers who want a less expensive city EV. Spark EV is the first all-electric vehicle in North America to offer optional SAE Combo DC Fast Charge capability, which can charge the battery to 80 percent of capacity in about 20 minutes.
Before stepping inside Ford’s new crossover for an 80-mile test-drive, I can’t help admiring the looks of this 2013 Ford C-MAX. This 5-seater rides tall like an SUV with a height of 63.8-inches. Here you can buy the C-MAX Hybrid starting at $25,200 and get 47-miles per gallon and 570-mile range, or you can buy the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid starting at $32,900 and get 100 mpg and 620 mile range.
A new survey of some 1,400 California Nissan LEAF owners reveals that 89% of owners use their LEAF as their primary car and own a second gasoline fueled car, that they drive an average of 800 electric-fueled miles per month, and many pay the equivalent of $0.90 to $1.90 per gallon of gasoline to power their electric vehicles.
California is the leading state for the early adoption of electric cars. California is the first state with 10,000 electric cars. These California EVs are primarily charged in home garages, but their range is extended with 2,000 installed charge points. By 2014, 50,000 electric cars will be on California roads supported by 10,000 charged points.
Oregon is taking the lead in the dream of driving your electric car from Mexico to Canada. A network of fast charging stations is already in place in Oregon along the U.S. Interstate 5 Freeway, which connects the southern boarder of California to the northern boarder of Washington. The West Coast Green Highway is a vision that is becoming a reality.
Electric vehicle wireless charging is now in use by electric cars, taxis, buses, car sharing, and racing teams. Is charging without plug connection in all of our future, or just special fleets? In Italy, over 30 buses on fixed routes in Genoa and Turin take advantage of wireless charging at bus stops to make electric transit a reality. As it readies for the Olympics, the city of London will include a new wireless pilot program that includes taxis using Qualcomm Halo technology.
The Infinity LE brings a new level of elegance to the all-electric 5-passenger sedan. Whether gliding down the highway or attracting a crowd in front of a favorite restaurant, the sculpted body and LED lighted grill are arresting. Premium appointments invite the driver to use a new generation of telematics and infotainment. Sexy.
California already has over 10,000 of the new electric vehicles on the road and 2,000 public charge points. Over 10,000 new electric charge points will be added to give EV drivers added range. The charge stations will be built by NRG with private money, not public funds.
REC Solar has teamed with GE Energy Industrial Solutions, a leading supplier of power generation and energy delivery technologies, to distribute the GE WattStation™ electric vehicle (EV) charger. The partnership signals the movement toward the inevitable collision of two rapidly growing sustainability movements – solar and electric vehicles – for a cleaner, more secure world.
San Francisco may be the nation’s first region with 10,000 electric cars. It could happen in 2012 for the region with 7 million people and 5.3 million vehicles. Electric utility PG&E reports that they are now charging 1,800 Nissan LEAFs and 250 Chevrolet Volt residential owners. Add to these numbers a growing number of electric car fleets that include Google, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the U.S. Navy; 4,000 freeway-speed electric vehicles in the SF Bay Area are forecast by the end of this year.