Filed under: Electric Cars

Hybrid and Electric Cars Offer the Best Used Vehicle Bargains

640px-2013_Nissan_Leaf_2012_LA_ShowThe popularity and prices of used cars has been increasing over the last few years. This is contrary to the conventional thought that the only cars that can have an increasing value are the collectible cars. According to Edmunds.com, the 2015s second quarter was marked by a 7.6 % increase in the prices of used cars. The average high price reached during this period is $18,800. While this fact makes it difficult to hunt for used-car bargains, there are some used-car segments that tend to move towards the opposite trend in terms of pricing. Hybrids and electric cars are among the segments in question. Bad market forces have led to the battering of hybrid and electric car prices.

According to the Electric Vehicle Retention Report Card issued by NADA Used Car Guide, the value of some plug-in and hybrid cars that have been used for two years has dropped in the last few months. Only the cheapest of such cars returned more than 20% of their original value after 3 years. These days, some of the best or highest deals can be obtained from full electric cars such as Ford’s Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf. Such cars cost as low as $10,000. Although the original prices of electric vehicles may be higher, their used counterparts are priced similarly. Motorists who commute daily might in fact save money through used electric cars.

From the economic perspective, used-car values in the market are largely determined by the demand and supply. The demand for most cars on roads has considerably softened with low gasoline prices. Additionally, low-mileage models that are 2 to 3 years old are coming back to the auto market. Wall Street Journal reported that in 2014, there was leasing of 85% of Nissan’s Leaf. The residual values of vehicles are ending up having prices that are lower than originally projected. Although this news is bad for leasing industries, it is good news for shoppers who are budget-minded. Such shoppers include those who think that the prices of gas are still too high or those who are ecologically oriented. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average mileage of Nissan Leaf is eighty four miles on a 100% charge. Its combined highway/city driving is approximately 114 miles per gallon. A major advantage of electric and hybrid cars is that they have battery packs that are sure to last for eight years or go for 100,000 miles. This implies that a model that has been used for three years would still have coverage of five years left.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment August 28, 2015

Electric Vehicle Drivers Never to Revert to Gas

2011_Chevrolet_Volt_NRMA_cropped

Chevy Volt

According to a survey, 94% of drivers of plug-in hybrid cars and 92% of drivers of battery-electric cars would opt to buy another plug-in car and not a gasoline-powered one. About 9 out of ten owners of electric cars said that they would not wish to revert to or buy a gasoline-powered car. The survey in question was conducted by Ford. The results were inclusive of responses gathered from approximately ten thousand drivers of plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles. Most of the drivers opted to buy a second plug-in hybrid instead of trading it with a gasoline-fueled car. According to the Electric Car Technology and Infrastructure manager at Ford, Stephanie Janczak, it means that most drivers preferred battery electric vehicles. Stephanie said this in an interview that was conducted recently with CleanTechnica.

While a majority of the current drivers of all-electric cars preferred to maintain that car type, owners of plug-in hybrid cars showed more inclination towards purchasing an all-electric car. Some of the main reasons that were cited by drivers who wished to stay electric were a preference for clean technology and driving experience. The survey also revealed that the correlation between ownership of an electric car and the use of renewable energy was strong. Ford noted that about 83% of the drivers that were surveyed said they would opt to install solar panels if they didn’t have them already in their homes. The carbon footprint of a car is further reduced by the use of home solar arrays for car changing.

The clear correlation between ownership of an electric car and use of home solar was underscored by Ford’s Janczak. This relationship was first established in a survey conducted three years ago among California’s electric car drivers. Other fundamental parts of owning an electric car include the Smartphone applications. Ford’s survey showed that these applications were used by respondents mainly to monitor the battery levels, charging status, as well as setting climate control. Smartphone features that were most requested include apps for locating charging stations, paying for charging, letting drivers reserve, providing car-health reports and indicating charging time. Most of the households in the United States had two or more cars. Approximately 90% of owners of electric cars had a second car and this second car was most likely a gasoline-powered one. The gasoline-powered cars were mainly used when travelling for long trips that were expected to exceed the standard range of the current electric car. The main question that stems from this finding is whether current gasoline-car owners would ditch these cars if future electric cars’ range is boosted.

