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The State of Electric Vehicles in 2012

Electric vehicles have certainly slid from their peak of prominence at the 2010 NAIAS, but they hold a place in the overall automotive fleet that will only continue to grow. Whether or not they are going to replace the internal combustion engine is order cialis online canada a separate debate that I don't propose to weigh in on here.

As I noted in my first article about this year's Detroit Auto Show, some kind of hybrid or EV seems to be a part of having a complete line for all the major car makers. More Priuses from Toyota, the VW E-Bugster concept, Ford's C-Max and hybrid and EV Fusion models, and other examples all add to the fleet of electric vehicles available.

In addition to the big manufacturers, there were three companies dedicated to electric drive vehicles that were on the main floor this year: Tesla, Coda, and VIA (more about these forthcoming). AMP Motors also had two vehicles on levitra online buy the lower level Ride & Drive track, and is exhibiting in the Concourse during the Public Show period.

While many small companies had a main floor presence with the get viagra now 'Electric Avenue' that was part of the 2010 show, those three companies were there with freestanding displays, rather than just being part of a specialty side show. (By my count there are 37 nameplates on the main floor, so, by that measure, EVs are approaching 10 percent of the brands showing at NAIAS; it doesn't mean anywhere near that number of EVs are in the global fleet, but I think it does indicate that they are a growing presence in the market.)

Straight electric vehicles are still expensive to buy, and though those costs will come down, they are going to remain a barrier for many buyers. Extended-range electric vehicles offer short-range all-electric drive and plug-in economy along with range flexibility of a liquid-fueled vehicle. All-electric EVs have limitations, and aren't suitable for every driver, but neither tiny subcompacts nor monster SUVs meet every need, either. All vehicle choices include tradeoffs, and for some drivers' needs, all electric vehicles are a viable solution.

Cold weather, which has been a concern for EVs in general, seems to be starting to be addressed (after all, some EVs are going to be driven in parts of the US other than the Southwest). The newer Nissan LEAF will have seat warmers and steering wheel warmers, which will cut into the overall driving range, but will make it more comfortable to drive on cold days.

Maintenance is another factor that many electric drive companies are starting to discuss. Electric motors need much less maintenance than ICE engines, and the reduced maintenance costs will be another factor that will more readily be figured into the consumer economics of total EV ownership cost.

Lastly, if you haven't seen them already, shortly before this year's NAIAS, there was a discussion about electric vehicles between Joel Johnson's You Are Not Alone. America Hates Electric Cars (Jalopnik) and Maggie Koerth-Baker's Hey, electric cars don't totally suck: A realistic sort-of rebuttal (BoingBoing). There are good points made in both articles, and those with a strong opinion on the subject may be interested in reading these two articles as well.

image: EcoGeek

links: Green Cars at NAIAS 2012
You Are Not Alone. America Hates Electric Cars
Hey, electric cars don't totally suck: A realistic sort-of rebuttal (BoingBoing)

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Comments (4)Add Comment
The state of electric vehicles in 2012
written by Dan, January 18, 2012
Where I live there is still only one plug in electric vehicle available to test drive which is the Volt. Now I read that consumers are not interested in EV's. I think that there has been so much hype by interested websites and OEM's that have been so over the top that when the reality of 5mg levitra the minuscule supply, high prices and overall limitations, that it is inevitable that there is a lot of disappointment by buyers. Even now the energy secretary is saying that batteries will come way down in price in the next few years so why would a smart consumer buy now instead of waiting for the next generation of EV's. I will admit my enthusiasm is order levitra online uk waning as well. A prius c will get about 50 miles to the gallon and cost under $20,000 while a comparable EV will cost about $35,000 with an installed charger (leaving out tax credits for the moment, because they will expire at some point). Larger vehicles increase the price difference even more. The EV is just a poor economic decision at this time. The OEM's know this which seems to be why they are making so few EV's.
EVs are here in Seattle
written by Turbofroggy, January 18, 2012
Where I am at in Seattle/Eastside there are lots of EVs, mostly Nissan Leafs. I see at least 4 Leafs and generic cialis super active sometimes even a Volt or two when I am driving into work. Some of the dealers here have Leafs and Volts that can be test driven and/or purchased. They are available but not at all dealers. Supply is super limited and they are only available in some states. Just remember SUPPLY CONSTRAINED, 99% of all Leafs are pre-sold as well are Volts. Until we see a Leaf of every color and a Volt of tramadol overnight delivery Every color on every Nissan and Chevy dealer lot, consider them sold out. Gas WILL hit $5.00 this year, and that will only push people to better alternatives. Don't compare a Prius to a Leaf, compare the "normal" 18-23 mpg typical American car. If you are commuting in one of these, or a 13 mpg F150, and your commute is more than 40 miles round trip, YOU CAN MAKE THE PAYMENT ON A NEW LEAF WITH YOUR MONTHLY GASOLINE SAVINGS. Thats right, free car (esentially). Gasoline costs about 10X what electricity costs to charge. Spend $400 a month in gas? YOU WILL spend less than $40 a month on electricity to power an EV, period, no matter where you live.
No Magic pill
written by Bill Williams, January 20, 2012
I drive a Mitsubishi i MiEV everyday. I sell power back to SoutherCal Edison all day with my 33 Mitsubishi Solar Panels and I charge the car at night. What could be better? No I can't drive it to Las Vegas or San Fran, but not all tools in the "tool bag" do the same thing. When you can function on your iPhone its fine, but you still need a laptop once in a while.

The car retails for less than $29,000 before the we recommend best price on cialis tax credits.
Electric Cars
written by Larry Leichtman, January 26, 2012
I live in the western US not in California. Plug in cars with limited mileage are less than useless when the average drive is 150 miles with no chance of plugging in. I live in a state, New Mexico, which pays lip service to green energy so all of this is academic for me.

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