Electric Vehicles

Electric Car Home Charging Stations

Every consumer who is considering purchasing an electric car must consider at least two major issues. Where will they charge their vehicle while on the road and electric car home charging? This post is going to focus on electric car home charging stations for electric-only vehicles. Hybrid vehicles use the car’s gasoline engine, brakes, etc to recharge the batteries are not considered part of the subject of this post.

What do you Need for electric car home charging stations?

There are some practical aspects to consider when installing electric car charging stations. For example, you will need an electrician to install the plugin or near your garage, wherever you park your car. It should be at least 30 amps capacity and have a chord that will reach to wherever your car is parked.

Go large. In other words, it may cost less to install a 15 amp charger, but a 30 amp charger will charge your batteries more quickly. This is a consideration for this vehicle and your planned use as well as future vehicles. Electric cars are evolving and many standards may change. With a larger capacity system you should be ok for all of the future charging systems, whatever they are. It can be frustrating to wait around for your car’s batteries to charge.

The cost will vary by location, but somewhere between $500 to $1000 seems to be the norm. Regardless follow the specifications provided by the dealer. Build as much flexibility and capacity into the installation as you can depending on the additional cost. Some charging cables can also be portable. If so take advantage of this feature if you plan to move in the near future. Note, that having an electric charging system at home is also a sales feature when it comes time to sell your home.

For more posts about electric vehicles, click here.

Installing Public Electric Charging Stations

Tesla Model S RecallThere are really three major obstacles for electric vehicles from this writer’s perspective. All of them are difficult to overcome and it will take time. The three obstacles are Resistance to change, Installing Public Electric Charging Stations, and time to recharge batteries. We will explore each of these in more detail. However many people would argue that the lack of electric charging stations is a big impediment. With only 10,000 electric vehicles in Quebec and 5000 in Ontario, there is not much incentive to install charging stations.

Resistance to Change

Consumers are pretty happy with their gasoline and diesel-powered cars. They like the features, the flexibility and the ideal they can fill up anywhere and pretty much at any time. It only takes a few minutes as well to fill up the gas tank. The only negative is the cost of rising gasoline prices. At the time of writing, this post is pretty flat and not hurting people in the wallet.

Installing Public Electric Charging Stations

There are simply not enough charging stations around. Although more are being installed every week, the numbers do not begin to approach the availability of gasoline stations. They’re also at the present time little financial incentive for dealers to install charging stations. Time will solve this problem, but right now it is a huge impediment.

Time to Recharge Batteries

Another big negative is the time to recharge the batteries. A consumer will need at least a few hours or even overnight, depending on the charging station capacity. Compared to five minutes this really just does not work. Tesla has tried to deal with this issue by providing a battery swapping service which cuts down the time significantly. It will be many years before this service is widespread.

For more interesting posts about electric vehicles, click here.


Are Electric Cars Really Green?

Tesla Model S RecallElectric cars may not be as green as you might think. The YouTube video tries to debunk this myth. It tries to let consumers know that there is lots of room to do more work before they really make a large contribution to the environment. Check out the video after you finish reading this post. Make up your own mind regarding whether it is the right thing to do. Are Electric Cars Really Green?

Are Electric Cars Really Green?

Based on the analysis that is portrayed in the video referred to above, all-electric cars are not as great at reducing emissions as everyone thinks. Yes, when you operate the car there are no emissions. But, the cost in terms of the environmental impact of producing the batteries can be high. Also producing the electrical power to charge them is almost the same as a traditional gas-powered car. Burning coal, oil, and natural gas to produce electricity cause a great deal of pollution. Wind energy and solar panels are better but not as much as you might think based on the analysis.

The writer notes that the analysis did not take into account such issues as the impact of nuclear power, battery efficiency improvement, car breaking regeneration, improvements in electric cars over the next 10 years, and other alternate power sources for electricity. Also, who funded the research, and are there any biases built into this analysis?

The bottom line is that the electric car business is still in its infancy and will have many new developments over the next 10 years and will get even better than it is today. So yes, it does not save us in terms of pollution today, but will it with improvements over the next 10 years. Time will tell.

