A lot of people have been waiting to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle since the 1980s. But what was once promised to consumers as an extremely economical way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and help conserve the environment turned into another green movement pipe dream. While the talk about electric vehicles was full of hope, (more…)
The failure to reach the sales targets for the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf has led to considerable finger pointing about so-far disappointing attempts to mass market plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). PEVs have increasingly become fodder for politics as every misstep reinforces what opponents call their inevitable failure. (more…)
Now that Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid has been officially announced, we can begin the comparisons with the other plug-in electric vehicle with an extended driving range, the Chevrolet Volt. The underlying question is which is more important to consumers: electric driving range, or total vehicle (more…)
Do you remember the show Knight Rider, featuring David Hasselfhoff and KITT, the smooth-talking Trans Am, that aired back in the early ‘80s?
I remember going over to my friend Art’s house and finding his dad glued to the TV set every Friday night watching what I thought was a lame show. But maybe (more…)
While electric vehicles are only being delivered by the hundreds today, plans for clusters of fast DC charging stations around major cities and along highways are fully underway. During the next 18 months it may be more of a challenge to find enough cars to warrant the chargers’ existence than it will be for EV drivers to find a fast charge station. (more…)
Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp, promoted his “Prius Family” with the unveiling of the Prius v and Prius c at the Detroit Auto Show on January 10, 2011.
The Prius hybrid came to America in 2000 as “a misunderstood concept struggl[ing] for acceptance”. Now, with nearly 1 million (more…)
It’s not the biggest news of the new week, or the new year, but it is indicative of the gradual tilt toward renewable energy taking place all across America, as Green Mountain Power, a Vermont utility, pledges to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations within its service territory.
And while the charging stations themselves (more…)
Felix Kramer of Calcars thinks 2010 will be the year of the plug-in car. He’s got a good case: After years of advocacy and technology development, 2010 is the year that major manufacturers will finally make plug-ins broadly available, and rapidly decreasing battery costs are helping the conversion industry reach new customers and help retrofit the existing fleet at scale. After years of work and promise, 2010 is the payoff year.
I see a similar trend in solar in California, where years of policy and business development are all coming together to make 2010 an extraordinary year for solar development.
There are four major market drivers:
Ford’s goal of electrifying its fleet appears to be running on all cylinders. The company is creating battery electric versions of both of its award winners –2009 Car (Focus) and Truck (Transit Connect Van).
Because energy storage will make or break the arrival of electric vehicles, Ford has joined GM in bringing the battery pack assembly and management under its tent.
Ford is investing nearly $1 billion in manufacturing facilities in Michigan that will include hybrid, battery-electric and plug-in vehicles as well as the lithium ion battery packs. Ford manager of global electrified fleets Greg Frenette explained that “there’s a strong tie-in marrying battery control…. to the rest of propulsion, and we’re in the best position to manage that.”
While the title of this article may be a little premature, if you ask any auto company about their most exciting models coming out in the next few years, you would be hard pressed to find any auto maker without a plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle hitting the market in the next few years. And as fellow CleanTechies blogger Levent Bas suggested in August last year, “the future of electric vehicles may be here sooner than we think.”
With expected release dates in 2010, the plug-in Nissan Leaf, plug-in Toyota Prius and many other models will offer a green/clean-tech alternative from their gas-powered competition. Recent estimates place the number of models available by 2014 at over 70. Not all these vehicles will make their way to the US market and some wonder if the market will be ready but in other circles there are different concerns about the electrification of the transportation industry. Will the electric grid be ready for the additional load?