Recently my colleague John Voelcker over at Green Car Reports wrote about why he and some fancy report thought that people will buy hybrid electric cars if more car companies offer electric cars and prices come down. Only then will we see that it’s not about being “seen.” Instead, it’s about trying to do the right thing, which is moving our transportation sector to an all-electric model.
People who buy new technology do that because they are early adopters. However, I can tell you that most of the electric cars that come out (except for the Tesla) have not been the sexiest. Does anyone remember the first generation Toyota Prius or the THINK City in 2001?
However, here is the thing: (more…)
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?
There’s a big reason that Toyota Motor Company is the world’s largest carmaker: It responds nimbly to the demands of the marketplace.
The latest evidence of this is the company’s plan to launch a subcompact version of its hugely popular hybrid auto, the Prius.
A Detroit News report this month revealed that TMC is developing an all-new gas-electric car that will be smaller and more affordable than the Prius. It will also surpass the Prius’ 50 MPG average. The plan is to unveil a concept version of the new car at the Detroit auto show, which starts next week. (more…)
Converting hybrid vehicles — particularly the Prius and Ford Escape — into plug-in hybrids has become a profitable niche industry for a few specialty companies. But the net impact of this new mini-industry has been much greater by influencing consumer and industry opinions.
Promoting the technical feasibility of PHEVs has been a significant factor in the auto manufacturers’ decision to develop the dozens of plug-in and all-electric vehicles now scheduled for delivery in the next five years.
But the earliest and strongest voice promoting PHEVs isn’t happy with that limited success. Felix Kramer, the founder of CalCars.org, says that getting to a million electrified vehicles by 2015 won’t do nearly enough to address climate change and energy independence, and now he’s setting his sights on electrifying internal combustion engine vehicles. He’s clearly on to something.