The enthusiast group Plug In America noted that, for the first time, U.S. sales of plug-in electric cars (either pure electrics or plug-in hybrids) market will pass a significant milestone this month (May). The 100,000th mark was reached just past two years after their introduction to the market.
For all the twists and turns that the auto industry undergoes, it looks like 2013 will be a clear milestone for electric cars. The point here is to look at how far we have come and note the arrival of the electric car industry. It’s no longer a model or two, but a substantial variety of vehicles from major manufacturers that the EV-conscious consumer can choose from.
Ford is making a concerted push towards electrification, a key part of its strategy to boost fuel economy across its lineup. The Ford Fusion Energi, which Clean Fleet Report recently had the opportunity to sample for a brief test drive, is the centerpiece of a five-vehicle electrified fleet.
Tom Hanks has supported improving the environment for years both with words and actions such as driving electric vehicles. “I still have a Toyota RAV4 EV and never spent a penny on gasoline for it,” he said. Happy with his Toyota EV, he added a second electric car. Many other people are experimenting with conversions to electric. The most notable are hybrid owners. Hundreds own electric vehicles in this university town. The city’s parks and recreation department saves money using EVs that displace expensive gasoline cars and trucks. The university is a major user of electric vehicles.
Many Americans are interested in ending the ridiculous amounts of money they spend at the pump. If all the vehicles are gas guzzlers, this is a great time to replace one. In the United States, there is tremendous innovation in plug-in hybrid technology, electric drive systems, advanced batteries, and fuel cells. Fortunately, there are many solutions.
Walking up to the new Nissan Electric Vehicle prototype car, my first surprise was getting into the right hand front seat. This car was only one of two in existence and driving in Japan is like the UK, on the left side of the road.
The Clean Fleet Top 10 Low Carbon Footprint Passenger Vehicles include the expected (Prius) and the unexpected (an SUV). The vehicles are generally gas misers (in one case a CNG miser). Some are roomy midsized sedans and one is the king of legally parking where none of the others qualify.
President Barack Obama announced the availability of $2.4 billion in funding to put American ingenuity and America’s manufacturers to work producing next generation Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and the advanced battery components that will make these vehicles run.
Ford will introduce a battery-only commercial van in 2010, followed by a passenger car built on the same technology in 2011, and exciting plug-in vehicles by 2012. To accelerate commercialization, Ford will partner with leaders in drive systems, lithium batteries, specialty electric vehicles, and electric utilities.
Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle.
Chrysler builds on the success of its 38,000 GEM EVs that are currently on the road in the U.S. with new battery-electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid announcements. Chrysler announced 3 freeway-speed electric vehicles – Dodge EV, Jeep EV and Chrysler EV – and announced the GEM Peapod.
Several early models of passenger vehicles have enough energy stored in advanced batteries to power several homes for hours. Hybrid electric buses and heavy trucks could power many homes or a school or a hospital in an emergency. Recent announcements demonstrate that electric utilities and some auto makers want to make V2G a reality. The Smart Grid Consortium, established in December 2007 by Xcel Energy, will select a community of approximately 100,000 residents to become a Smart Grid City using V2G. The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Project Better Place have signed a MOU to create a mass-market for electric vehicles in Israel.
Since the June publication of this article, Tesla has be struggling with a number of issues that are delaying shipments 6 to 12 months past original targets. The company blames the durability and reliability of the transmission. But 700 pounds have been added to the vehicle. There $43 million sale of battery packs to Th!nk was cancelled. Major auto makers have announced their electric vehicle plans.
South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) is ordering 30 more plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) that are likely to achieve over 100 mpg. Ten will be Toyota (TM) Priuses converted to PHEV by Hymotion using A123 lithium batteries. 20 will be Ford (F) Escapes converted to PHEV by Quantum (QTWW) using Advanced Lithium Power batteries. Total investment in the 30 vehicles and charging stations will be $3,777,843. AQMD will contribute most of the money.
A recent movie and several books asked the question “Who killed the electric car?” then answered GM. Yet, GM and other auto makers have continued to pour billions into electric motors, advanced batteries, hybrid-electric propulsion, and electric vehicles where hydrogen fuel cells supply electricity to electric motors. The more relevant question is this, “Will electric vehicles kill General Motors?” Most people on the planet cannot afford big gasoline powered cars. Over 30 million people drive electric vehicles.