I just drove two electric cars on the same route that included demanding freeway acceleration, cruising along a beautiful ocean highway, serious hill climbing, and maneuvering through street traffic. Let’s compare the Mitsubishi i with a starting price of $29,125 with the Nissan LEAF with a starting price over $6,000 higher. The Mitsubishi i is a 5-door, 4-seat, microcompact with more room inside than a MiniCooper and friendly outside looks similar to a VW bug. The Nissan LEAF is a 5-door 5-seat, compact hatchback with stylish yet conventional looks.
On November 17 the 2012 Green Car of the Year® will be announced by Green Car Journal at the LA Auto Show. This year’s five finalists include the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, 2012 Mitsubishi i, 2012 Toyota Prius v, 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas, and 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI. I have been impressed with my test drives of these cars. All will be available for dealer sales by January 2, 2012.
As many as ten battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars selling for under $40,000 will be at this year’s LA Auto Show, open to the public November 18 to 27. The most groundbreaking categories, when it comes to technological advancements, continues to be the hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle categories. The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt were the early movers in the electric car category, but now a whole pack of EV’s are entering production and will be available at dealerships soon. On display will be the Mitsubishi’s all-electric i, which boasts 112 MPGe and has a single-charge range of 85 miles starting at $29,195, over $5,000 less than the popular Nissan LEAF.
Here are 10 pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars expected to be sold with starting prices between $29,125 and $39,995 in the U.S. in 2012 and 2013. The list includes small city cars, 5-seat hatchbacks full of electronic wonders, and a crossover SUV. At the top of the low cost list, at least for now, is the Mitsubishi I electric car can now be reserved for $29,125. The following is our list of electric cars….
In this test drive of the new Toyota RAV4 EV, this electric SUV beat a V8 gasoline pickup going up hill. Combine a mature Toyota RAV4 chassis and interior with a maturing Tesla electric drive and you have a premium electric vehicle in months not years. 31 of these prototype all-electric SUVs are now on the road and demonstrating 80 to 120 mile electric range.
China leads the world with over 100 million riding e-scooters, e-bikes, and light-electric vehicles. By December 2015, China plans to have 500,000 electric vehicles that can travel slow streets to fast highways. Those EV will be supported with 220,000 charge points and 2,351 battery swap stations in the nation’s latest plans. China’s 12th Five Year Plan is summarized in a new Deutsche Bank (DB) report.
One Million Toyota Prius have now been sold in U.S. Over 2 million Prii have been delivered globally. Over 3 million Toyota hybrids have been sold globally. By the end of 2012, Toyota Motors will offer at least eleven Toyota and Lexus hybrid and electric cars.
Mitsubishi has sold more electric cars than Nissan and more than Chevrolet. I can see why as I test-drive the Mitsubishi I all over Monterey. I glide in stealth mode in city stop-go traffic. I accelerate around a slow poke faster than in the Think EV. When I turn, the stability is solid. It climbs a 16 percent grade with remarkable ease. Before tax incentives, this city electric car is likely to price below $29,900, making EVs available to an expanding market.
Elon Musk discussed the new Model S Sedan and hinted about the Tesla Model X SUV when he keynoted the Clean-tech Investor Summit. He then gave me an interesting answer about Tesla’s future. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO and Founder, showed us a video of the Model S test drive. A new generation of lithium batteries is at the heart of the vehicles range of 160 miles with optional packs that provide 230 and 300 miles of range per electric charge.
Toyota plans to introduce 11 hybrids by the end of 2012, consisting of all-new models and redesigned models. A new compact will deliver a jaw-dropping 94 mpg. Lexus offers five premium hybrids including the CT200h with 42 mpg. Toyota demonstrates a big electric future with 600 Prius Plug-ins now on the road, and trials to start for the new all-electric SUV – the Toyota RAV4 EV Powered by Tesla.
The Smart Fortwo is popular with city drivers that need to avoid $25 daily parking fees by fitting in spots to small for others. In 2010, 250 battery electric smart cars will be put on the streets of U.S. cities. Early in 2012, Smart plans to make over 10,000 Smart Electric Drives for sales globally and be a major player in urban electric cars. The new Smart Electrics deliver an 80-mile range per charge with a 16.5kWh lithium ion battery pack that consists of 18,650 Tesla format cells. Daimler owns Smart, Mercedes, and about 4 percent of Tesla.