• 2016 Audi A3 e-tron
  • 2015,Kia,Soul,EV,electric car
  • 2015,VW,volkswagen, e-Golf
  • 2016 Fiat 500e

Top 10 Electric Cars

 

2017 Is Here: Here Are the Top 10 Electric Car Companies

We update this list regularly because the market is changing so quickly. The new models we’ve driven have caused us to rethink the Top 10.

Picking the Top 10 electric car makers now involves making some choices as the number of vehicles available increases. Plug-ins are trending in key markets around the country, although much of the action remains focused in California and other West Coast states. By the end of 2016 the total number of plug-in vehicles (that’s pure battery electrics and plug-in hybrids) sold this year topped 150,000. It’s a year of exponential growth with the expectation this 2017 will be another just like it. We think we’ll see many more miles driven on electrons this year.

This list is subjective and weighted toward functionality with an emphasis on fun, but also factors in sales numbers. Enjoy! Let us know what you think.

  1. Our New Favorites — the Volkswagen e-Golf & Audi A3 e-tron

These little electric rocket ships have now been on the market long enough to establish a good coterie of adherents. While the Golf holds down the 5th spot in pure electric car sales for 2015, we put it at number one for several reasons.

2016,Audi,e-tron,A3,plug-in hybrid

Audi expands its plug-in options

German engineering – das electric

First, it’s a Golf, which is a great small car package. Its cousin, the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Audi A3, is a similar delight to drive and has been holding its own in that market segment.

The Volkswagen e-Golf is very maneuverable, bringing all of the good suspension work of the seventh generation Golf into an electric car. The packaging of the Golf is another plus. It’s got a decent-size interior with room for five (in a pinch, or four comfortable adults) plus storage behind the hatch in back. While the move to electric drive in an existing platform hasn’t allowed Volkswagen the opportunity to really optimize for the new powertrain, we have no complaints about the standard Golf layout. Then there’s performance: it’s fast, as most electrics are, smart with different regen levels and driving settings, and handles like all the other gas and diesel Golfs, which is to say—great! And the $33,450 e-Golf has been joined by a distant cousin, the Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid, which we recently tested and came away very pleased with what we found. VW has made it clear more plug-ins are coming. We’ve driven recent versions of the e-Golf and everything we said in 2014 still holds true. Road Test: 2014 VW e-Golf. First Drive: 2015 e-Golf. Road Test: 2016 Audi A3 e-tron.

     2.   Tesla – the 4,800-pound Gorilla

Tesla is described as disruptive technology, but in reality the company has done what auto companies have done for a little more than a century—build great cars and match them up with owners who appreciate them. The Model S is the best-selling plug-in car in the U.S. for 2016, followed by the Model X. Almost two-thirds of the battery electric cars sold in the U.S. had Tesla badges on them. We recently spent some time in a brand-new ludicrously loaded Model X P100D and can verify the appeal of the cars.

The roomy Model S luxury sedan starts at about $66,000 with four battery pack configurations, but now offers five all-wheel drive version that feature even faster acceleration, topping out with the P100D model. Production of the Roadster, the company’s initial product, ended after deliveries totaling 2,500. The Model S electric range goes from a nominal 219 miles to 331 miles per charge in its big battery configurations.

Tesla Model X

X marks the spot of Tesla’s expansion

Tesla helped former shareholder Toyota to bring back the Toyota RAV4 EV, an electric SUV and also aided its other OEM shareholder, Daimler (which also has since divested its Tesla shares), with the Smart ED and B-Class Electric.

Now known as simply Tesla (not Tesla Motors since its merger with Elon Musk’s Solar City), has booked more than 350,000 reservations for its upcoming Model 3, its affordable ($35,000) smaller model due to start production in 2017. Tesla continues to battle with auto dealers in many states as it tries to establish a direct-sales model, although founder Musk has admitted his sales plan may not work when they move to the more mass-market Model 3, which he hopes to sell in volumes of up to 500,000 per year. Tesla News, Tesla News & More Tesla News. First Drive: 2017 Tesla Model X P100D.

  1. Chevrolet Bolt/Volt – One-Two Punch in the Electric Gut

General Motors has done something remarkable, enough so that we were tempted to jump them up to the top of this chart. They have done two major things to deserve the attention they’re getting. First was to introduce the second generation Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car (which gets tossed in with plug-in hybrids even though its system really takes a different approach). It followed the new Volt with the all-electric 238-mile range Bolt this year.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt LT

Bolts jolts the market with 200+ miles of range and an affordable price

Beating Tesla to the market with the Bolt was quite a coup, particularly with a car as well-executed as this EV is. And that takes nothing away from the redesigned Volt hatchback that has 50+ miles of electric range and more than 400 miles per gasoline fill-up range in its second generation.

