Filed under: Electric Cars
It has been almost two decades since the first ever Toyota Prius officially entered the market in Japan. Since then, the hybrid technology cost is now lower when compared to diesel. This is according to Satoshi Ogiso, the original lead engineer of the Prius. Ogiso said during an interview with Bertel Schmitt, the Forbes’ contributor, that the hybrid technology that he has been part of since its inception has a cost advantage. In Europe and America, the cost of producing a diesel and an automatic hybrid system is now the same. This means that hybrids would, in the long run, have a cost advantage over the costs of battery electric cars. Now, after the Volkswagen diesel-gate, car manufacturers are required to set up more expensive emission treatments in order to adhere to government-mandated standards. According to these standards, car makers should produce vehicles with lower greenhouse gas emissions, especially nitrogen oxide.
A while back, diesels occupied almost half of the market share since they were perceived as the only solution to meeting the regulations and were cheaper compared to hybrids. Things have now changed considering higher cost of installing systems for treatment of such emissions. The hybrid and electric car batteries have become more powerful and cheaper, which has further magnified the hybrid case. When it comes to pure battery electric vehicles, Ogiso said the numbers are likely to go up although they will not be the key transportation form. It has been estimated that on a global scale, over 50-60% of vehicles will be fuel cell or hybrid for the next ten or twenty years. The grounds behind this estimation are that the cost of batteries is gradually going down following increased access to battery research across the world.
The pure electric car cost is very much dependent on range with battery electric cars that can go for up to 250 km, requiring less production cost compared to hybrids. The market generally demands cars with a higher range. Battery electric cars with a range of more than 186 miles will still cost more through 2025. Automakers are aware of governmental emission standards and are gradually shifting to PHEVs from diesels. Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW already have plans of incorporating PHEVs to their fleet of cars. A PHEV is basically a standard hybrid car with an additional large-sized battery that you can easily recharge at home. The gasoline engine comes into operation after depletion of the battery energy so that the car can run as a hybrid.
September 30, 2016
Electric cars have been widespread in the United States’ market for seven years and this is partly because they have specific advantages. To date, over 500,000 electric cars have been sold with virtually all manufacturers planning to produce more. The value of these vehicles is being recognized considering the high range models such as Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt and the upcoming Nissan Leaf. One of the key merits of electric cars is their zero tailpipe emissions. This means that there is no exhaust, which is beneficial to the environment and health. On the other side, gas cars in the United States offer an average range of 26 mpg and release emissions. Policymakers still prefer electric cars since managing power plant emissions is easier in comparison to the management of individual fuel-emitting car engines.
Another advantage of electric cars is their minimal maintenance. These cars have powertrains with fewer moving parts. Maintenance of such vehicles doesn’t require services such as spark plug replacement and oil changes. Additionally, there is regenerative braking where energy is returned to the battery. The most costly electric car component is the battery. Although engines and batteries wear out with time, electric car batteries are designed in such a way that they will last as long as the car’s service life. Electric cars offer instant torque and quiet drive, which are also key upsides. By owning an electric car, you get a nice quiet drive. Moreover, the power in such vehicles is delivered in a satisfying manner. Their motors offer 100 percent torque, which refers to the work energy necessary to jump start from zero rpm.
Electric cars are sold at subsidized prices depending on the state that one resides in. In some regions federal and state subsidies may underwrite as much as 33 percent of a $30,000 electric car. Every electric car is currently allowed a one-time tax credit of $7,500 from the federal government. Assuming your current tax situation allows, several states give at least $2,500 in addition to the mentioned $7,500 in terms of federal subsidies. The bottom line is that numerous electric vehicles can be bought at prices that are comparable to that of a hybrid Toyota Prius. Policymakers are also in support of zero-emission electric cars because they do not have to import energy from outside interests. A standard electric car operates on energy that is 100 percent domestically sourced. It is evident that green cars contribute significantly towards energy security and fuel diversity.
