Are Electric Cars Ready for the Mass Market?

Are Electric Cars Ready for the Mass Market?

You want to play your bit in reducing the use of fossil fuels and you are thinking of getting an EV (Electric Cars). Many manufacturers are selling electric vehicles, but which one is best for you? Everyone’s needs and driving preferences are unique. On a 100% EV, how far can you travel? How trustworthy are they? Exist any savings? In order to assist you decide if this technology is appropriate for you, some of these questions will be addressed here.


Three different EV models are offered. But are they prepared for the spotlight? Your choice.


  • Only electric for dedicated EVs
  • Electric range extension with a gasoline engine
  • Charge-only vehicles
  • An electric-only vehicle is a dedicated EV. By 2012, four models will either be available or anticipated.
  • Nissan Leaf is a four-door, five-passenger hatchback that runs exclusively on batteries. Nissan claims that its estimated range of 100 miles between charges is adequate for 90% of Americans. With a 220-volt outlet, it takes at least eight hours to charge, while a 110-volt outlet takes longer fully. A starting price of $33,600 is anticipated. The battery and associated hardware are covered by an eight-year or 100,000-mile guarantee. The battery replacement will probably cost $18,000. December 2010 is the anticipated release date.
  • A two-door, two-passenger pure battery workplace ev charging is the Mini E Cooper. Its predicted range, in the best case scenario, is 156 miles. The average driver can travel 100 miles between charges. A 240 volt, 48 amp outlet will charge the device in around 3 hours, whereas a 32 amp outlet would do it in about 4.5 hours. Using a 110 volt, 12 amp outlet, the charging process takes about 26.5 hours. The battery takes up the entire back seat, therefore this is a two-passenger car. It takes some getting used to the regenerative braking, which begins as soon as the driver lifts his foot off the accelerator. As a result, the car starts to slow down before the brakes are applied. These automobiles are being leased by BMW as part of a unique program. A replacement is being created that will be based on the 2011 BMW 1 Series.
  • A four-door car with an electric motor, the Ford Focus EV is based on the 2012 Focus. The lithium-ion battery pack in the prototypes has a capacity of 23 kilowatt hours and a potential range of 100 miles. A 220-volt charger takes about 6 hours to charge fully.
  • In 2008, Tesla Roadster first went on sale. It is a two-seat sports automobile with a $111,000 price tag. Its fiberglass body is based on the Lotus Elise. This car is a rocket; it can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. With a large 53 kilowatt-hour battery pack, it boasts a 245 mile range. 3.5 hours are needed to charge using a specialized 240-Volt 70 amp charger fully. Its interior is fairly simple, and the ride is very stiff and jarring. Due to the large, wide sill, entering the cockpit is awkward. Behind you, the large battery cooling fans continuously blast. Tesla is working on a model S vehicle that will cost less than $50,000 and go on sale in 2012.
  • Electric range extension with a gasoline engine


The only vehicle that fits this description is the Chevrolet Volt. It is a car with four doors and four seats. Due to the T-shaped battery pack, the Volt does not have a rear bench seat like the majority of automobiles. It can travel 40 miles on electricity alone. GM claims that 75% of commuters will be satisfied with this. An electric motor is powered by a small gas engine that starts running when the battery level falls below a specified threshold. Before refueling or charging the batteries, the total range is 300 miles. The Volt can run without ever being plugged in, according to GM. The fuel efficiency will be impacted, though. The Volt takes four hours to charge using a 220 volt outlet and eight to ten hours using a 110 volt outlet.


Due to its smaller battery, the Volt can be charged more quickly than other electric vehicles. The Nissan Leaf’s battery warranty also applies to the Volt. The battery and associated hardware are covered by an eight-year or 100,000-mile guarantee. The Volt has a starting price of $41,000. The Lithium-ion battery replacement costs about $8000, which is $10,000 less than the Leaf. The electric motor has a 273 pound-feet of torque and 149 horsepower. These torque figures are comparable to those of a V-6 engine.


Powered Hybrids


As of this writing, no manufacturers are making plug-in hybrids. For the Toyota Prius, certain aftermarket businesses do make aftermarket add-on batteries. These add-on batteries have an additional cost of about $11,000. The gas mileage is increased by about 50% for the first 35 miles thanks to the additional battery.


When the battery runs out, the Prius switches back to its conventional hybrid mode, at which point the fuel economy somewhat deteriorates due to the added weight of the battery. Toyota is putting the electric Prius to use in business settings. Models for retail consumers are not anticipated until 2012.


Several things to think about before buying an EV


What driving habits do you have? What will be your longest trip distances? If your pure electric vehicle’s battery fully dies and there are no charging facilities nearby, you will be trapped. The vehicle won’t be operable again for a while due to the lengthy charge times. The longer range Volt is more useful in this situation. Faster than waiting for the battery to charge is filling the gas tank.


Engineers estimate that using other electrical amenities like the air conditioning, heating, lights, windscreen wipers, and playing music can use up about 50% of the battery power, reducing the vehicle’s range.


Although the lithium-ion battery life is unknown, the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf’s eight year, 100,000 mile warranties offer some peace of mind.


Money saved


A typical EV costs.04 cents per mile (depending on the electric rates in your area). You can compare that to a Toyota Corolla that gets 30 mpg and costs $2.80 per gallon, or $0.09 per mile.


Government rewards


Each automaker’s first 200,000 EV purchasers are entitled to a $7,500 federal tax credit. Regional incentives are also available; for instance, California will double its $5000 tax credit for “zero emission” vehicles. Check your neighborhood for incentives there.


In conclusion, four all-electric cars will be on the market by 2012. One extended-range vehicle, which, if your driving range is within the range of your battery’s capacity, might be zero emission. And then there are the more popular hybrids, like as the Prius, which gets excellent mileage while running primarily on ordinary gas. When the Prius becomes a plug-in hybrid in the future, it will eventually fall into the extended range category.


Is the EV prepared for widespread use? Your needs and driving patterns will reveal this. How far do you commute each day? Can you plug in at the office? Are the majority of your driving needs local? The highest advantages will be experienced here. Whereabouts in the nation do you reside? Will an EV operate in your setting? Extremely hot or cold regions of the country will demand more battery power to heat or cool the car, reducing range. Will this lessen the savings you have made?


With the help of government incentives, the price of one of these EVs can be brought down to a level that is more comparable to that of a traditional gas vehicle. With an EV, maintenance costs are also reduced because there are no oil changes and the electric motors require little care.

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