Tesla Model 3 All Electric Car Pre Orders

Tesla Model S RecallTest driving a Tesla Model S convinced this writer that Tesla is really on to something. The Model 3 which it announced recently (April 2016) will be a roaring success. Tesla Model 3 all-electric car pre-orders have surpassed all expectations. They will address them and deliver an industry-leading vehicle. The consumer will respond if you deliver quality, deliver safety, and luxury in all areas. The Model 3 is an interesting car.

Tesla Model 3 All Electric Car Pre Orders

As of the date of writing this post, Tesla has over 300,000 pre-orders for the Tesla Model 3. That is huge for any car vendor and really just the beginning. Sure there will be some shrinkage, but there will be a lot more orders coming in.

The Model 3 is an unknown car at this point. It will do 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds. It will have many of the same features that the Model S has. However, all features and details are not finalized. Tesla is not making the details available just yet. Prospective buyers are placing their orders based on the reputation of Tesla and the Model S reputation.

After test driving the Model 3, their faith in the car and the manufacturer is well placed. More to come on Tesla’s Model 3!

Tesla Model S All Electric Car Test Drive Review

Tesla Model S RecallTake the Tesla Model S all-electric car test drive and prepare to be amazed. This is the first time the writer has had an opportunity to drive this particular car. It was truly fantastic in many ways. But first a little background. As an average consumer, I cannot really afford this particular car. I told the salesperson when they asked me if I was interested in the car. The new Model 3 is more in my league with a base price of $35,000 vs. the Model S at $70,000 US. I took a fully upgraded Model S out for a drive. It was listed at $132,000 US with the full sports package, low profile racing tires and rims, etc. They did not seem to mind and offered the test drive to me in any case.

Tesla Model S All Electric Car Test Drive Review

The test drive lasted approximately 30 minutes. It consisted of city driving, highway driving, and cornering on curving mountain roads. A pretty good test for such a short time frame. There are many features on this car, however, I will just cover a few that really stood out for this test driver.

The salesperson was excellent, gave clear instructions, and probably has nerves of steel. Considering what the car is capable of he really was calm throughout the entire drive.

Our Review

Self Parking – The Tesla Model S self-parks perfectly in both parallel and mall parking situations. All you need to do is drive the car into a proper position aligned with the car ahead of the parking spot, place the car in reverse and touch the auto park icon on the screen. It does the rest and comes to a full stop properly positioned between the car in front and the car behind as well as 6 inches from the curb! The same applies to backing into a mall parking spot. It also parks itself in your garage, but obviously, we could not test this feature.

Auto Driving – is where the real action starts. We took the car up to the designated highway speed, turned on the autopilot, and took our hands off the wheel. It maintained the proper position on the road with no difficulty whatsoever. It uses the white lines on the road to maintain position in the lane. Occasionally they would disappear and the car would shift a bit in the lane and then correct itself.

There are all sorts of settings, however, for this test drive, the autopilot was set to follow a car in front to two car lengths spacing. A car pulled in front of us and then turned down a side street. In both cases, our car slowed and even came to a full stop while we waited for the car in front to turn right. It started automatically and came back to full speed once the way was clear.

Changing lanes is really neat. After checking that there are no cars blocking the lane that you are moving to, simply turn the turn signal control in the direction you want to move to and the car moves over. Of course, if there already was a car too close, it would cancel the lane change.

More Features

Speed Control – almost all cars have speed control, which of course the Model S does. It works closely with the autopilot maintaining your speed with 1 mile/hour and 5 mile/hour increments simply by a touch of a lever.

Ludicrous Mode – This is truly special and really demonstrates the power of this car. You can operate this model in regular, sport, and ludicrous mode. We brought the car to a full stop, placed both hands on the wheel, head back against the headrest, set the car to ludicrous mode, and fully depressed the accelerator. Experiencing 0 to 60 miles an hour in less than 6 seconds is truly amazing. Butterflies in the stomach, racing heart rate, and more. This car moves!

Many Other Features – There were many other features and capabilities available on this car all controlled on the large full-screen tablet centered between the passenger and driver’s seats.

You really have to try this car. Don’t take my word for it, take your own Tesla Model S All Electric Car Test Drive!

