Electric Vehicle update – March 1

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March 1, 2011

By Bob Difley

Nissan ESFlow

The Geneva Auto Show opened today in Geneva, Switzerland, which is a showcase for European cars. A number of Electric Vehicles (EV) and hybrids are being introduced from a diverse group of companies and start-ups as well as the established auto companies.

The Green Investing website has listed its top ten green cars making their debut at the show, which you can see here. The top position went to the Nissan ESFLOW, a sports car capable of going from 0-60mph in five seconds and with a range of 150miles on a single charge.

There was also a Rolls Royce electric Phantom at the top end and the Rinspeed Bamboo, the perfect beach-going car including an inflatable roof that doubles as a beach blanket and the BamBoo community platform that allows for practical features based on social networking.

Nissan also announced that they have extended their lithium ion battery warranty in the Leaf EV to 8 years and 100,000 miles. More proof that battery makers are confident that their newest batteries will last the life of a car, so expensive battery replacement should not be a deterrent to buying an EV. With all the innovation going on, it won’t be long before you start to see EVs being towed behind motorhomes.

Ford also introduced its C-MAX Energi (available in 2012) that will offer more than 500 miles of combined driving range using the battery and engine–more than any other plug-in or extended-range electric vehicle.

Ford also points out that plug-in hybrid vehicles offer several benefits, including:

  • Electric driving range, perfect for emissions-free and silent city driving
  • Potential consumer savings on energy and fuel costs thanks to improved fuel efficiency over a standard hybrid
  • Increased use of electricity from renewable energy sources (e.g. wind and solar), where available, for vehicle recharging
  • Reduced environmental impact through reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduced dependency on petroleum and increased energy independence

“A plug-in hybrid owner may make fewer trips to the pump to refuel because of its all-electric mode capability,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford vice president of Global Product Development. “Conveniently, they’ll be able to recharge their plug-in hybrid at home overnight. And they’ll never have to think about the vehicle’s electric range, because the plug-in hybrid seamlessly shifts to fuel power when needed.”

Check out my website for RVing tips and destinations and my ebooks, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public LandsSnowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts, and 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang out of your RV Lifestyle Dollar.

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  9. HI Guys & Gals:
    No matter which vehicle I chose, the safety ratings are paramount in my mind.

    We see too many red light runners, and semi-trailer accidents make us wonder if we can survive a crash in our RV, truck, SUV and auto we purchase.

    Happy Camping,
    Fred b.

  10. Though there is much written now on EVs, we have very little information from actual owners on what owning and driving an EV is like. In her blog on AutoTrader.com, “Living with Leaf: Confessions of an Early EV Adopter” Joni Gray, a automotive industry journalist, writes:

    “In the same way my iPhone has ushered me to the age of mobile information dependency, my first test drive of the Nissan Leaf was a revelation. There I was, a jaded automotive journalist who has driven Bentleys and Bugattis, yet I still found the Leaf exhilarating. Taking off for the first time, it was like cutting through thin air on a silent, electric magic carpet. Whether this reaction was born of my love of new tech, the lure of being a part of pop-culture buzz, or just my boredom with the “sameness” of traditional gas-powered cars. In the Leaf it felt like I was driving the future.”

    You can read her blog here: http://www.autotrader.com/research/article/car-new/79401/living-with-leaf-confessions-of-an-early-ev-adopter.jsp

  11. Geoffrey Pruett

    Too many of the electric–hybrid powered unit offered are missing the market with me being intended for the commuting only market. Some thing in the size and usable space range of the first Scion , granted it was a more reliable knock off of the Mini, would find a market with the retired and small business users. Range in those uses is secondary to service free miles of city driving in short hops, the thing the gas engine does poorly. There is the Escape hybrid but the spiff just to look green worked out to about a 18 year payback for us. Our 2005 new/used Escape had 19000 on the clock when purchased in 2005. It has just turned 60000 last month and is our primary driver. Better miles per for us is not a sales point, miles per service dollar is. Maybe someone will figure it out, care to bet on it being a USA manufacturer?