Tesla, other electric vehicles poised to enter the mainstream

Apr 11, 2011 By Dana Hull

After decades of sputtering starts and stalled hopes, the electric vehicle is poised to enter the mainstream.

Tesla Roadsters, Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts are already on the market, and every major automaker has at least one electric model in the pipeline, giving consumers an array of choices in the coming years. The new wave of EVs just beginning to hit American highways is not the first - they were popular a century ago until cheaper, gasoline-powered cars gained dominance after World War I. But experts say the stars now appear to be aligned for an alternative to the .

"This time it feels real," said Roland Hwang, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's transportation programs. "Automakers are serious. There's oil price shocks. The long-term trends are very positive. There will be potholes in the road as this rolls out, but there aren't any showstoppers."

Advocates argue that EVs are not simply another type of car but a game-changer for the country. They say that widespread adoption of will help cut the that contribute to global warming and enhance national security by reducing the country's dependence on foreign oil.

The transition to EVs won't happen overnight, however. Current models have a limited range and are more expensive than most comparable gas-powered cars, making them unappealing to many drivers. But EV prices are expected to decline as high-volume production pushes manufacturing costs down. And startups are racing to improve , which should allow the cars to go farther between charges. When that happens, manufacturers and enthusiasts hope electric cars will become a viable option for millions of Americans.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

Tech-savvy early adopters such as Felix Kramer and Rochelle Lefkowitz, of Redwood City, Calif., are already sold. The couple outfitted their , which operates on electricity as well as gas, with a larger battery pack in 2006. In December, they bought one of the nation's first Chevy Volts, which runs on electricity for about 40 miles before its gas engine kicks in. In January, they added an all-electric Nissan Leaf to their household fleet - making them the only family in the nation known to own three plug-in vehicles.

"I drove the Volt to get a haircut the other day, and people on the road were waving at me and giving me the thumbs-up," said Lefkowitz, who has grown used to strangers stopping her to talk about cars.

For EVs to enter the mainstream, the auto industry has to reach beyond enthusiasts like Kramer and Lefkowitz and appeal to a mass audience. The potential market is huge: Last year, Americans bought 11.6 million new cars and light trucks, and some analysts project sales of 16.3 million in 2015. If EVs can capture even a modest slice of that market, experts say, they could reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

Sales of EVs are expected to be modest for the next few years because of their limited range, relatively high cost and a shortage of charging stations. There are currently about 120 public electric vehicle chargers in the San Francisco Bay Area, with more than 2,000 more planned in the next five years under a state program.

But despite such challenges, many in the industry point to encouraging signs.

'DEMAND IS OUT THERE'

When General Motors first launched the Volt, plans called for 10,000 to be built by the end of 2011 and 45,000 by the end of 2012. But GM is accelerating production, in part because some companies are turning to the vehicles to power their corporate fleets. General Electric has already ordered 12,000 Volts.

"It appears we've underestimated," said Tony Posawatz, the GM executive in charge of the Volt, adding that GM plans to make at least 15,000 Volts this year. "It's still early in the launch, but we're getting more and more feedback that the demand is out there. It's very much like using a smartphone - once people have the experience of driving electrically, they don't want to go back."

The Obama administration wants to see 1 million EVs on the road by 2015 and has proposed replacing the existing $7,500 tax credit with a $7,500 rebate at the time of sale to spur demand. Some analysts worry that goal will be hard to reach, even with robust government incentives. Mike Omotoso of JD Power and Associates thinks no more than 700,000 to 750,000 plug-in and pure EVs could be on American roads by 2015.

"The cost of the vehicles is too high, and gasoline-engine powered cars are getting more fuel-efficient all the time," he said. "Almost all new compact cars are getting 40 miles per gallon on the highway now, so why pay twice the money for an electric car that only has a 100-mile range?"

But rising oil prices could change that calculation.

"In early 2008, when gas went above $4 a gallon, all hell broke loose," said Alan Baum, a Michigan-based auto industry analyst. "Larger cars went out of fashion, and people started buying smaller cars and hybrids. If the price of gas goes up and stays up, that will increase consumer interest in EVs, plug-ins and hybrids."

EDUCATING CONSUMERS

Still, the EV industry faces significant obstacles, not the least of which are the current limits of battery technology. The most expensive part of an electric car is its lithium-ion battery - both because of the cells themselves and the sophisticated control systems needed to regulate temperatures around them.