Chevy Volt Updates

The new Chevy Volt for 2016 will allow consumers to drive 53 miles on electric power before the engine starts generating electricity to drive the power train. This is a 40% improvement over older models. This upgrade allows consumers to do most of their daily driving on electric power. The batteries can be recharged at home. Or they can be recharged by the engine. Either way, the consumer saves money and will not need to fill their gas tanks as often. Some consumers report with the existing Chevy Volt that they go for months without refilling the gas tank. Over the next few years, there will be more efficiency improvements and battery technology.

Chevy Volt Updates

This improvement means consumers can expect an average of 42 miles per gallon when powered by the engine compared to 38 for the current model. In addition, there is no cost other than the cost of electricity.

The Chevy Bolt will also be upgraded. It will be available with electric power only in 2017. It will run approximately 200 miles before needing to be recharged. The Volt has won awards, and the new models are expected to continue this tradition. With lighter materials and better drive systems, consumers who commute to work short distances may seldom need to refill their gas tanks with gasoline.

We think that more and more improvements will be introduced in the next five years. They will make it so tempting to purchase an electric car. The writer feels that their next car will be a Volt model. Our current vehicle gets good mileage and has a few more years to run before it should be exchanged for another vehicle.

Electric cars on the market

Electric cars have been on the market for a number of years now. Electric cars are gradually becoming mainstream on the market. Many governments are supporting the evolution of electric cars through investments in battery manufacturing plants. They are mandating the end of selling new combustion vehicles by 20235. It used to be only the tree huggers, as well as people who cared about environmental issues and who supported electric cars. 

As the market matures and the products improve, more and more people are taking notice of electric vehicles. They consider them as a real alternative to a gas-powered car. We are also looking forward to when the Chevrolet Volt, pictured in this picture, will be offered in Canada as well as the US.

Electric cars on the market include

  • Nissan Leaf – 80 kilowatt(80 horsepower) motor, heated seats, backup camera, Bluetooth, cruise, heated steering wheel, and a range of 129 kilometers.
  • Mitsubishi I-Miev – 69 horsepower motor, heated seats, AC, the range is 150 km.
  • Smart EV – 74 horsepower motor, 135 km range, and multiple charging options.
  • Focus BEV,
  • BMW I3
  • Tesla – a high-end, all-electric car

Another important factor that is making electric cars or interesting to consumers is that there is an increasing number of charging stations. For electric cars to really take off, owners have to be able to depend on locations where they can take their cars and recharge. Otherwise these cars will be Limited to commuter cars and for one car family’s they are just not attractive.

Virtually every major car manufacturer is developing an electric car to take advantage of the increasing demand. Couple electric cars with self-driving cars, and you have a powerful momentum that will lead to a significant change in the industry. Electric distribution stages will proliferate to answer the need. Right now, Tesla is probably the most famous name with a car that has beaten all of the safety ratings. They will also have other electric cars on the market in 2024.

Will oil go back to $80 a barrel

The answer to the question regarding whether oil will go back to 80 a barrel or not really depends on supply and demand. On the demand side, with oil prices being down below $40 a barrel and dropping gasoline prices, consumer demand is going to increase as well as manufacturing demand. Emerging economies will also take advantage of these lower prices, and over the next 6 to 12 months increasing demand will put pressure on the amount of oil available from various oil economies.

Will oil go back to 80 a barrel or even $60

On the other hand, is the amount of oil produced. Saudi Arabia has indicated that it is going to continue producing oil to flood the market. They want to drive other competitors out of the market since their cost of production is much lower. There will be a cut back on the production of oil on the part of higher cost producers. They continue with this strategy even though there is a huge glut of oil on the markets.

All this could lead to an increase in demand over the next 6 to 12 months and a reduction of production over the same period which will push the price of oil higher. It’s anyone’s guess as to when this will happen but many people are thinking that the price will increase by the end of 2015 to $80 or a hundred dollars a barrel.

There may be a period in this year where the price of oil drops much lower than even the $50 range. The Saudis will be successful in driving out many other producers and claiming a larger percentage of the market which is their objective.

What’s your guess on the price of oil, which in turn will drive the price of gasoline for the consumer over the coming year? Will oil go back to 80 a barrel? Also, will we go into a recession? A De-inflation situation? It is almost the end of the year, and oil is still around $50 a barrel. Only a little time left to make any major moves, and it appears unlikely that it will anytime soon.