September 30, 2016
As the production and on-sale date of 2017 Bolt nears, more information has been released concerning this model. General Motors has made it a priority to produce electric cars having more than 200 miles in range. Consumers are looking forward to the day Chevy will allow ordering via its numerous dealers. There are some cool facts that buyers and other interested parties need to know about the 2017 version of the Chevy Bolt. The range of this model will be 238 miles. This is a combination of both highway and city driving with a battery capacity of 60-kWh. This battery size is similar to that of the base Tesla’s S Model. This is a big change from Nissan’s first 2011 Leaf that had a range of 73 miles with a battery capacity of 24-kWh. Nissan then increased the range in 2013 by 11 miles and in 2016 by 23 miles, giving the Chevy Bolt a decided advantage.
Another cool thing about the Chevy Bolt is its stupendous energy efficiency. The General Motors engineers earlier this year said that their powertrain was highly efficient. This week, further information revealed that the approximate EPA ratings are 110 and 128 for city driving. The Chevrolet Bolt claims to be the best model in terms of a highway MPGe of all the electric vehicles with a range of more than 81 miles. Its major competitor is BMW’s i3 with a battery capacity of 22-Kwh and 111 MPGe. The highway rating of this model lowers to 106. The Bolt’s range may be surpassed by Model S, which has superior aerodynamics particularly at a higher speed.
Chevrolet Bolt for 2017 also has respectable performance and speed. Although a Prius may seem a gas guzzler at city or suburban driving, the Bolt can handle the road in a satisfactory manner. Furthermore, its acceleration, especially from a stoplight is spritely. It can jump from zero to 30 mph in about 2.9 seconds with its single-speed transmission, 294-pounds-feet motor, and 200 horsepower. It has been reported that the Bolt can jump from zero to 60 mph within 6.5 seconds while its passing power speed at 50-75 mph is 4.5 seconds. With the highest speed being 91 mph, it seems that GM’s emphasized the car’s legal performance, translating to the utilizable get-up-and-go power. Another remarkable fact concerning the Bolt is excellent space use. Details such as thin-frame seats contribute to the car’s roominess in the interior. General Motors further adds that this model’s interior is twice as large as the exterior.
September 23, 2016
Surveying the best deals out there on electric, hybrid, fuel-efficient and diesel cars is a necessity. Car dealers and makers are looking forward to moving the inventory of the remaining 2016 cars considering the fact that 2017 versions are entering the market in large numbers. Starting with the hybrid cars, Toyota’s 2016 Prius has had several incentives since its entry into the market. With 2017 models entering dealerships, Toyota has decided to cuts the rates of lease on 2016 Prius by twenty percent. This information was given by CarsDirect. The cut lowers the lease to about $199 per month for three years. The offer’s expiry date is 3rd October. The 2017 models are also displacing Hyundai’s 2016 Sonata hybrid.
For plug-in hybrid models, Hyundai’s 2016 Sonata has also received increased incentives. Hyundai is giving a bonus of $3,500, as well as a conquest bonus of $1,500 through 30th September. These bonuses translate to $2,500 and $1,500 increase, respectively. Ford’s 2017 Fusion Energi has undergone a fresh transformation and update, with numerous changes including an increased electric range. The range went up to 22 miles from 20 miles. The refurbished model is also a wonderful deal, with a lease rate being $219 per month for a period of three years. This offer is there until 3rd October and is inclusive of $1,999 as the down payment, as well as 10,500 miles annual mileage allowance.
Regarding the electric cars, Nissan’s 2016 Leaf has significant incentives that were introduced two months ago extending to September. Hence, you can still lease this model for $199 per month for a period of 36 months including 12,000 miles per annum. Additionally, the base S model doesn’t require a down payment. The Leaf S also utilizes a battery pack of 24-kilowatt-hour with a range of 84 miles. The offer is also valid until 3rd October. Chevy Spark electric vehicle is yet another great deal for September. Buyers can lease it for $139 a month for three years. They don’t have to give a down payment for this model with the offer including a 10,000 miles yearly allowance. This offer’s expiry date is 30th September. Some of the best fuel-efficient gasoline vehicles for this month include Honda’s Fit hatchback, which had 0.9% APR financing for three years. According to CarsDirect, dealers in some regions are also offering discounts. Another heavily discounted model that buyers should consider is Chevrolet’s 2016 Sonic.