The Bolt is priced at $37,495 before various rebates and incentives kick in while the Volt has a starting price of about $34,490, but also is eligible for federal and state incentives. Sales of the Bolt just started in December, but we predict it will likely be the best-selling in 2017. If the Volt continues it reign atop the PHEV group that would be quite a two-fer for Chevy and GM.

We’ve spent quite a bit of time in this car and think it’s a keeper. It’s won more than a few accolades. The versatility to drive around town and potentially commute as an electric car (Chevy has documented that most drivers will go more than 1,000 miles between fill-ups), coupled with the ability to take longer trips relying on the gasoline “range extender” makes it a great choice for a one-car household.

Also at GM, but phasing out are the all-electric Chevrolet Spark EV; it’s a fun city car with 80-mile range between charges. Sales are tapering off for the Cadillac ELR, which uses a plug-in hybrid drive system similar to the Volt, as it goes out of production.

With all of its Bolt/Volt news, rumors keep circulating that GM may expand its offering to include other brands. It will introduce a Cadillac CT6 PHEV in spring 2017, but more models may be in the offing.

Here are some of our road tests/news stories on GM plug-ins—First Drive: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt; News: First Bolt Owner; Road Tests: 2017 Chevy Volt2016 Chevy Volt; News: 2017 Cadillac CT6 PHEV; 2014 Chevy Spark EVCadillac ELR.

  1. Nissan Leaf – the Standard Bearer

Nissan is the sales leader of affordable pure electric cars and is staying the course in its commitment to this technology. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn reiterated recently that his company will support electric drive while also offering plug-in hybrids and fuel cell electric cars and hybrid-electric models.

2016 Nissan Leaf

Leaf led the way and promises more changes soon

The company’s flagship car is the Leaf, a five-door, five-seat hatchback that is the right size and range for many who drive around 100 miles daily. Nissan makes the Leaf and its batteries in Tennessee for the U.S. market and bumped up the range this last year. It is promising a 200+ mile range version soon. Used Leafs are now coming off lease and onto the market, presenting another option for eco-buyers.

The Leaf was refreshed in 2016 with a larger (30 kWh) battery pack and longer range. We tested it twice and liked the extra miles. Road Test: 2016 Nissan Leaf; Test #2.

     5.  BMW – the Ultimate Electric Driving Machine?

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e

BMW starts adding plugs throughout its lineup

BMW has charged into the electric car space with two strong contenders—the hot-selling i3 and the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar. We’ve driven both and are impressed by both, as are many others.

The i3 (which actually comes in two versions—a pure battery electric and a ranged-extended EV) is the fourth best-selling plug-in car in the U.S. in 2016, behind only the two Teslas and the Leaf.  The i8 is no slouch, either, sitting solidly in the Top 10 plug-in hybrids. Not bad for a car that lists for $136,500. The i3 starts at $42,400. Like most manufacturers, BMW has begun to launch more plug-in models, including the 2016 X5 xDrive40e that we tested, and plug-in versions of the 3-Series and 7-Series. Road Test: 2014 BMW i3. First Drive: 2015 BMW i8.

     6.  Ford – Variety Is Their Spice of Life

Ford has made a commitment to fuel efficiency that starts with their widely used EcoBoost engines (basically smaller turbocharged direct-injection engines that can replace larger non-turbo port-injection powerplants). Ford has a trio of plug-in vehicles that are the tip of the spear for its environmental efforts. They start with the full-electric Ford Focus and two plug-in hybrids, the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi (both of which also come in a plain-Jane hybrid version).

2016 Ford Focus Electric, EV

Ford offers and expansive range of plug-ins, including the Focus Electric

Sales have been steady, but the Fusion Energi in particular had a great year and the pair were the second and third best-selling models in the PHEV sales behind the Volt. They sacrifice some trunk space for the added batteries (compared to the hybrid models), but deliver solid performance and enough for 21 miles of electric-only driving (which is being bumped up slightly in 2017). Ford is adding a hybrid version of the best-selling vehicle in the U.S., the F-150 pickup as well.

But that’s not all. Ford is also pushing strongly into the mobility space while also using its electrified vehicles like the Fusion as the test-bed for its autonomous vehicle projects. It’s recent smart mobility projects included adding a crowd-sourced shuttle service, Chariot, and an e-bike sharing program.

Road Test: 2016 Ford Focus Electric. Road Test: 2016 Ford Fusion Energi. First Drive: Ford C-Max.