 

 

Leave a Comment August 21, 2015

Sharing Plan to Allow Low Income Earners to Own Electric and Hybrid Cars

Ford C Max Energi PHEV

Ford C Max Energi PHEV

Residents of Los Angeles neighborhoods with low-income will get the opportunity to enjoy the full benefits offered by hybrid and electric cars. This is following the launch of a car-sharing program that is funded by a state grant worth 1.6 million dollars. This was announced about two weeks ago. This grant, which was given to Los Angeles city, is set to fund the program for three years and within this time, residents of south, east and central neighborhoods of LA will get to share 100 hybrid and electric vehicles. The neighborhoods will also see the installation and maintenance of charging stations and the main goal will be to serve about seven thousand car-sharers.

The funding was announced by Pro Tempore Kevin De Leon, the Senate President who authored the project, in collaboration with advocacy organizations’ representatives and city officials in MacArthur. Launching of part of the program will be done in the same venue. The senate president emphasized the need to fight climate change and smog so that the residents’ kids could inhale clean air and this necessitates coming up with transportation forms that do not depend on contaminant fossil fuels. He further added that the pilot program for the electric car-sharing project was an indication of what was to come in the future. It is a representation of a form of change in behavior, infrastructure and policy, which is greatly needed.

The revenue obtained from the efforts of the state is the driving force of the car-sharing project. Reducing air pollution via cap-and–trade is under Assembly bill AB32, whereby companies like oil refineries obtain allowances or permits to delay the need to minimize the emission of greenhouse gasses. Dwindling supplies leads to a rise in the cost of the mentioned permits, making pollution less cost-effective with time. De Leon also authored another bill, Senate bill SB 535, directing 25% of cap-and-trade revenues to programs s to help in cleaning the air in areas that have higher levels of poverty and higher pollution levels. About 969 million dollars revenue had been brought by the state as per the end of last year. The revenue in question was from auctions of cap-and-trade. By mid next year, this revenue has been projected to increase to about 5.5 billion dollars. The electric vehicle-sharing project is just a tip of the iceberg, considering the fact that numerous plans are underway to enable low and average-income families in California to gain access to not only electric cars, but also clean-emission cars.

 

Leave a Comment August 21, 2015

How an Electric Car Differs from a Gasoline-Powered Car

Plug-in_hybrid_electric_vehicle_(PHEV)_diagram

Example of a plug-in electric hybrid.

Catching a glimpse of a fancy Tesla model on the road may be a new experience for many, but it is essential to keep in mind that these cars are not really new. Electric cars emerged way back in the 1980s and they have gradually gained popularity and can now be spotted on virtually all roads across the country. The first electric car that could utilize rechargeable batteries was created in 1884 by Thomas Parker. In the 1930s, electric cars disappeared from the market as they were replaced by their gasoline counterparts that were cheaper with better efficiency. A surge in electric car interest was again experienced in the 1980s and 90s as the U.S government raised concerns regarding environmental pollution caused by gasoline powered cars. For this reason, electric cars are now the best option to drivers who are concerned with conserving the environment, as well as saving on fuel.

Electric cars differ from gasoline cars in that they make use of electric engines while gasoline cars use gasoline engines. Another notable difference is with respect to the battery. The central component of an electric car comprises of a battery in combination with an electric motor, as well as the motor’s controller. The battery plays the role of supplying power to the controller. Electric cars can be powered by two forms of motors. These are the direct current and the alternating current. Nikola Tesla was the one who invented the alternating current, while Thomas Edison invented the direct current. The two types of motors differ in terms of voltage needed to operate them. The voltage needed for a direct-current motor ranges from 92-192 volts. The alternating-current motor on the other hand needs a voltage of 240 volts coupled with a battery pack of 300 volts.

In terms of cost, direct-current motors are less costly, but have some limitations including overheating and insufficient acceleration. Alternating-current motors on the other hand are not only less expensive, but implementing them into cars is also easier. They make use of regenerative braking that allows for power delivery to the battery when the brakes are used. One of the major challenges facing the electric vehicle industry is regarding battery power. Lead-acid batteries have numerous flaws. For this reason, other batteries such as nickel-metal hydride have been introduced. This battery has been found to be more long-lasting compared to a lead-acid battery. Other batteries used include the sodium battery, which us non-toxic, and the lithium-ion battery that is commonly sold in many electronics.