September 23, 2016
Several people hold the notion that hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius have a loveless and boring existence. Well, this isn’t the case with Porsche’s new Panamera hybrid car. There are several reasons why this car is considered an interesting choice for green car enthusiasts. For starters, the vehicle isn’t as ballistic as the P1, the 918 Spyder and the LaFerrari. It is a high-performance hybrid car that people are highly likely to purchase. It will be extremely affordable, which means that you don’t have to part with hundreds of thousands of dollars to get it, although the official price has not yet been confirmed by the automaker.
Contrary to the previous Panamera hybrid, this new 4 E-Hybrid will be an all-wheel-drive. It has a horsepower of 330, a twin-turbocharged 331 lb. with a capacity of 2.9 liters. Its electric motor will be 100 Kw, producing a 462 HP combined output, with a torque of 516 lb-ft. All these features are linked to a dual-clutch gearbox of eight-speeds. According to Porsche, the new hybrid car will go from 0 to 60 within only 4.4 seconds. This speed is pretty fast when you consider the fact that the car’s weight is almost five thousand pounds.
Porsche’s 4 E-Hybrid has a standard Sport Chrono Package that will let drivers do various forms of performance activities with the vehicle. The V6 remains active in the Sport Plus and Sport modes. In the sport mode, there is maintenance of battery charge at a specific level that ensures that the e-boost capability is sufficient enough when needed. In the sport plus mode, the Panamera is goosed up to a top speed of 172 MPH. The battery is also recharged quickly when the vehicle is set in this mode. The mode also allows you to get the maximum performance level from the system.
Porsche further notes that there is electric power at all times, and this is an upgrade from the previous model. The previous Panamera required users to press the accelerator down so as to activate the E-Boost. For other, slower life situations, the new model has modes that allow drivers to save gas and increase efficiency. The car will begin in fully electric and has a range of approximately 31 miles before attaining a maximum speed at 80 mph. For the remaining part, the driver may choose various modes to balance out electric motor and gasoline engine. The mode chosen depends on whether one wants to charge the battery or save gas.
September 16, 2016
At least one hundred cities across the United States will participate in the Drive Electric Week that is held nationally on a yearly basis. The event will take place between the 10th and 18th September and will comprise of several local gatherings celebrating and promoting electric vehicles. The charging network of EVgo has the plan of being part of the festivities and playing a major role. All the members attending Electric Week will have the opportunity to charge their electric cars free of charge. It will be essential to have a legal EVgo charging card in order to charge your vehicle at any given network. There will be approximately one thousand charging sites that will be available across more than fifty metropolitan markets.
The tally is inclusive of roughly seven hundred sites offering DC fast charging. They will also include charging stations that comply to both Combined Charging Standard and CHAdeMO standard. EVgo separated from its mother company, NRG, earlier this year. NRG was under the ownership of the charging network. In May, the autonomous EVgo secured a major investment from Vision Ridge Partners while continuing to get some funds from NRG. The major reason for spinning off EVgo as a major effort by NRG was to lower costs, as well as shift the focus to generation of electricity.
As an independent entity, EVgo is still committed to expanding the infrastructure of electric vehicle charging and courting new customers. The best way to achieve this mission is participating in the Drive Electric Week to be held nationally. This event officially began in the year 2011 and was then dubbed as National Plug-in Day. It is still run by Electric Auto Association, the Sierra Club and many more local groups. Organizers hope to have about two hundred and twenty three events spanning across Denmark, United States, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Italy, Croatia and Canada. Some of the events to be highlighted include test drives, electric vehicle rallies, as well as information sessions that cover important topics.