Should you Buy Electric or Hybrid Vehicles

Electric or Hybrid VehiclesShould you buy an electric or hybrid vehicles? Is it the right time, can you save enough money to off set the higher prices of these vehicles? Are the charging stations convenient enough? Is the technology mature enough as compared to the traditional gasoline or diesel powered vehicles? We think that most consumers are still concluding that the answer is no and it is still not time to make the transition from gasoline or diesel powered cars to an electric or hybrid vehicle. We will examine a few of the reasons why in the following paragraphs. Note that the industry is make tremendous strides in terms of the technology and the all important charging station issue.

Should You Buy an Electric or Hybrid Vehicles Now

We think that the issues can be narrowed down to the following five issues without considering items such as look and feel of the car for electric or hybrid vehicle purchase plans. These can be factors for some consumers over one model vs. another, but the transition to the electric vehicle is controlled by the following.

  • Price
  • Range
  • Charge
  • Power
  • Convenience
  • Upgrades

Price – are still higher for a comparable electric or hybrid vehicle vs the same model gasoline powered car.

Range – for hybrid cars is well up there compared to traditional cars, but battery technology has a long way to go before all electric vehicles will make the grade

Charge – power stations are not frequent enough yet. Consumers driving large RV’s must plan their route around places to stop for the night, electric cars are still in this same planning horizon.

Power – all electric vehicles have excellent ratings for 0 – 60, not so much for the hybrids. If this is important to you then you may want to wait a bit.

Convenience – for recharging to less space inside your car for luggage etc might be an issue for many consumers. The writer found that most hybrids and all electrics cannot carry the luggage for the family without major reductions.

Upgrades – all cars but especially the new all electrics are more and more controlled by computers which will need upgrades from time to time to reflect improvements and glitches that need repairs. A mature vehicle development for the electric car industry still has a way to go.

Other issues that many consumers will also consider include roominess, look and feel of the car, colors, and maintenance costs. Also top speed, resale values (which have not yet been determined for many new vehicles) and a host of other items.

Electric or Hybrid – Buy Now

Electric cars and also hybrids are becoming more popular. More models are available and the charging infrastructure is gradually improving. However charging stations have a long ways to go before they begin to approach the convenience of gasoline and diesel fueled vehicles. So what should you do, electric or hybrid – buy now or wait a while longer. There are a number of variables that we think that most owners will consider before they make a decision.

These new style of cars regardless of whether it is an all electric vehicle or a hybrid vehicle. Personally when the writer looked at these set of variables, we opted for a traditional gasoline fueled car that is very efficient on the roads. So what are the variables that you should consider?

Electric or Hybrid or traditional Fueled Cars

  • Price
  • Range
  • Charge
  • Power
  • Convenience
  • Upgrades

Price – is still a major factor with most hybrids and all electrics still higher than their gasoline counterparts. Operational costs not including maintenance are of course lower.

Range – Electric vehicles simply do not have the range so if this is an issue, you may want to consider a hybrid which can obtain much better range at highly efficient levels in terms of miles per gallon.

Charge – although most can be 80% charged in 30 minutes, availability of charging stations and cost of upgrading your power plug at home is an issue for many people.

Power – with direct drive electric motors, electric cars produce excellent acceleration compared to similar models in the hybrid and traditional area.

Convenience – charging is an issue, the cars are smaller  and not having to find a gas station to fill up when all of your trips are short in nature. Take this into account if you are planning to use it for anything more than commuting.

Upgrades – all cars are being upgraded every year, but electric cars are very computerized and now you may need regular software upgrades, firmware upgrades as part of your normal maintenance.

Check out all of the numbers as well as your personal needs and use. Before you make that big ticket decision about electric or hybrid vehicles. We opted for a traditional late model car that is fuel efficient and takes regular gasoline. We think the industry has a way to go before these cars and technology is mature.

New Chevrolet Volt

GM announced at CES this year that they will be releasing a major upgrade to the Volt at the Detroit Auto Show. The CES announcement of the new Chevrolet Volt is just the first salvo in the effort to maximize advertising of their latest upgrades and improve sales. GM has not announced all of the changes that are coming with the new Chevrolet Volt. There are rumors of improved range, performance and other refinements. They hope will contribute to increased sales.