 

 

Leave a Comment August 14, 2015

Tips to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Green Cars

Hyundai_Sonata_HybridAny person planning to purchase a car needs to take into consideration their budget, as well as the environmental implications of the car. The impact that green cars have on nature is less harmful. The car market has numerous options to cater to the convenience of the buyer. Cars that have been launched in the recent past are made in such a way that less carbon dioxide and fuel is released to the environment. Eco-friendly cars have been known to have high fuel efficiency. Owed to the fact that the prices of fuel have been increasing, a car that is fuel efficient will help drivers to save more money.

Electric and hybrid vehicles would definitely make a huge contribution in the green movement across the world. However, the market has a wide range of hybrid car models and this makes it hard for buyers to make the best choice. This necessitates the need for tips that would aid in influencing the process of making the decision. One of the key tips to keep in mind is that the decision to purchase should be determined by travelling frequency, mileage and the conditions of the road. A buyer needs to come up with a clear comparison based on fuel options available like electric, hybrid, natural gas and many more. It is also important to have a look at the amount of air pollution or greenhouse gases emitted by the car models. The rating given by EPA to govern such emissions ranges from 0 to 10 with 10 indicating minimum emissions and zero indicating highest emissions. Another aspect that needs to be considered is the car’s driving character. Such character varies, particularly in hybrid vehicles based on the model. It is recommended for buyers to take test-drives in different cars so that they can experience and know their performance on road.

It is also advisable to get information on the green car’s driver scores. These scores are normally available on a 0 to 5 scale. Buyers should choose models that have high drive scores since a high score is an indication that the car can be handled better and is also comfortable on roads. The buying process needs should also depend on the engine’s size and configuration. The car’s size, as well as its engine is the most important determinants of the overall price. The efficiency of smaller-sized cars has been found to be higher than that of SUVs or trucks. Preferences should also be given to models that offer sufficient space for maximum comfort.

 

Leave a Comment August 7, 2015

Peugeot Boss says Hybrid Car Production is Closer than Ever

Bilbao_05_2012_IBILEK_carsharing_2439After PSA boss Carlos Tavares was seen testing the 493 bhp car, it is clear that Peugeot Sport’s much discussed 308 R Hybrid looks closer to production than ever. Peugeot boss Maxime Picaa asserted at that the company was quite advanced with development during the unveiling of the concept car in Shanghai. He also hinted of the high possibility of the car’s production start. The big question that was raised is with regard to how the automaker was going to commercialize the hybrid car. The pricing or cost was also another question raised concerning the hybrid car that is yet to be produced.

The petrol-electric power train of the Peugeot 308 R Hybrid gives the engine of the Peugeot RCZ R coupe two electric motors. 493 bhp and 538 lb. ft. of torque is the combined result that is sent to the four wheels. Hence, the potential carbon dioxide emissions of the car are just 70 g/km, while the sprint time of 4.0 seconds can be achieved for 0-62 mph. The driving modes are Track, Hot Lap, and the ZEV. Out of the different modes, a petrol engine supplemented by the rear motor is what is used by the 296 bhp Road mode. Track cuts output to 395 bhp while Hot Lap maximizes the car’s power. The acceleration booster is the function of the front motor. The electric motors are solely used by the ZEV mode. No word has been given yet concerning the range of the car on electric power alone. However, on a fast charger, Peugeot claims a 45 minute full recharge.

To deal with the extra power, the 308 has surprisingly been substantially modified. In comparison to the standard car, front and rear tracks have both been widened by 80mm. The whole braking system has been upgraded and the wheels are 19-inch alloys with 235/35 R19 tires. The 308 R concept that was first seen at the Frankfurt motor show in 2013 is reprised by the two-tone exterior, though the blue and black paint of the hybrid car has glass particles that add shine. Four individual sports sets on the inside have fawn leather as upholstery and data is projected into the driver’s line of sight via a head-up display. Hybrid sports cars were cited by the head of Peugeot as the company’s future. So far, the company has spent a whole year developing the car, which has been deemed to be very drivable. The car will be the most powerful production Peugeot if and when it reaches the showrooms.