  1. Toyota – Big in Hybrids; Betting on Fuel Cells & Electrics

Toyota, passing nine million hybrid sales worldwide at mid-2016, has dabbled in both plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars, but then seemed focused on fuel cell electric cars, which uses hydrogen to produce electricity on board and power the electric motors.

2017 Prius Prime

The Prius Prime becomes Toyota’s leader with a plug

Toyota’s Prius Plug-In Hybrid has been renamed the Prius Prime and is more distinguished from the standard Prius than in the past. The new model has a longer EV range than its predecessor. Toyota has had some sales success, and has noe promised a new push into electric vehicles. Clean Fleet Report tested the original model, comparing it with the better-known non-plug-in version.

Toyota also offered a limited model in California: the only all-electric SUV, the RAV4 EV, with an advertised 150-mile electric range (produced with some help from Tesla, in which Toyota was a shareholder) and earlier did a limited EV run of its minicar, the iQ. Now on the market is the Mirai, a fuel-cell sedan with a 350-mile range and a $57,000 price tag (it delivered more than 1,000 Mirais in 2016). Toyota offers 12 hybrid models (Toyota & Lexus) with similar electric motors and advanced battery packs, sometimes shared with its electric cars. We’ve tested most of those. First Drive: 2013 RAV4 EV. Road Test: Plug-In Prius and Prius Liftback.  First Drive: 2016 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle. First Drive: Toyota iQ

 

  1. Kia/Hyundai – Coming on Strong

Don’t forget the Korean plug-ins

2017 Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid

There’s a new badge in town

Kia has its Soul EV on the market and its making its presence know. We’ve had a chance to test it. Along with its parent company Hyundai, Kia is scheduled to launch two plug-in hybrids (the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima)  and a Hyundai Ioniq sub-brand that, like the Ford Fusion, will have a hybrid and plug-in hybrid, but also will add a pure electric model. We covered the introduction. In addition, the ambitious company already has launched the Kia Niro dedicated hybrid, which impressed us as well. Hyundai has been leasing its Tucson fuel cell electric vehicles in Southern California for several years now. Road Test: 2015 Kia Soul EV; Road Test: 2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV.

 

  1. Daimler Begins an Electric Onslaught

In America only with electric motors

Daimler is the automotive giant that owns Mercedes-Benz and Smart and also was a Tesla stockholder. While it has had two pure EVs on the market for a while, this year it added three plug-in hybrids—the C350We, GLE 550e and S550 Plug-in.

2016 Mercedes-Benz B250e

Daimler leads with a B250e, but promises many more electrics

The two-seat Smart ED has been selling in small numbers (many to the company’s Car2Go car-sharing subsidiary). The Smart ED minicar went through three generations and we’ve driven the latest version, but only with the gas engine. Mercedes has two versions of its subcompact B-Class, a pure electric with 87 miles of range that we recently had a chance to drive and a fuel cell electric vehicle with a more than 300 miles of range, the only versions of that car available in the U.S. The electric B-Class and Smart ED are at the bottom of the sales list for 2016, selling less than 1,300 units between the two models. The company has announced a massive investment in electric drive vehicles so the expectation is that every year more plug-ins will be coming to the market. The next generation fuel cell car also should surface soon. First Drive: First Drive: 2016 Mercedes-Benz B250e; Smart Fortwo ED.

  1. Fiat – Small, But a Mighty Fine, Fun EV

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is selling the Fiat 500e somewhat reluctantly, but don’t let that turn you away. Even though FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne famously claims the company

2016 Fiat 500e, safety

The Fiat 500e is full of fun

loses $14,000 on every $32,780 500e it sells, they do need to sell quite a few of them to meet California’s ZEV (zero emission vehicle) mandate so take advantage while you can.

It’s a fun all-electric city car. We thought it was the most fun car of the EV bunch until the e-Golf came out and trumped it both in functionality and fun.  Very affordable (sub-$100/month) lease deals have been available for this spunky EV in California (its main market). It manages to carry through the Italian charm and personality found in its gas models. The major drawback, which could be an advantage in an urban location, is the small size of the vehicle. As a two-door with a small back seat, its capability of carrying four adults is limited. Road Test: Fiat 500e.

The Rest

That’s the Top 10, but the good news is there are even more models on the market and some have come and gone already. Coda Automotive, with its warmed-over Chinese sedan, has departed, but Fisker (now Karma) Automotive has revived its high-end plug-in hybrid under new Chinese ownership.

Honda sold a limited number of its Fit EVs and similarly stopped selling the Accord Plug-in Hybrid. Like Toyota and Hyundai, it is focusing on Clarity fuel cell electrics as its main EV strategy going forward, but could return to a pure EV and PHEV depending on market trends.  It continues to promote ideas like an integrated car and home energy system that would depend on a plug-in car.

