Consumers interested in plug-in cars got more good news this month as the Mercedes-built Smart and Chevy Volt both joined the recent moves to drop prices on their models. The Smart dropped lease prices to $139/month, substantially below much of the competition, and GM lowered the 2014 Chevy Volt price by $5,000.
MPG is still on consumers’ minds as car and truck sales of hybrids, plug-in cars and clean diesels continued to outpace the overall market in February 2012. High mileage hybrids, plug-ins and diesels had their second good month to begin the year, bettering the high bar set by the overall market. Hybrids continued to be above 3 percent of the market and both hybrids and diesels accelerated sales beyond a strong overall market (up 16.1% and 23.3% respectively compared to the overall market rise of 14.3%).
A pair of environmentalists dismiss some of the common misconceptions that prevent the eco-conscious from buying electric cars.
Google is now showing us how to charge hands-free. No plug. No cord. Using Evatran Plugless Power’s inductive charging system, one of Google’s maintenance short-range EVs parks in close proximity of the charger and charging begins. Google is also conducting other important pilots including testing the new Toyota Prius Plug-in, not a conversion, but the 2012 model from Toyota. Soon, Google will be testing the Honda Fit Electric and other plug-in cars. Several Google founders drive Tesla Roadsters.
Toyota officially expanded the Prius family to four models: 2011 Prius – world’s best selling hybrid, 2012 Prius v –midsized wagon with 40 mpg goes on sale Summer 2011, 2012 Prius c Concept – city car hybrid goes on sale by Summer 2012, 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid – best mileage of any Prius goes on sale by Summer 2012. My test drive of the Prius Plug-in felt just like driving the best selling Prius.
During the 2012 Olympics in London, as visitors sail from Heathrow Airport in electric PRT, and look out the window at electric buses, they will see thousands of electric cars. London is saving EV and PHEV buyers over $10,000 with new grants, exemptions from congestion fees, and over 1,000 charging stations useable with a low cost annual subscription. Nine models of electric and ultra-low emission cars will be eligible for grants of up to £5,000, the government has announced.
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.
As the world leader in hybrid cars, Toyota is fighting to extend that leadership in both plug-in hybrids and battery-electrics. In plug-in hybrids, GM plans on first mover advantage with the Chevy Volt. In electric cars, the Nissan LEAF has a sizable lead over the Toyota FT-EV. But Toyota has more cars on the road with electric motors, advanced batteries, and electric drive systems than all competitors put together. This article discusses Toyota’s roll-out of the Prius PHV, the FT-EV, and progress with advanced batteries.
Ford outsold Toyota in February in the United States. Ford’s monthly sales were up 43 percent over February 2009, while Toyota sales dropped 9 percent. Ford’s growing success comes at a time when Toyota is recalling millions of vehicles, and suspending sales of key models, due to accelerator pedal problems. More customers now feel safer in a Ford, Mercury, or Lincoln than in a Toyota or Lexus. Toyota commands four of the top 10 positions of Clean Fleet’s 2010 Hybrids with Best Mileage, but Ford plans on changing that with new hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric cars.
A new National Academies report considers two vehicles. One, the PHEV-10, uses hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) technology similar to that used in the Toyota Prius. However, it has a larger battery than an HEV to allow 10 miles of driving powered by electricity only and a gasoline engine that drives the wheels in parallel with the electric motor when power demand is high or the batteries are discharged. The other vehicle, the PHEV-40, is similar to the Chevrolet Volt. Thirteen to 40 million PHEV out of 300 million total vehicles are projected to be on the U.S. roads by 2030 under different scenarios.
Automakers continue to increase our choice of plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars and crossovers in 2013. Competition is intense for electric car United States leadership. Electric car sales triple in the U.S. each year – 20,000 in 2011, 60,000 or more in 2012, 180,000 or more in 2013. The Chevrolet Volt leads plug-in hybrid sales. The Nissan LEAF leads all-electric sales. Ford has multiple electric car and plug-in hybrid offerings. 20,000 Teslas are on the road or on order. The Smart Electric starts at $25,000.
In 1971, a bright engineer, Dr. Andy Frank, was looking to the future. He knew that oil production had peaked in the U.S. and that cheap oil would later peak globally. He calculated how to get 100 miles per gallon, and then he built a hybrid-electric car. A few years later there was a crisis […]