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment July 31, 2015

Tesla’s Model X Expected to Increase Company Sales

Tesla_Model_X_(8403033571)According to Tesla Motors’ CEO, Elon Musk, the next leg of growth for the company will be driven by the help of the Model X sports utility vehicle (SUV). He hopes and believes that the sales volume of the electric car manufacturering will be doubled by Model X. Musk said during an interview with CNBC that Tesla’s volume is likely to double because there is an almost equal demand for SUV’s and sedans. This would imply that Tesla’s volume would be doubling, if the Model X is well received. Previously, James Albertine, Stifel Nocolaus analyst had suggested that the stock price of Tesla Motors could be boosted by Model X to as high as 400 dollars per share. The analyst was positive that the electric car manufacturer would enjoy a huge success with the Model X.

With respect to Model X’s production, Musk said that nothing had changed since Tesla’s shareholder conference. He further said that by the end of summer, Tesla Motors might ship Model X. According to Musk, there was uncertainty as to the period the company would take for its production of the electric SUV to be ramped up. Since Tesla’s initial announcement in 2012, Model X launching has been delayed for more than a year now. The company’s production facility in Fremont was recently visited by some Wall Street analysts who strongly believe that Model X will be launched on its target schedule.

Estimates by Morgan Stanley show that less than 100 Model X units will be rolled out by Tesla Motors in the 3rd quarter and by the end of the year, around 3,000 units will be rolled out. Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts on the other hand projected that around 5,000 Model S units will be shipped by Tesla Motors this year. Twenty-thousand pre-orders for Model X have already been received. The sales target for Tesla Motors are around 55,000 vehicle units this year. To achieve its target sales volume, the company is dependent of the Model X. Tesla Motors reported earlier this month that its deliveries for Model S had increased by 52 % during the second quarter, which translated to 11,507 units. A total of 21,522 Model S units had already been delivered by the electric car manufacturer between January and June. This translated to about 40% of the target sales volume of Tesla for 2015. Last week, an analyst of Jefferies LLC, Dan Doley, said that the demand for new vehicles was high.

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment July 17, 2015

Peugeot’s 308 R-Hybrid Set to Enter Production

Bilbao_05_2012_IBILEK_carsharing_2439Peugeot’s boss has been tweeting spy pictures of the 308 R-Hybrid out testing. According to sources at the firm, Peugeot’s shock entrant to the Shanghai Motor Show, the 308-R Hybrid concept is likely to enter production. To confirm the rumors, two images of PSA boss, Carlos Tavares attempting a test mule of the 493 bhp mega-hatch were tweeted by Peugeot CEO Maxime Picat. According to senior company sources who spoke at an event, the images tweeted were those of the R Hybrid’s test mule. With little giveaway on the huge performance on offer, the R-Hybrid looks like a standard 308 GTI at a glance with some simple disguises. Picat said during a previous conversation with Auto Express that the automaker is well developed with the car and is currently in commercialization process.

We could see the car on the road within the next two to three years, assuming Peugeot can actually make the business case stack up. Details concerning the number of petrol electric maga-hatch that the firm plans to make are not yet out. Picat will be positioning Peugeot alongside Citroen and DS since the 308 GTI hot hatch has already been unveiled. It has been claimed that the Peugeot is sporty, as will be seen gradually as 22% of the 308 sales in Europe are already accounted for by the GT and GT-Line models. This will be followed by yet a different hot model, as well as the Hybrid R later on.

With regard to the full specifications of Peugeot’s 308 R Hybrid, the car will be lightly centered on the 308 R Hybrid concept. The Paris Motor show was the very first one to showcase this concept last year, which took performance a step further compared to what had been promised originally. The front and rear tracks have been widened by Peugeot Sport by 80 mm, while converting the 308 into all-wheel drive and adding beefier brakes. A combination of the 276 bhp 1.6 liter four-cylinder turbo found in the RCZ R is what makes up the powertrain. Bolted to each axle are two 114 bhp electric motors. Peugeot has claimed to offer a top speed of 155 mph that is electronically limited and a range of 0-62 mph in 4.0 seconds. The different degrees of performance of the 308 R Hybrid is accounted for by four driving modes, ZEV, Road, Track and Hot Lap. This hybrid car develops the full 493 bhp and 730 Nm torque in its most extreme setting.