Volvo has just started selling its plug-in hybrid version of the XC90 SUV, though numbers are expected to remain low. We tested it recently and came away very impressed. Volvo has indicated more plug-in models will follow.

Mitsubishi still offers the i (formerly i-MiEV), though the company skipped the 2015 model year, but the 2016 we tested wasn’t much different than earlier models. The i fits into tight parking spaces and tight electric car buyer budgets, starting at about $29,000. It’s a very Japanese model five-door, four-passenger hatchback. The i has an electric range of 62 miles (EPA adjusted) with a 16kWh lithium battery. Although it’s been modified for the US market it still feels very much like the Japanese-market original, which is to say, less substantial than many of its competitors. Mitsubishi also reiterated its intent to bring a plug-in version of its popular Outlander SUV to the U.S. this coming year (as has been promised for several years).

Then there’s Porsche (another VW affiliate) with its plug-in Panamera sedan, Cayenne SUV and 918 sports car also in the market. Other companies have teased plug-ins, but we’ll wait until we see hardware before

A plug-in Porsche

adding them to any list.

California and seven other states reaffirmed their goal to have 3.3 million electric cars (including plug-in hybrids and fuel cells) on the road by 2025. The numbers are basically accounted for in the ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mandate that the states have in place, but rely on a steep ramp up of sales after 2020. Based on sales reports, more than 500,000 plug-in vehicles have been sold in the U.S. since the Tesla roadster was introduced in 2008. More than half of them were in California.

There is a lot of innovation from around the world that did not make this Top 10 List, which focuses on the current U.S. market. Please bookmark this Top 10 List and check back as we update. Exciting new electric cars are being driven on the U.S. streets and freeways. Nissan is an early mover with battery-electric cars, now eclipsed by Tesla and General Motors has led the way with plug-in hybrids, but competition is heating up and new models due during the next year or two could dramatically alter the field. The winner will be the customer.

Related stories you might enjoy:

How Long Will It Take To Convert The U.S. Fleet To Electric?

Road Test: 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf

First Drive: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Road Test: 2014 Chevy Volt

Road Test: 2016 Nissan Leaf

Road Test: 2016 Fiat 500e

The Top 10 Electric Cars You Can Buy

Disclosure:

Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.

Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class. We also feature those that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Author: Michael Coates

is editor and publisher at Clean Fleet Report and an internationally recognized expert in the field of automotive environmental issues. He has been an automotive editor and writer for more than three decades. His media experience includes Petersen Publishing (now part of The Enthusiast Network), Green Car Journal, trade magazines, newspaper and television news reporting. He currently serves on the Board of the Western Automotive Journalists.

70 thoughts on “Top 10 Electric Cars

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    • September 4, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      @nike air max sale,
      We gather our info from manufacturer websites and direct information, our own tests and often check in with other automotive correspondents. It’s a mixture of objective and subjective information. Always also looking for feedback from the field from vehicle owners, since their experience says a lot. –ed

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  4. Reza Moghaddam
    July 25, 2015 at 5:59 am

    This Meets All Your Propulsion Needs !?
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    Dear Sirs . I’m from IRAN , and this invention depends with all
    human ‘s safe life on the earth and all other planets and even in SPACE
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    I’m a self-starter by 72 years of old and have been busy my last 23
    years on this matter,
    during the days and nights ,so believe or not ;
    That’s a serious question ,please reply or guide me to a right way. thank you.
    Question,??
    Despite of impossible matter if a person could do and prove a real
    free and clean Energy generating MOTOR!
    what would Happen !!?? thank you,
    Meanwhile; I have to say here: the only way to overcome to THE matter
    have been to overcome space time in fact and , in act!?
    HOW it’s been HAPPENED ?? Please CONTACT.fore more details , thank you .
    Reza Moghaddam ,the Inventor.

    • July 27, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      @Reza Moghaddam,
      Good luck with your invention. Hope your government is as supportive as our of new innovations. –ed.

      • Reza Moghaddam
        July 27, 2015 at 10:04 pm

        I bet on my life !?……………….