New Chevrolet Volt – Features

A new T shaped battery that weighs 30 pounds less and stores 20% more energy. A lower center of gravity to contribute to better stability. Two electric drive motors instead of one large one. Improved aerodynamic styling. A new 1.5 litre four cylinder engine to power the generator. The system should operate 12% more efficiently and weigh 100 pounds less than previous models. No news on improvements to the electric range of 40 miles. There is also an expectation of improved mileage from the current average of 37 mpg. They have a long way to go to catch up to the Toyota Prius which boasts over 50mpg combined.

New Chevrolet Volt – Time to Buy

We recently checked out the Toyota Prius. It turned out that not only could I not buy one, I could not even take one for a drive in our area. They are popular and sell out quickly. The Chevrolet Volt has still some maturing to do. They have only been on the market for 7 years compared to 15 years for the Prius in North America. With one or two more major updates, the Chevrolet Volt might just be the car that wins the day in terms of total sales.

With the combined electric drive, gas powered support and the ability to recharge the batters from the electrical grid, it offers flexibility that other electric cars including the Prius do not. Time will tell. let us know your comments.

New Chevrolet Bolt electric car

General Motors has just released the new Chevrolet bolt electric car at the Detroit auto show. It is supposed to offer an impressive 200 mile range in a compact car on electric battery. This is a significant step forward for those people who need a city car for commuting. But have been reluctant due to the lower distance limitations of most other full electric cars. With a 200 mile range this is really a significant improvement. Commuters in cities and towns can now commute with confidence. They will be able to go to and from work without needing a charge for most commuters. They will need to recharge the batteries once per day over night.

Chevrolet Bolt electric car

It is a pure electric vehicle and at 200 mile range it is very competitive with the other players. It will be a companion car to the Chevrolet volt which is a combination gas-electric vehicle. Since it is a concept car, the vehicle range may improve even further as batter technology improves. There is an incredible amount of focus on developing better battery technology, generation capabilities and efficient power consumption.

The price of the Chevrolet bolt is claimed to be around $30,000 US. However it will be a few years before it hits dealer show rooms. There is no timeline as of yet from General Motors. Although General Motors has promised five new vehicles in 2015.

When gasoline prices were high, driven by high oil prices in the $100 range, there was a lot of motivation to get electric cars on the roads to control gas expense and pollution. With recent declines in oil prices to less than $50, many consumers will lose their interest in electric vehicles. The savings will not be as great and it will take longer for the electric vehicles to pay for themselves. There will have to be continued pressure on car manufacturers to improve gasoline driven cars and to also drive electric vehicles to a level that appeals to consumers.

Unfortunately from a pollution perspective, this recent decline in oil prices is not going to help those organizations meet their objectives and goals. It will be up to government to drive everyone to better more efficient cars etc.

Chevrolet Volt Outsells Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius has been around since the year 2000, while the first generation Chevrolet Volt has only been around since 2007. There are various categories of electric cars. Some you can plug in to charge, some that only run on electricity. There are cars that run on a combination of electric systems and gas powered engines.

The Chevrolet Volt is somewhere in between all of these and may just hit the right combination. You can plug it in to recharge the battery, you can drive up to 61 kilometers or just over 30 miles on battery alone, or over 300 miles with a combination battery and gas engine. But the gas engine does not drive the vehicle, rather it powers a generator which provides electricity to recharge the battery and run the electric motors. This combination provides independence as well as gas savings especially in stop and go traffic situations in the city.

Chevrolet Volt – Regenerative braking System

In addition, when you apply the brakes the regenerative system will also recharge the battery. Recharging can also be accomplished by the standard 110 volt system or a specialized 220 volt recharger in much shorter time. This is one area that the Toyota Prius cannot claim as a feature at the present time.

While the Chevrolet Volt outsells all other plugin cars, it has a ways to go yet to catch up to the Toyota Prius. GM is making major changes for their 2016 models. There are updates to the battery systems, distance that can be traveled along with other features. GM allowed reporters to look at the new model at CES. However they were short on details preferring to wait until the Detroit Auto show to really take advantage of the press associated with the show.

GM has sold 70,000 of these cars and results from consumers ranked the car number 12 in affordable small cars with an MSRP price of $34,345. The volt gets poor marks for a cramped rear seat area and a small cargo area. However it did well in terms of nimble handling, seamless transition from battery to gas power. What will the 2016 model bring? What are the rumors for the latest model upgrade for the Chevrolet Volt from GM? Will it finally overtake the Toyota Prius? Stay tuned for our next post!