Leave a Comment July 10, 2015

Tesla’s Model S is Highest Selling Plug-in Vehicle for 2015’s First Half

14_Tesla_Model_SThe Tesla Model S has outsold Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, despite being a luxury product by a startup priced 2-4 times more than the two mentioned plug-in electric cars this year. In America, Model S is thus far 2015’s top selling plug-in electric vehicle. The estimated sales of 11,900 in the Unites States are clearly more than the 9,816 Nissan Leaf sales and 5,622 Chevy Volt sales between January and June 2015. The second-quarter delivery report that was released by Tesla further confirms these figures. Last month the automaker was due to surpass a 75,000 global cumulative sales milestone. Tesla did cross this milestone, publishing info that 78,334 units were sold in the first half of 2015. Sales tracker, Mario Duran notes that if Tesla keeps this present pace, it will manage to sell its 100,000th car across the world prior to end of 2015.

The Volt/Ampera has sold approximately 95,000 and the Leaf has sold more than 180,000 units since their launches one and a half years before the Model S in December 2010. Tesla has kept the Model S car fresh through updates, despite the fact that the car was launched in June 2012 and hence July is the first month of its fourth year. The automaker also updates customers on the deletions and additions made to the car’s specifications. For instance, Tesla introduced the 691-hp, all-wheel-drive Model S P85D last fall. This was followed up with an all-wheel 70D this year, which was a substitute to the rear-wheel-drive P60. Expansion of Tesla’s presence in Asia and Europe has also been done by Tesla with general increasing success. Networks of superchargers providing free lifetime electricity for the cars are also being planted.

There has been a growing breed of Tesla’s supporters who are in favor of the gas-chewing ethos of the company, as well as the company’s vision seen to have aided in maintaining Tesla’s popularity. Tesla’s need is being seen by the public, which purchases its products and gets a neat vehicle. GM and Nissan as major automakers are gearing forward while getting money through the selling gas-reliant vehicles such as SUVs and some trucks. Nothing really is as cut and dried as the outlook could suggest, even through people may be quick to put a label to heros and villains. If there were not a huge demand for gas guzzlers, the major car makers would not be selling them. Tesla’s win this year is with more plug-in vehicles sold than any carmaker in the U.S is the bottom line.

 

Leave a Comment July 10, 2015

Major Reasons Why Drivers Should Opt for Electric Cars

BMW_i3_04_2015_SFO_2904There are several reasons to own an electric car, without taking into consideration the painfully steep entry price. One of the major reasons is their lack of a gear box. This gives them rapid acceleration and smooth nimble driving, thanks to the instant, linear torque. Driving an electric car also expells fewer carbon emissions. Scientists have noted that to limit global warming, carbon emissions from the use of energy and other activities will have to go down towards zero. Electric cars have no exhaust. This means that there will be no need for costly pollution stacks like those planned for Sydney’s M4 expansion tunnel.

Electric cars cause less noise pollution. Driving such cars is a quiet experience and at speeds of less than 30km/h, a special noise is emitted and hence, pedestrians are not surprised. The fact that service station visits are unnecessary is another benefit of owning an electric car. Charging is mainly done in the evenings at the comfort of one’s home. The Energy Suppliers Association of Australia said that up to 500,000 electric vehicles could be handled charging at night and extra demand would be welcome. The running costs for electric cars are low. The cost per kilometer is about one-third of the operating cost of 2005 petrol-fueled X-Trail, even for green power. Maintenance costs are likely to be less too, with fewer moving parts.

With respect to their design, electric cars have a futuristic design with great chic styling, weight-saving carbon-fiber body, and a lack of engine block that increase occupant safety and crumple zone. Solar panels are also linked up and may be extra batteries. This means that the car’s reliance on the electric grid would be greatly reduced. Waste wariness is another benefit of owning an electric car. Driving efficiency is displayed by instant feedback, while energy is reclaimed by regenerative brakes when the accelerator is lifted off by the foot. At 11.7kwh/100km it is the best efficiency so far while 14kwh/100km is the average efficiency.

The electric car market is ripe for international sharing. For instance, there are 78,000 Autolib subscribers for its electric cars in Paris. Each subscriber pays $174 annually and for the first 20 minutes of use, about 3.66 euros. The firm, whose owner is Bollore, a French conglomerate, is expanding in the United States and London. This shows that the future is geared towards electric and hybrid cars. The novelty value adds to electric cars’ appeal. Since 2010, only about 800 electric cars have been sold in Australia. It is hoped that by 2020, more and more people will own electric cars.

 

 

Leave a Comment July 3, 2015

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