What& s in store for electric cars in 2013? Digital Trends

27 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи What& s in store for electric cars in 2013? Digital Trends отключены
August Electric Vehicle

When will EVs overcome range, long charges and big tags?

Ten years ago, a car that could get people they needed to go without to global warming seemed utopian technology, but in 2013 the electric vehicle (EV) is real.

Some say the electric car is the of motoring, but when will future arrive? How close we come to going fully Last year saw the introduction of new models, providing more choices for customers.

At the same sales remained modest, and companies scaled back amid nagging concerns range, charging times, and

The electric car is still an uncertain EVs are gaining momentum but, as any new technology, they will not universal acceptance overnight.


Judging by the number of nameplates, the EV segment is exploding. the Nissan Leaf went on in December 2010, 11 new models reached showrooms, according to the Protection Agency (EPA). models are slated to hit the road in the few years, while others been released in limited as part of test or car sharing

The biggest news for the EV in 2012 was the launch of the Tesla Model S. upstart from Silicon set new standards in nearly every it’s easily the fastest EV is the only one that qualifies as a car, and has the longest range. The package was so impressive that it won Trend’s Car of the Year and Automobile Automobile of the Year awards .

scheme of selling three pack sizes at three prices could also be a for future EVs. It’s a analog to the current practice of smaller, less powerful in base model cars and customers pay extra for an upgrade.

The S raised the bar, but it could be trumped by what Mercedes-Benz is on. The SLS AMG Electric Drive has 740 horsepower and 738 of torque, making it the most car in Mercedes’ lineup. However, the SLS AMG ED not be sold in the United States.

cars aside, the rest of the EV isn’t very bold. are small hatchbacks that been converted from production cars, and most are not to break sales records.

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the only EV to compete with the Nissan on price, but its 66 hp and 62-mile range a lot to be desired. The Smart ForTwo Drive returns this with a mere 47 hp (or 74 hp available in bursts).

Honda and Fiat only sell a minimal of the Fit EV and 500e. respectively, and only in and Oregon. Toyota is only 90 Scion iQ EVs to the U.S. as part of a car program.

Toyota is also a limited run of 2,600 RAV4 powered by electric motors and packs from Tesla.

Automotive launched its minimalist last summer. Based on the Haifei Saibao, it offers a 88-mile range, but Coda’s dealer network means one will be difficult. Another car, the BYD e6, could find its way Hertz rental fleets as

Carmakers have doubts

The is that, despite the proliferation of new few EVs are actually being sold. sold just 9,819 in 2012, less than of the 20,000 units the company to shift. This was the Leaf’s full year in production and builds more EVs than any company.

Other carmakers are skeptical of the car’s viability. At the 500e’s Los Auto Show launch, CEO Sergio Marchionne said the reason his company was building the EV was to comply with California’s regulations.

It’s the same at Toyota, Public Affairs Cindy Knight said. The law and a desire to keep its options are the main reasons behind the and Scion iQ EVs.

“In our case, more of a test than else,” Knight said. not projecting market commercialization.” will pursue hybrids, its best-selling Prius, instead.

At the of the iQ EV (called Toyota eQ in Europe) at fall’s Paris Motor Toyota vice chairman Uchiyamada said EVs just up to snuff.

“The current of electric vehicles do not meet needs, whether it may be the distance the can run, or the costs, or how it takes a time to charge,” he said.

also decided to cancel its R8 electric supercar. despite considerable treasure and sending the car to the for a record-breaking 8:09 lap.

with “range anxiety” and

Limited range, long times, and high costs to limit electric cars’ and thus make carmakers likely to commit to large runs. A Leaf can travel 79 on one charge, but a 2013 Altima a 2.5-liter four cylinder and continuously variable transmission can 508 miles on one tank, according to the

With a 240-volt Level 2 it takes about six hours to most EVs; a 120-volt 1 charger moves things the realm of impracticality. Knowing an electric car has a short range, and draining the batteries will drivers stranded for hours, what analysts call anxiety.”

Some carmakers are to solve the problem by changing the Tesla is installing a network of stations across the country. The can add 150 miles of range to the Model S’ battery (the biggest in 30 minutes.

Tesla has six Superchargers in and two on the East Coast, allowing to drive from Boston to D.C. in a reasonable amount of Tesla wants to open 100 by 2015.

Nissan is building its own network. Its DC quick chargers are sprouting up from Chicago to and the company plans to have 400 operational in the next 12 to 18 months.

Wherever Leaf owners an upgraded 6.6-kWh onboard (available on the Leaf SV and SL) can impart an 80 charge in four hours. will also try harder to the Leaf to Americans.

“The is continuing to expand the acceptance of vehicles,” Brendan Jones, of EV Marketing Sales and Strategy at said. He said that if could get potential buyers to how much driving they do each day, more find the Leaf acceptable.


Like any new technology, have to get used to the strengths and of EVs before they’re willing to their wallets. So far, people seem to be enjoying EVs they buy them.

“The of owner advocacy is breathtaking on vehicle,” Nissan’s Jones comparing Leaf fandom to the following enjoyed by the company’s Z car. Many buyers who a Leaf as a second car end up using it as daily driver, Jones

However, for the electric car to become than a niche product, the will have to continue to For 2013, Nissan dropped the base price by $6,400 a new base model, but EVs are still on the side. At $28,800, the Leaf S as much as a loaded midsize (before a $7,500 federal tax

The electric car is currently in a state of Carmakers are testing new models deciding whether or not to actually put on sale, while buyers are with a car that throws out the of normal motoring.

So far, none of this experimentation has solved the major issues of charging time, and cost. If the continues to grow as rapidly as it has the past two years, that change, but we haven’t reached the future yet.


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