Sunswift Eve Solar Powered Car

Students hope to break 20 year record of 45 mph over a 310 mile course. This particular car is covered with solar cells as shown in the picture. While not esthetically pleasing, the objective is to show that this technology will work and will provide power over longer distances and also higher speeds. if perfected, the esthetic issues can be dealt with later to get it ready for mass production and for the public in general. The real challenge will be to not add weight to the car while improving the esthetics.

It also begs the question regarding why more vehicles do not use solar technology. For example why does the Toyota Prius not include solar panels to augment the electrical power generation in the brakes and transmission etc.? Overall mileage could be drastically improved we believe if solar technology was included in cars like the Toyoto Prius. back to the Sunswift Eve Solar Powered Car, which is really the subject of this post.

Sunswift Eve Solar Powered Car

  • Capable of 87 mph
  • Uses as much power as a kitchen toaster and can travel 500 miles on solar power
  • Solar array generates 800 watts of power on a sunny day
  • Car body weighs 661 pounds made of carbon fiber

Results of Tests in July 2014

Exact facts and figures we cannot quote until the FIA has undergone ‘homologation’ or official verification of the record attempt. They will update the details in due time.

What we can reveal is this:

  • Our car traveled at over 100km/h for the distance.
  • The attempt only used $0.50 of electricity
  • Subject to verification from CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sport) we may qualify for additional Australian land speed records for 100km and 500km electric cars.
  • We are the first FIA World Record set in Australia since 1984.
  • We are the first Australian record since 1994.
  • During a practice test run we achieved eVe’s top speed to date of 132km/h.

Is this the wave of the future? Who knows, but it is fun to keep track of these kinds of trials and tests to see what is being developed and what will make it to the factory floor for mass distribution.

Yike Bike in Ottawa

In March 2013, we wrote a post about the new Yike bike, invented by an engineer in New Zealand.  You can read the full post by clicking on the following link, click here.  We came across another interesting article about this new and unique bike. We wanted to post some of the comments that we read and listen to about this bike.

The cost was about $2400 Canadian. The rider in the city of Ottawa Ontario Canada was turning lots of heads as people saw this bike for the first time.  It is so much different than any other vehicle on the road. Many people were wondering what was, operated and what it was like to ride.

Yike Bike in Ottawa

The big question that was posted in this particular article was what kind of vehicle is this new bicycle classed as and would it be allowed to be driven on bicycle paths. The original writer of this latest article asked the question, but a bylaw officer whether this bike would be allowed on bicycle paths in the city of Ottawa.  The answer was quite surprising since this is obviously a two wheeled bicycle with power.

He reviewed all of the bylaws that the city of Ottawa has and came to the conclusion that this place a call is closer to a motorcycle than it is to an actual bicycle.    It is electrically driven, has brakes, lights, signal lights, and can fold up into the size of a small suitcase.  This vehicle was actually closer to a motorcycle that was to bicycle.  Motorcycles are not allowed to be driven on bike paths and therefore this new Yike bicycle would not be allowed on bicycle paths at the present time in the city of Ottawa Ontario Canada.

New Bylaws

The city planners are going to have to enact new bylaws for this bike. But it will take another year or two of review and assessment before they will get around to doing that. In the meantime this writer will continue to use his bike on the city’s roads. Wearing all of the proper safety gear such as a bicycle helmet, and proper clothing.

The neat thing about this bike called the Yike bike is that it folds up into a small suitcase. Which can be carried in the trunk of your car carried into the office or even onto the train for commuting in another city.  Like all vehicles that do not have protection for the writer, riding in inclement weather may not be that safe.  We will keep watching for more posts about this particular invention they came from New Zealand.

When will Electric Cars be Economic

Building Electric Auto InfrastructureThere are two big negatives when it comes to purchasing electric vehicle today. When will electric cars be economic and what are the factors that are controlling the time for payback.  The first and foremost is the cost of the vehicle. It is often typically $10,000 more than the same size car. Even the same model that is gasoline powered.