        Dear Michael Coates ,
        Hello,
        That will take more time if I wanna discuss on all the depending matters,BUT PLEASE NOTIFY what I’m Claiming Here ,or have claimed before ; as you see the title of this letter above (I bet on my life) !? it’s a serious Promise and my word of honour : and I’m ready every where ,to response anyone and prove the Claim by the Even Your existing physic lows ,So Sir if you are interested on the problem ,Please do your best to find a Trustful customer at the field .and I’m ready to derive with you the benefits .
        Meanwhile ,I’d like to say here Our principle despite of your westerns is ,we first give the commodity then ask for The cost ! , but you if don’t have the money first, never give the things !?
        Thank you&best regards,
        Reza Moghddam,
        This Meets All Your Propulsion Needs !?
        …………………………………………………………………………………………..
        Dear Sirs .
        This invention depends with all
        human ‘s safe life on the earth and all other planets and even in SPACE !?
        I’m a self-starter by 72 years of old and have been busy my last 23
        Years on this matter,
        During the days and nights ,so believe or not ;
        That’s a serious question ,please reply or guide me to a right way. thank you.
        Question,??
        Despite of impossible matter if a person could do and prove a real
        Free and clean Energy generating MOTOR!
        What would Happen !!?? thank you,
        Meanwhile; I have to say here: The only way to overcome to THE matter
        Have been to overcome space time in fact and , in act!?
        HOW it’s been HAPPENED ?? Please CONTACT.for more details .
        Thank you .
        Reza Moghaddam ,the Inventor.

        • August 1, 2015 at 2:28 pm

          @Reza Moghaddam,
          Not sure how it works in Iran, but in the West you’ve got to show more than promises for an innovation to have any success in auto business (and nothing’s guaranteed even then). Can you give Clean Fleet Report’s readers a little more hint of what your invention does and how it works. –ed.

  5. Reza Moghaddam
    June 23, 2015 at 3:46 am

    Dear Sirs . I’m from IRAN , and this invention depends with all human’s safe life on the earth and all other planets and even in SPACE !?
    I’m a self-starter by 72 years of old and have been busy my last 23 years on this matter,
    during the days and nights ,so believe or not ;
    That’s a serious question ,please reply or guide me to a right way. thank you.
    Question,??
    Despite of impossible matter if a person could do and prove a real free and clean Energy generating MOTOR!
    what would Happen !!?? thank you,
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    Reza Moghaddam ,the Inventor.

    • June 28, 2015 at 11:53 pm

      @Reza Moghaddam,
      I admire your spirit and drive, sir, and I’m sure if you can invent such a motor, the world’s engineers will beat a path to your door. Good luck. –ed.

  6. November 20, 2014 at 1:01 am

    While specifics on the plan, such as which cities and regions it will target and what models of vehicle the charging points would be compatible with, are yet to be revealed, the disclosure on the amount of funding is the latest in a line of events to suggest that China is looking to make itself the major market for electric transport. On the public side, the government has already provided tax breaks to domestic EV manufacturers BYD and Kandi Technologies Group as part of its attempts to cut carbon emissions and boost environmental sustainability. Lets see where it goes.

    • November 23, 2014 at 11:58 pm

      @prkralex,
      Your point is well-taken. Let’s see where China goes. As we know from the past, the actions and words have not always matched up–or sometimes not matched up for long enough to have a positive impact. –ed.

  7. acsa
    September 19, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    A list of pure electric car is on .My dream is to buy a Tesla Model S or to convert my Skoda Octavia to electric, but now it too expensive :(((

    • September 20, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      @acsa,
      Great Euro-centric list. However, you should update your Top 5. Tesla Model 3 is not going to be in production at least two years. The Tesla Roadster and Coda are out of production (Coda is no longer producing its cars). –ed.

      • acsa
        November 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm

        Did you know that Elon Musk announces a new version of Model S with dual-motor? P85D , it have 691 hp and now sprint from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.2 s , so exciting. I collected some pictures of Tesla Model S. You can see those images here .

        • November 7, 2014 at 9:55 pm

          @acsa,
          The new Model S AWD is a great step forward and we’ll have this list updated soon, but keep in mind that’s not all the Tesla news this month. The Model X (from which the AWD system is derived has been delayed again until late 2015. The company’s financial situation remains a bit precarious as production has actually slowed and spending has increased faster than sales. It’s a great car, but this is a brutal business. –ed.

  8. Joe
    August 24, 2013 at 2:29 am

    John Addison,
    Please write a story about the history of the Aptera, winner of the “X prize”. US car company that has been sold to China, who will be importing to the US shortly, company because US government would not help!

    • August 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      @Joe,
      I’m afraid it would be a pretty sad history that would only show that unconventional products like the Aptera are unlikely to find a successful place in the market, even if they’re imported from China. But I do appreciate the suggestion and may yet revisit the list of recent failed EV makers (including those like Fisker who received government support).
      –ed. [Michael Coates]

  9. July 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    @jimdo.com Can you tell me which photos you’re having trouble with? All look fine on this end.

