Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Electric Cars Getting A Needed Jump Start

From metronews.ca

Electric cars getting a needed jump start

June 21, 2010 6:00 a.m.

The electric car is not dead after all. Several big auto manufacturers are racing ahead with low- or zero-emission technology, and a new generation of electric vehicles should be widely available in Canada as early as 2012.

This much-desired concept is being improved by the day, and concerns once seen as all-but-insurmountable are melting away.


What’s the concern?
Many drivers want to own cleaner vehicles, but are worried electric cars simply cannot travel far enough to meet their needs.

What’s changing?
The Nissan Leaf — an all-electric, zero-emission vehicle set for release in late 2011 — will have a single-charge range of 160 km.

“We feel that the best way to control CO2 emissions is by producing none at all,” says Mark McDade, director of marketing at Nissan Canada Inc. “The average commuting driver in Canada has an average round trip of 30-40 km. With a range of 160, those drivers’ needs are completely satisfied.”

Toyota, manufacturer of the successful Prius hybrid vehicle, is focusing on several options, all of which are good on range.

“Right now, we’ve announced a global demonstration program for our plug-in Toyota Prius hybrid,” says Rodney Jones, manager of advanced technology and powertrain at Toyota Canada. “That vehicle will be available for consumers in 2012, as well as the battery electric vehicle that we are working on.”


What’s the concern?
Because this is new and innovative technology, potential buyers think electric cars will be prohibitively expensive.

What’s changing?
“Quite honestly, the sticker price is not the issue,” says Nissan’s McDade “It’s the operating cost. You’re not using fuel. The maintenance on this vehicle is diminished greatly because there’s not many fluids to deal with. The battery is a self-contained unit, so there’s not a lot of open-heart surgery going on here.”

The Leaf’s Canadian price has not yet been determined, but the car sells for $32,700 in the United States. McDade notes that both Ontario and Quebec have already announced up to $10,000 in incentives for drivers who want to purchase electric cars.

“The more that people buy them, the more the price goes down,” Jones adds. “We’ve sold more than 2.5 million hybrid vehicles worldwide. A lot of that technology will go into our plug-in and battery-electric hybrid vehicles. Our focus right now is to be able to sell it at a price where people will adopt them on a mass scale.”


Heather said...

I'm so glad to hear that the electric car isn't dead! I watched the movie (Who Killed the Electric Car?) and was worried that the situation wouldn't change. I would love to rely less on oil companies, but since I have to commute 120 miles a day, I'm bound to them for the time being.

This is very good news; thanks for sharing!

Post a Comment