Another factor that troubles many consumers in addition to the increased cost, is the distance that you can drive. An electric vehicle before needs the battery to be recharged. The other issue of course is once the battery is discharged how to charge it and where can you plug it in. These issues are being addressed by the industry through a number of initiatives. One is to decrease the cost of the lithium battery. Secondly to install plug-in charging stations on major highways across the country. This post will discuss the changes in prices for lithium batteries.

When will Electric Cars be Economic

Today’s gasoline powered car engine costs about $2000. An electric lithium battery will cost about $600 per kilowatt. A typical electric car will require a 20 kW battery making the cost of the battery about $12,000. This is $10,000 more than what the gasoline powered car engine costs. Electric vehicles are still very expensive. Compared to gasoline powered vehicles.

Electric lithium batteries will drop in price from $600 per kilowatt down to approximately $300 per kilowatt in the next few years. This will save roughly six thousand dollars off the cost of an electric vehicle. And make it much more interesting to the consumer.

In the next 10 years by 2020, the expected cost of a lithium battery will drop from $300 per kilowatt down to approximately $100 per kilowatt. Making it compatible price wise with the $2000 car engine. We expect that by 2020 electric vehicles will be significantly higher sales than they are currently at this point. In time due to the drop in cost for lithium batteries and also the fact that the cost of driving an electric vehicle is far cheaper per mile than a gasoline powered vehicle. In addition to enabling electric vehicles, the development and improvements to the lithium battery will have profound impacts on many other industries as well.

Tesla Model S Consumer Rating

Tesla Model S Consumer RatingWhile Tesla is scoring points by expanding its charging network along the west coast of the United States all the way from Tijuana to Vancouver, it is gaining points in another area as well. See previous post for more information on this topic.

Now Consumer Reports has listed the Tesla Model S as one of the most reliable cars on the road. They gave it a score of 99 points out of 100. It missed out on the one last point due to it needing to be recharged on long trips. Minor problems have been reported for things like squeaks and rattles or locks that did not operate properly. However, when it comes to performance of the car and its battery pack it is off the charts.

Tesla Model S Consumer Rating – Range

The range can vary between 208 miles to 265 miles on a full charge depending on the model. Also of course how the car is driven. It takes about 6 hours to recharge on a 240 volt connection. However it can be charged in about one hour at a super charger station. A half a charge takes 20 minutes. A battery can be swapped in 90 seconds for the price of a tank of gasoline for those in a hurry. Tesla is arranging for more and more charging stations to be installed in California. Also across the US along major interstate highways. This will overtime by 2019 allow an electric car to travel across the US in all directions. They will be able to charge at these charging stations.

When Will they Come Out with A less Expensive Car?

Currently the Model S is sold for prices in excess of $100k which not many people can afford. Tesla is rumored to come out with a SUV version of this vehicle next and then a less expensive car in the future. When they do , this is when it will get really interesting as the mass market begins to pick up on these cars and demand soars.

They are currently building a manufacturing plant for car batteries to power electric cars and they are developing an electric vehicle which is rumored to be more affordable for people in the middle class.

States Boosting Electric Car Business

There are two major things that are holding back the increase in the electric car business.  The first is the cost of the cars to consumers.  The exact same car with a gasoline engine is often $5-$10,000 less than an electric car of the same model.  As a result even with subsidies the electric car is still more expensive than its gasoline counterpart.  The second thing that holds back consumers from buying these cars is the distance you can go on a full charge. Also locations to recharge your batteries.

Electric Car Business – Reduce Pollution

Several states in the United States have decided to give the electric car business a boost.  Their objective is to reduce pollution and improve the general well-being of the population.  As a result by reducing gasoline driven cars they hope to make a major contribution in the war against pollution.

Eight states are involved. They represent nearly a quarter of US auto sales. They have agreed to increase the number of electric and hydrogen fueled cars, trucks and buses on the roads.  Their goal is to have 3.3 million vehicles by 2025.  California is leading the way with an announced goal of 1.5 million zero emission vehicles in the next 12 years.

They are going to accomplish this goal by ensuring there are more points along the highways to recharge vehicles.  They’re going to continue with subsidies and increase subsidies to ensure that the consumers are more willing to spend money on electric vehicles.  Even with $10,000 subsidies some electric vehicles are still more expensive than their gasoline counterparts.  As a result the savings will come from the reduced cost to operate the vehicle using electricity instead of gasoline.