  10. June 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Hello! It seems as though we both have a interest
    for the same thing. Your blog, “Best Electric Cars 2013, Leaf, Volt, C-MAX, 2013 Plugin Car | Clean Fleet Report” and
    mine are very similar. Have you ever thought about writing a
    guest article for a related blog? It will definitely help gain publicity to your website (my site recieves a lot of traffic).
    If you happen to be interested, email me at: christinfraley@t-online.
    de. Thanks for your time

    • June 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      The ideas of cross-posting sounds interesting. Could you send me a link to your blog so I can get a sense of how you’re approaching the subject?

  11. Richard
    May 23, 2013 at 7:05 am

    For $10,000 I can install enough solar panels on my roof to meet my electricity needs and I can plug in my electric car using the power from the sun. This technology is here now and it is incredibly exciting! The solar panels will pay for themselves in about 2 1/2 years for me. Goodbye OIL!

    • May 23, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      @Richard
      You’re on the right track. One of the first comments people ask when discussing plug-in cars is where the electricity comes from. Obviously, solar sourced electricity is the ideal. Good luck!
      Sr. Editor Michael Coates

  12. MS. adiwirya
    January 31, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Wow!!! forward Tesla Model X Crossover SUV, with a cool model

  13. Sriram Srinivas Reddy
    January 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Respected Sir,
    If there is a possibility of charging an electric vehicle (Car) with Small Wind Turbines, Solar PV Cells fitted as additional parts to it, and it needs to be very economic for a common person to purchase then there shall be a great change in the transport system.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Sriram Srinivas Reddy,
    Mobile : 0091 – 9492791089.

  14. Donna
    March 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    All the talk about 100% electric and solar cars. Those cars won’t have a big market. If you look at it from a car maker’s perspective, they have to build what will sell. A 100% electric car sounds great. I and lots of others would love one. But it’s not practical. Last year my power was out for days due to an ice storm. I was able to make it via car to local Target and buy emergency supplies. That wouldn’t have been possible if I’d been unlucky enough for my car not to be sufficiently charged. Or if my charge starts going out, esp. as the car gets older and the battery gets weaker…it’s not like I can pull in somewhere and fill-er-up in a few minutes. I have a serious problem if my charge goes out when I’m gadding about town. Going to visit my family out of state would be out of the question…no EV car to date can make it that far. Rent a car? Okay. Will the rental agency let me leave my car there, fully secured and protected, while I rent a car? Probably not. And solar…that will only work in a truly sunny area, and then only when you don’t rely on the car for must-do tasks, like going to work every day. Those would be good options for a second car. But for those of us who can only have one car, it has to be dependable, and you have to be able to fill-er-up in a few minutes. So the combo electric-gas seems to fit that need. That’s why those cars are being made sooner and more of them. If you were a car maker, that’s what you’d do, too. (Also, let’s not forget that the tax credits up to Dec. 2010 were for hybrids, not plug-ins. Tax credits for electric kick in this year, so that’s at least partly why electrics are coming into the market now, it seems.) I’m going to take a serious look at the new plug-ins and see if I can buy one. Hope they’re not out of my price range (with the tax credit).

  15. March 9, 2011 at 8:02 am

    John,
    Good article on EVs and PHEVs; driving will never be the same! Quick question: I produce green fairs for corporate employees to educate them as to what’s available in the green marketplace. I’ve been trying to get a Nissan Leaf and other EVs to come and exhibit at my events but the dealers have no show room models to demo as they are sold out for 2 years in advance! Any idea of how to contact EV car clubs or EV enthusiasts who may want to show off their EV? I’m in the San Francisco bay area. Thanks and keep feeding us the latest in EV/PHEV.

  16. Scott
    March 6, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Remember the original costs of the flat screen TV? These costs will come down as well.

    As far as using electricity (from utilities burning coal) it is still slightly more environmentally friendly than using gas directly and I expect charging it with solar, wind etc. will become increasingly more common.

    As far as miles per charge go remember the average daily miles driven by US citizens in roughly 29-35 miles. Imagine if all two car families drove the electric for daily use and saved the big SUV for those rare long hauls. That alone would be a huge step in the right direction.

  17. Ala King
    January 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

    This car companies will not give it ALL.. although the technology is available. If they release an EV this year let say top speed of 84kph they will introduced a more advanced EV next year with top speed of 120kph to gain more profit. just like smartphones we have iphone iphone3g iphone4g then what next iphone 5 iphone6…78910……

  18. Jennifer McIntosh
    January 5, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I love Williams idea of a car that recharges itself as it is moving. I have also had dreams of this and dreams of incorporating magnets. This is brilliant ! why, like you said, have the scientists and engineers not worked on making cars from this angle ? !