"Batteries are heavy and bulky, and right now to extend range you just add more batteries," said Sunil M. Chhaya, an electric drive expert at EPRI, the Electric Power Research Institute, in Palo Alto. "They take up a lot of space inside the car, and everyone wants to reduce the size."

Doing that will require improvements in "energy density," which refers to the acceleration and range the batteries can provide. Toward that end, the Obama administration has given $2.4 billion in federal stimulus dollars to 48 advanced battery and electric-drive projects. Battery startups such as Envia Systems in Hayward and Amprius in Mountain View are attracting venture capital, and companies such as Coulomb Technologies of Campbell, which makes networked charging stations, are growing rapidly.

Another hurdle for electric cars is lack of public awareness. Many Americans still know very little about them, or have concerns about cost, range, safety and charging requirements.

In a recent survey of 1,716 American drivers conducted by IBM, about 40 percent said they had heard only "a little bit" about . One in five said they would be likely or very likely to consider an EV for their next auto purchase. But half of all respondents said they would not be willing to pay more for an electric car than a gas-powered one, and nearly a third said they would not be willing to invest in a home charging station.

"We saw a big education gap," said Kal Gyimesi, head of automotive research for IBM. "The more knowledge people had about EVs, the more viable an option it became. The EV industry has to continue to educate consumers about why this is a viable product."

And at the moment, there's one other obstacle: you can't just go to a dealership and buy an electric car straight off the showroom floor. In most cases, consumers must order the car months in advance of delivery.

CALIFORNIA TO DRIVE SALES

The first big push for electric vehicles came more than a century ago. In the 1890s, electric taxis were common on the streets of New York City. When President William McKinley was shot in 1901, he was driven to the hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., in an electric ambulance. Henry Ford purchased an electric vehicle for his wife, Clara, and also worked with Thomas Edison on an electric vehicle model. Sales of plug-in vehicles peaked in 1912, when 6,000 were sold.

In the late 1990s, GM briefly produced the EV1, but consumers could not buy the car outright - they had to lease it. GM canceled the EV1 in 2003, inspiring the 2006 documentary film "Who Killed the Electric Car?" (Filmmaker Chris Paine's sequel, called "Revenge of the Electric Car," is having its world premiere in New York on April 22 - Earth Day.)

In addition to the Roadster, Leaf and Volt, a wave of EVs is expected to launch in California later this year, including the Coda Sedan, Ford Focus Electric and Mitsubishi "i." Tesla's Model S - one version promises a range of 300 miles - and Honda's Fit EV are scheduled to hit the market in 2012. Audi, Daimler and Volkswagen are also developing electric vehicles - there's even buzz about a possible all-electric Volkswagen bus.

Pacific Gas & Electric has analyzed hybrid vehicle registration data and says the Bay Area will be "ground zero" for EVs, particularly in the Peninsula, East Bay and Marin County. It expects anywhere from 219,000 to 845,000 electric vehicles to be on the roads within its vast Northern California territory by 2020.

Kramer and Lefkowitz, with their three plug-in cars, are among those leading the charge. Kramer is the founder of CalCars, a small nonprofit organization that promotes plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) as the key to reducing America's dependence on foreign oil.

"We have to stop using fossil fuels as quickly as possible," Kramer said. "If more people understood the urgency - both of saving the planet and in terms of energy security - we could get there even faster."

Explore further: Environmentally compatible organic solar cells

5 /5 (9 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Meet the family with both a Chevy Volt and a Nissan Leaf

Mar 14, 2011

The Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf are slowly putting cars on the road, mostly in California, as the companies ramp up production and start delivering to their patient customers. GM handed out 281 Volts in February (928 ...

Five myths about electric cars

Mar 23, 2010

Despite how many times they're told differently, some Americans persist in their belief that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Sorry, nope. And almost as enduring are the myths about the forthcoming ...

Electric cars rolling out

Dec 16, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Electric vehicles are far from new, but we are still a long way from electric cars being the norm. Now two new electric cars may bring that goal a step closer.

More myths busted about electric cars

Apr 27, 2010

I recently went to Finland to drive the all-electric Think City plug-in car (thinkev.com), which is already on European roads and coming to the U.S. later this year. To help it have a soft landing, Think CEO ...

Recommended for you

Environmentally compatible organic solar cells

2 hours ago

Environmentally compatible production methods for organic solar cells from novel materials are in the focus of "MatHero". The new project coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) aims at making ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

3 hours ago

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

Unlocking secrets of new solar material

3 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have ...