The website for the Drive Electric Week contains the entire list of all the events to be covered. You can search specific events for your city or region using ZIP codes. If you own a charging card as well as an electric car, you should consider making the trip to attend one of the events within your region. It will give you a platform for chatting with other electric car enthusiasts, as well as getting a free charge.
September 16, 2016
The official electric car sales guardian, Inside EVs, goes on monthly sales both in the United States and across the world. According to the August report, the sales of electric cars were higher compared to the previous year. The report indicates that last month a total of 14,882 electric vehicles were sold in U.S. This figure was close to six thousand more compared to last year the same month. In terms of percentage, the increase was 66 percent. This is a clear indication that people are beginning to incline to electric and green cars.
The electric car sales in the Unites States are still lower than expectations. However, the trend line shows the start of an exponential growth. Since their inception, a total of 93,197 plugin vehicles have been purchased. This figure is 29 percent more in comparison to last year’s numbers. Tesla’s Model S, the most costly electric vehicle in the United States market topped the sales chart. Approximately 3,125 cars were sold last month. Contrary to other car manufacturers, Tesla doesn’t give information concerning its monthly sales figures. Additionally, it does not give sales reports by region.
Coming second is the 2nd generation Chevrolet Volt with a total of 2,081 vehicles delivered. Ford’s Energi Fusion came third with a total of 1, 422 vehicles sold. The actual star in the latest report given by Inside EVs is BMW’s X5 xDrive with approximately 876 vehicles delivered in August. This BMW model came as a shock just behind the Nissan Leaf by a few hundred. Other notable electric cars that appeared in the report include Chevy Spark electric vehicle, Volkswagen e-Golf, Hyundai’s Sonata plug-in, Porsche Cayenne, Kia Soul electric vehicle, and many more. BMW 740e and Mercedes C350e were last on the list. The message seems to imply that consumers are thirsty for plug-in SUVs. Although this was clear about a year ago, the industry has taken quite some time to respond to customer demands.
There are quite a good number of new electric vehicles yet to be produced. Luckily, we are beginning to witness the move from conventional gasoline powered vehicles to electric cars. Consumers are beginning to shift their focus on environment friendly vehicles such as electrified ones. Once there has been full adoption, the increase rate should be geometric rather than arithmetic. This rate of increase has to follow this trend if at all electric vehicles will play a key role in reducing the rate of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation industry.
September 9, 2016
From a historical perspective, cars began with systems of six volts. The voltage was changed to 12 volts in the 1950s as the complexity of the cars’ electrical systems increased. The increased voltage was in response to additional electric starters and appliances. Despite the high cost constraints, designers have started to come up with 48-volt systems with the hope that the costs will lower as adoption starts to pick up. It is essential to clearly understand the importance of the extra volts in question.
One of the key reasons for the need for extra volts is that vehicles usually have several components, which demand more electric power. Some modern vehicles have up to 150 electric motors in additional to new features such as the stop-start technology. Such features strain the car systems, especially those that have diesel engines. The second reason dates back to electric and hybrid car development. The additional voltage would allow manufacturers to not only boost efficiency, but to also minimize emissions. For instance, when a car is on brake, the starter may serve as a generator to generate electrical energy from kinetic energy and then store it.
It is undoubted that a hybrid can reap more benefits from the technological advancements in question compared to either pure electrical cars using multiple electric motors or complex systems. Hybrid cars can also gain the most returns from smaller sized engines. It is not surprising that Audi already has a plan of making the move and currently uses a 48-volt system in the SQ7 luxury car. Operating an Audi requires a 48-volt system as well as an electrical turbine for forcing additional air to the engine. The response time given under this system is faster compared to that given by a turbocharger.
More electrical motors mean more conductors for hybrid and electric cars. It will be necessary for cars to utilize 12-volt systems in addition to 48-volt components. The 12 volts will be required for media, lights, as well as the general electrical appliances. Components like generators, circuits and battery will be separate so as to give high performance. The beefed up systems will increase the demand for silver, copper and batteries. It has been projected that the 48-volt systems will necessitate vehicles to have two batteries, lead acid as lithium-ion or lead-carbon to be used on 48-volt circuits. It is apparent that there has been a considerable improvement in emissions and performance.