Practical Issues

The practical issue of being able to drive your car and  recharge it at a convenient location is of paramount importance. This issue needs to be solved in the near future if these objectives are going to be met.  The majority of trips made by consumers are less than 40 miles every day.  With incentives to install charging stations at employer locations. Along the highways and even at consumers homes.

Would provide more posts on the subject is more information comes along.  We recently wrote a post about 20 new electric charging stations being installed along the 401. This is between Montreal Quebec and Windsor Ontario.  This is a start and we will see a lot more in the years to come.

Electric car Charging Stations on 401

Building Electric Auto InfrastructureWe are trying to get more information about this topic. However it appears that there are now 20 electric car charging stations that have been set up along the 401 between Windsor and the Québec border. Apparently 20 of the fastest charging stations have been installed every 50 to 98 kilometers along the highway for electric car owners to stop and charge their cars. At the current time the use of the chargers and the electricity is free to drivers. It is provided by the host of the location. These sites have been set up by Sun Country Highway to promote green products and particular the all electric vehicles that are gradually becoming more popular.

Location for Electric car Charging Stations

For example a Comfort Inn along the highway is one of the sponsors that has a charging stating installed on it’s property. It is providing the electricity free of charge to customers. It takes about 3.5 hours for a full charge. And bout one hour to top up the batteries on these electric vehicles using a level 2 charger. Level 3 chargers are under development. They will significantly drop the charging time down to 30 minutes to recharge a battery.

This is really great news for the electric car industry. This is one of the most Significant issues when it comes for consumers to purchase electric cars. They want to know what will happen when the batteries run out. Where they can recharge the battery of the car. In the United States, they expect that sales of  hybrid and electric vehicles will reach 100,000 in 2013 compared to 53,000 sales in 2013.

We have also heard that California is making it possible to drive an electric car from Mexico to the northern California Border. They are installing charging stations all along the major highways to make this possible.

Stumbling Blocks

The main stumbling blocks to significant increases in purchases for all electric vehicles is the higher price. Also the time it takes to recharge the batteries. Availability of locations to charge the batteries is becoming less of a problem. More and more locations provide charging points for electric car owners. However they are becoming more popular as sales indicate. Even Justin Bieber has an electric hybrid!

Electric Car Advantages

The major disadvantage of electric cars these days is their price and the availability of charging stations. If you can get past these issues, there are quite a number of advantages that consumers might be interested in. They do not offset the price yet. But many consumers who are environmentally conscious are beginning to invest in electric cars with their pocket books.

Electric Car Advantages

The biggest advantage is that you do not have to buy gas. You really are not that interested in the price of gas as it goes up and down. Electricity is gradually converting to what is called renewable energy. Which means wind, solar and hydro with no corresponding pollution to be concerned about. The cars themselves are not polluters. They are very quiet as they are driven around the city.

They are also excellent commuter cars provided that a two way trip is within the battery’s capacity. This is pretty much a necessity. Unless you have a way of recharging the batteries at work or wherever you are visiting. More and more locations are providing charging stations and this will expand over times as well.

Another advantage of these cars is that you are not burning gas or generating heat when you are stuck in traffic. If you live in a city that is prone to a lot f pollution. Then every electric car that is driven is contributing to a decrease in pollution. This is one of the reasons that places like California have some of the most generous programs available. They want to help people purchase electric vehicles and to also install recharging stations.

Electric Car Advantages – Tesla

Tesla’s model S has proven that high speeds are possible and that acceleration can also be very high as well on the 0 to 60 miles per hour category. They are driving the research and the experience curve right now and will continue to do so in the sport category. Other cars such as the Ford Focus and the GM Volt are aimed at the mass production version of the electric car. They are gradually increasing in sales and will become more popular as more and more people try them out as rental cars etc.

The electric vehicle does not need oil changes for the engine or for the transmission, saving each owner something in the neighborhood of $200 a year or more in operating costs in addition to the cost of gasoline that might be used. Add in the supporting electronics and you have a vehicle which many kids are used to that is effectively an operate by wire kind of car.

Let us know of other electric car advantages that we may have missed and should include in this post. We would be glad to see them and will place them on this post as comments.

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