What Happened to the Electric Car? Our World

25 мая 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи What Happened to the Electric Car? Our World отключены
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What Happened to the Electric

While on my last summer I was surprised to come across an old parked on a side street in Italy, near the Basilica of Maria del Fiore (Il Duomo). It was the Elettrica (Electric Sunflower), a electric car about which we a story back in October I had to take a photo.

When we that article about Japanese racing driver Takaoka, who in 2008 was trying to the Girasole Elettrica in his hometown of we did mention the Italian connection. was importing the car bodies from s Start Lab, and then his own car battery system. This was big back in 2007 and 2008, but then we have heard little about this little car.

These the model of Girasole Elettrica I discovered in Florence has a sales of €12,700 (or just over

We ended our 2008 article the sentence: “Happily, we can expect to see cars like the Girasole on the of our world, and as soon as they hit the we will be reporting on them.”

But we really seen a whole lot cars like Girasole on our especially not here in Japan we are based. We have seen a few Leafs, and there are even taxi firms that are them. But overall, battery cars are rare in Tokyo, but like the Toyota Prius are

A European approach

During my in Florence, I was delighted to come another electric car, next to the Piazza della It was a tiny Birò. parked to the sidewalk, rather than to it, because it’s length cm/5.7 feet) roughly other cars’ widths. as a “personal commuter” by its manufacturer, this two-seater fully vehicle runs at a maximum of 45km/hr and its small size 103 cm/3.4 feet wide) it perfect for those narrow streets, giving you the possibility of almost anywhere (perhaps between two parked cars).

Brendan Barrett

Pollution-free and quiet, the lack of noise by the Birò must be a real in Florence where the sound of car kept me awake at night my stay. But the coolest feature of the is the fact that after you can remove the battery, take it and recharge it in the comfort of your

You may be wondering why the people of Florence are electric cars. Well, one is that the central area of the is a restricted traffic zone only “bicycles, electric motorcycles and scooters are permitted ” to Just last year the of Florence turned in the municipal three “gas guzzler” vehicles and bought a Nissan electric car (with another on the way) and further, in a recent 36 percent of Florentines indicated they would seriously buying a hybrid or electric car in the

In a compact city like where air and noise pollution are a concern, this makes sense.

From prototype to — will it ever happen?

those tiny electric in Florence was a real joy. I saw more but did not take photos of It made me wonder: “Will I see a when electric cars are

Back in 2010, a couple of my Sean Wood and Mark visited the 41st Tokyo Show and after exploring all the proclaimed, “The Future is ”. We had visited the same motor in 2008 and 2009 and had noted, some frustration, that all the cars being shown still prototypes that not yet on the market.

At the 2010 Tokyo Motor there were so many vehicles on display that we did think that this was the of something very big. But the sale of hybrid electric has been very significant, nearly 7 million sold since their launch in 1997, the same progress has not made for battery electric The total battery electric stock worldwide in 2012 was 180,000. While at the same total conventional vehicle across the globe in 2012 was 84 .

The International Organization of Motor Manufacturers remains dismissive of the that electric vehicles become mainstream, stating electric vehicles “have applications for inner city use of their zero local but if the energy to recharge the batteries is using fossil fuels, is no overall environmental advantage. In the limited range provided by the best current battery is a limiting factor in their for general use.”

Photo: Barrett

So, is that it? We can only limited growth in electric uptake because of the disadvantages above. The Global EV Outlook by the International Energy Agency information on the current status of car growth and makes projections to The report shows, for example, 38 percent of battery electric car to date have been in the States with another 24 in Japan. In Europe, the largest of electric vehicle sales are in France, with 11 percent of the total.

Surprisingly, sales in Italy only 0.9 percent and Germany, its amazing green energy has only 3.6 percent of the world’s vehicle stock. The Germans speeding along the autobahns in Audis, Mercedes Benz, and Volkswagens, and probably won’t be that any time soon.

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In years China has become the of global vehicle production (19 vehicles produced in 2012) but the electric car stock in China in was only 11,573 (still 6.2 percent of the global total).

So, the is not yet electric — in fact, far from it. But lose hope completely. electric vehicle sales than doubled between and 2012 and the International Energy (IEA) estimates that by there could be as many as 20 electric vehicles on the road.

But is probably going to be out of a total stock that could 2 billion — definitely a drop in the ocean.

The planet cannot survive two cars

In their 2009 Two Billion Cars — Driving Sustainability . authors Daniel and Deborah Gordon argue our world cannot sustain two cars. They state today’s one billion cars are pumping extraordinary quantities of gases into the atmosphere, the world’s conventional petroleum inciting political skirmishes oil, and overwhelming the roads of cities”.

They continue the claim that “radical are called for. Vehicles to change, as do the energy and transportation in which they are embedded. according to the most conservative dramatic reductions in oil use and carbon will be needed within a few to avoid serious economic and damage.”

A more aggressive of electric vehicles is one part of the change needed, particularly for driving. However, in order to the potential of EVs, there are policy, financial, technological and limitations that need to be

Given the choice — and that is no matter because car manufacturers appear wedded to the combustion — many more urban would probably switch to cars if the price were and the infrastructure in place.

Perhaps we should reflect the wise words of the IEA that “Ultimately, a binary judgment of the success or failure of electrification not be applied at any one point in time. as the market continues to progress, its should be monitored, policy assessed, and lessons applied.” In words, let’s not be too quick to judgment.

All that being I am still driving the Toyota that my wife and I purchased years ago, but in order to a sustainable future, I appreciate my next car should really be Or even better, I should no car at all. Either way, I we would look cool in a

How about you?

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BYD Electric Cars Electric Cars
BYD Electric Cars Electric Cars
BYD Electric Cars Electric Cars
BYD Electric Cars Electric Cars


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