September 9, 2016
A false misconception regarding electric cars is that they are costly and slow in addition to going only for short distances. However, this traditional wisdom is set to be challenged by the introduction of new models such as Tesla’s Model S and Chevy Bolt. The launch of these models has a likelihood of giving battery-electric vehicles a significant position in the mainstream auto market. The new Tesla model is set to have one of the largest battery packs with a range of about 315 miles when fully charged.
Tesla also reported that the new model will take only 2.5 seconds to launch from zero to 60, and will thus be the third-quickest production vehicle ever made. While this car will be quite expensive, Tesla also has a plan of introducing Model 3, which will cost about $35,000. This price tag will be quite a bit higher than that of the Chevy Bolt battery-electric car. According to one of the top research analysts, Scott Shepard, this high-range battery electric car will signify a major achievement in the auto industry. The production of new superior models coupled with improved battery technology will translate to a marked increase in sales.
Tesla is simply an example of a car manufacturer that will prove critics of electric cars wrong. This automaker will bring in new models to effectively address the challenges associated with battery-electric technology. The good news is that even more long-range cars are planned for production. Volkswagen intends to make a compact model that could achieve a range of 400 miles on a full charge. The performance will also improve steadily with automakers such as Porsche and Tesla planning to have cars that will take less than four seconds to launch from zero to 60.
A majority of potential purchasers have been discouraged by pricing. For instance, Model 3 isn’t the safest bet for those on a tight budget with the initial cost of version P100D being $134,500. However, Model 3 and Chevy Bolt that will enter the market next year will have a starting price range of $30-35,000. This price includes state and federal credits in combination with other incentives.
Charging has been a great challenge for electric cars as well, with standard cars taking 12 hours to charge when plugged onto a 120-volt outlet. It has been hard to find charging stations but recently more have been set up in many spots across the country. A notable example is in California, which has now become one of the largest electric vehicle markets.
September 2, 2016
Volkswagen has made clear of its intention to reveal its first battery electric vehicle next month at the Paris auto show. Herbert Diess, the automaker’s chairman responded to an interview published at Industry and Economic Week magazine. He said that the electric car model in question will have an exterior design and dimensions similar to those of the Golf. The major difference between the two cars is that the new battery electric vehicle will offer a slightly larger interior space that is comparable to that of Passat.
In terms of size, the 2019 electric vehicle has been likened to Hyundai’s Ioniq electric car planned for this year. The size will also be slightly similar to that of Tesla’s Model 3, whose debut has been planned for the end of this year. Diess further added that the vehicle is dubbed as “near-production prototype” and it may be launched either at the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019. A small crossover will then be launched after the new electric vehicle. This crossover will be the production model and coupe of the concept of BUDD-e minivan.
Autocar, a United Kingdom publication confirmed that the new vehicle will have a range of 310 miles or 500 km with a 15 minute charge time. The cost will be less than that of a traditional diesel or gasoline powered car. This information was officially given by Matthias Muller, the CEO of Volkswagen Group. Muller’s confirmation could fit to the newly implemented European Driving Cycle that has is more lenient compared to the EPA rating. Additionally, the new system doesn’t actually translate to the real-world range, but instead gives a likelihood of 250 miles. A senior engineer who has knowledge about the development and research plans of Volkswagen told Autocar that the new car will be a major hit. The technology to be utilized is cutting-edge and the price will be affordable for most average motorists.
Autocar further reported that the new electric car is the only one of its kind to utilize the automaker’s novel MEB architecture. This technology was specifically invented to be used for electric vehicles. Volkswagen has made efforts to significantly increase the electric range of its cars via incorporating high-performance batteries and compact electric motors. Additional reports speculate that the company plans to set up a battery factory or battery production plant. The new electric car is part of Volkswagen ambition of producing twenty plug-in or electric cars by the year 2020. It is in response to the recent emissions scandal.
September 2, 2016