  19. AAdler
    December 10, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Its pathetic that our national safety is always at stake with terrorist threats and instability in our economy resulting from oil dependence…..yet we can’t loosen auto safety standards to get weight down for electric cars and let consumers make their own choices. And start mandating charging stations as much as handicap ramps. Gee…go figure how we have noise polluting Harleys on the roads, with exposed riders…but we can’t approve a less than US government safety standard car that is electric..
    Same politics, different day. Thank you GM, Washington and Big Oil for your lobbying that continues to drag as backward. Oh and did I mention Harley Davidson?

  20. William J Dorsett
    December 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Here is my question. Why don’t they make a car that recharges itself as its rolling down the highway?
    First off, the are generators being built with magnets that once they get a push start, continue to generate free energy. Install a small one on a electric car, and you wont need a plug, and the car can drive from one end of the country to the other.
    Second, so you don’t trust the magnet idea, well each wheel on the car is constantly turning while the car is driving. This motion is generating energy, not only is the energy pulling the car to its destination, but there is kinetic energy that could be collected if belts or a extra gear system was attached to each of the wheels. These could work like 4 separate alternators, suggesting that while the car is in motion, there is a constant charge being added to the battery.
    The magnet generator I have build a small test model and burn a tiny light for days off it,
    the wheel alternators I have never tried, but I have had many dreams of…
    So why is it, normal everyday people can think of things like this, yet the brilliant scientists that work for companies like GM and FORD, and so on and so forth can’t even come up with a half way decent electric car?
    Come on already it’s almost 2011…….!!!!!

  21. Will
    November 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    The Think City car is also coming to the US, will be built in Indiana. Think EV has sold more EV’s than any other pure electric in the world. I also hear a rumor that it will be totally re-designed for 2012. The Think City has my vote!

  22. Gilbert
    October 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I own a Tesla Roadster 2.5. The car is fantastic. It is fast, comfortable and has great styling. It is a beautifully engineerd car. Yes, it is expensive but lots of people drive expensive sports cars that are gas guzzlers. The cost averages out to about 2.5 cents per mile. It is not designed to be a family car but would work very well as a commuter car.

  23. Robert Pierce
    October 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Why can’t someone make an affordable car that uses a small gasoline engine that only generates electricity for the electric drive train and batteries? This would use the existing infrastucture and be a good interim vehicle until the manufacturing costs come down on true electrics with the performance and range that we want. Volt is an expensive version of this, but the technology has been around for a long time (submarines, aircracraft carriers, diesel locamotives, etc.) and sould be affordable to produce.

  24. Merit Herman
    September 27, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Try buying a Volt from any dealer in California……can’t get anyone to sell me one at MSRP…..one dealership had the nads to tell me the base cost is $51K due to a $10K ‘market adjustment’. Well, here’s where the US bailed out bankrupt dealership can stick his market adjustment….come on guys, $41K is bad enough, but do they really think anyone is dumb enough to pay an extra $10K for the ‘priviledge’ to be the first model year gunea pig?

    I have a full 5KW panel system on my house so effectively could be paying next to zero to power the Volt (or any other EV), and the money to pay the extra $10K, but does anyone think the greater fool theory is that pervasive? Maybe in L.A.?

    Guess I hold off until Ford comes out with a PHEV Escape (I own one of these hybrids right now and it’s fabulous – best SUV on the planet). Screw off GM – been a Volt follower for years, but bad taste in mouth from your ‘dealers’.

    • John Addison
      September 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      Merit, thanks for sharing the behavior of Chevy dealers. This is valuable info for all readers. I’d welcome an article or email to me about your experince as a PHEV Escape driver and your future plans. I believe that Ford will offer a Focus pure-electric in 2011, a Focus PHEV in 2012, and that it will be a longer wait for a Ford Escape PHEV (as opposed to conversions). Thanks for the input.

  25. September 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    I vote for the Tesla! The 0-6- time is amazing. and so is the range

  26. Ryan
    September 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Why are the Volt And Prius even in this article, they are hybrids!! isn’t this article on full electric cars? the only full electric cars comming in 2011 are the Leaf and Coda (In the U.S. that is!). The Coda from what i understand is only being launched in Hawaii in 2011 in limited production and the leaf is comming out in limited production with only 20,000 units … I saw on another sight that over 100,000 people have signed up for a Leaf… How does that math work? their are many companies doing awsome conversions, maybe thats the best way to force the change over to electric.

    • John Addison
      September 21, 2010 at 8:46 am

      Ryan, we appreciate your enthusiasm for pure battery-electric cars which use zero petroleum and have a lower carbon footprint than plug-in hybrids, also discussed, which use an engine to extend the range of pure battery-electrics. In 2011, I hope to get delivery of the Nisssan LEAF (they have my $99). In 2011, other battery-electrics that will probably be available include the Mitsubishi i_MiEV, the Ford Transit Connect, the Ford Focus Electric, and a couple of surprises.

  27. Suman
    September 17, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Boy these cars are expensive. I wish I can or most general public can afford these cars.

    • John Addison
      September 21, 2010 at 8:49 am

      Suman, yes electric cars are currently expensive. In the next few years we hope to see declining prices with volume manufacturing and lowering costs of lithium battery packs. It’s good that Nissan and Chevy offer $350 per month leases, and that Enterprise, Zipcar, and others will offer electric cars by the day and even as low as $8 per hour.

  28. Liam
    August 14, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Wowlfer, now you’re talking! Solar pv installed on the home and a new electric car. for about $45,000 you can buy a new car, and a solar system, never pay for energy again, except maybe a rare long haul car trip!

  29. wowlfer
    August 14, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Leaf works for me–I’m on the list. As a 3 car family we will swap one of them for the Leaf and use it extensively for in town to work run about. Gas strictly for weekend warrior shopping, family, etc. Hopefully we will cut our gas use by 90%. I expect we will buy some solar power panels to charge the LEAF directly from solar power and bypass our home grid (direct from solar to Leaf). That will make it very cheap in the long run for a city runabout even if it takes a full 14 hours to charge that is fine with us.

  30. jamie
    July 31, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    electric only last so long it has to have fuel back up or alot of people would be on the side of the road needing an outlet to charge, until they get charging stations atleast , but still even then how long will it take to charge a car , right now its hours so….

  31. Robert Howell
    July 19, 2010 at 7:52 am

    The GM EV1, the Toyota Rav 4EV, and the Honda EV Plus were designed and rolling on the streets with a 60+ range in the mid 90’s. The movie “Who Killed the Electric Car” covers the testing. The technology has been around for 14 years. Tesla Motors has a life of 240 miles per charge for the consumer that wants a sports coupe. Where is the publics average priced vehicle with the same range with a faster charge? Still raping the American citizens, the ones who pay for the grant money from the government to design and sell these vehicles. It’s disgusting. No wonder so many millions of Americans are sitting at the house on unemployment living off the government. It is hard to dream with shackles on your neck, wrists, and ankles.

  32. Simon
    July 17, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Why the heck are the companies that receive funding to build electric cars like tesla only making great cars that are unaffordable! … HELLO, we need a sedan with a 200 mile range, 0-60 in 6-7 seconds, that looks decent with midgrade amenities all for $28 – $38k.

  33. Rick
    July 6, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    All talk talk talk about electric cars and no action. We had the technology years ago. I’m disgusted with all the auto makers. Where are the promised EV’s that were going to be on the market in 2010? Are they waiting for the last minute.

    I have no interest in hybrids either. They still consume gas. There doesn’t seem to much of a choice for 100% electric. I’ll probably build my own before something reasonable is available. The only one I saw that may be affordable and available is the “Think”. I’ll have to read more about it.

  34. Biff Tidwell
    June 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I DON’T WANT A PLUG-IN !. . . I DON’T WANT A HYBRID! , , , I’M NOT ABOUT TO SUBSTITUTE DEPENDENCE ON OIL FOR DEPENDENCE ON THE GRID! . . . HELLO!!!!!! . . .I WANT A TOTALLY BATTERY POWERED, SOLAR CHARGED VEHICLE THAT GIVES ME ABOUT 100 MILES PER CHARGE. . .AND AS IT SITS IN THE PARKING LOT FOR 8 HOURS A DAY, I WANT SOLAR CELLS TO BRING THE CHARGE BACK UP BY ABOUT 20% OF TOTAL. . . .THIS WILL GET ME THROUGH THE WEEK! . . .AND AS THE CAR SITS IN THE SUN OVER THE WEEKEND, IT WILL FULLY CHARGE! . . .GRATZEL CELLS, THAT WILL WORK EVEN OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT, PLEASE! . . .THE TECHNOLOGY IS AVAILABLE! . . .I’M NOT PAYING $40K OR MORE FOR YOUR IDEA OF AN “ELECTRIC CAR” . . .YOU GOT A CHANCE TO GET IT RIGHT! . . .STOP SCREWING AROUND!

  35. Todd Haskins
    May 25, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    There’s a new electric car manufacturer in the U.S. thats been designing and now building fully electric,DOT approved, highway speed,200 plus miles on a single charge vehicles…and it’s called EMC. The “family” of vehicles includes a 5 or 7 pass. wagon, a 1/4 ton p/u, and a cargo van. They are real…I have driven one, and it is the new class of electrics.

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