Ikea buys wind farm in Illinois

Apr 15, 2014

These days, Ikea is assembling more than just furniture. About 150 miles south of Chicago in Vermilion County, Ill., the home goods giant is building a wind farm large enough to ensure that its stores will never have to buy ...

User comments : 43

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Quantum_Conundrum
2.8 / 5 (12) Apr 11, 2011
The United States has around 1.3 TRILLION barrels of known oil reserves.

if we passed a law banning the export of oil by the oil companies, so they can't sell OUR oil to someone else, then lift all the drilling bans and allow companies to drill at wiil, then the U.S. would have enough oil to last at present consumption levels for well over 100 years, which is plenty time to develop more battery technologies, or Rossi's LENR device, or solar, etc.
WhiteJim
3 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2011
The electric car was popular 100 years ago...
rgwalther
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
"GM plans to make at least 15,000 Volts "

15,000 volts! That's the car for me!
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2011
"GM plans to make at least 15,000 Volts "

15,000 volts! That's the car for me!

Yeah but only at 0.01mA
The United States has around 1.3 TRILLION barrels of known oil reserves.

if we passed a law banning the export of oil by the oil companies, so they can't sell OUR oil to someone else, then lift all the drilling bans and allow companies to drill at wiil, then the U.S.
The problem is they aren't drilling here even when they have the permits and are cleared to drill. The oil that is drilled in the US, for the most part, is sold in the US. It would be horridly foolish to ship crude away from the largest oil market on the planet.
rgwalther
1 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
Electric chairs were popular 80 years ago.
gvgoebel
5 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
Electric chairs were popular 80 years ago.


"Westinghousing", as Edison put it.
rgwalther
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2011
US has huge reserves of oil. No one really knows how much is here; but if the oil is going to run out, it is best that it run out somewhere/everywhere else first.
rgwalther
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
"Yeah but only at 0.01mA...."

Damn! Just goes to show ya, it's always something.
Nanoparticler
4.1 / 5 (9) Apr 11, 2011
Care to cite your source there Mr. Overly Optimistic? US Department of the Interior estimates total technically recoverable reserves to be ~130 billion barrels. The only possible way you've arrived at such a number is if you're factoring in shale oil deposits. Which is uneconomical to recover and refine, even with crude at $115 a barrel. You're off by an order of magnitude. Not to mention that your plan as obvious "motivation" issues. Who's gonna fund alternative energy projects if petroleum energy is still cheap? Furthermore, who seriously extrapolates energy usage based on "current consumption"??
WhiteJim
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
gvgoebel ... Edison was responsible for a lot more of what's wrong with the world today than for what's right or even good.
rgwalther
4 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2011
The weirdest thing to me about world oil reserve estmates is that these oil reserve numbers are created by the oil companies. The same people who moan that the oil companies are the spawn of the Prince of lies, Satan, also reverently believe the figures put out by oil companies and their government lackeys.
Selective reality is a modern device.
gvgoebel
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
gvgoebel ... Edison was responsible for a lot more of what's wrong with the world today than for what's right or even good.


I can't think of a reason of why I would argue that with you.
jimbo92107
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
Request: A $12 thousand dollar electric car about the size of a Smart Car, top speed 80mph, range 50 miles, recharges overnight.

You want "mainstream"? There's your basic spec.

A 50-mile range puts it squarely in the commuter class, plus shopping. People could then park their oil burner unless they planned a longer trip, which would eliminate over 90 percent of the old car's usage. The $12 grand price point puts it in range of America's swelling lower class workers. GM's own skateboard chassis would allow mass manufacture using inexpensive materials, with a steel-reinforced plastic shell on top. Drive-by-wire controls eliminates mechanical linkages from controls to servos and motors. Lead acid batteries would probably suffice for power storage, with the addition of desulfators to prevent sulfate buildup. Nothing new, no ground-breaking innovations.

So, where are they?
krundoloss
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2011
Its this simple: People would buy electric cars if they were made easily available. People wanted the EV1 in the 90's, but they were not allowed to own it, only lease it. Why arent there more on the road? Because the Car companies dont want you to have one! Car companies have a vested interest in gas powered cars because they require lots of mantenance, they burn gasoline and keep the oil companies rich, and frankly, change is scary! So as soon as the car companies really want to sell electric cars, they will. But they really dont, they just want to look like they do. If an oil company owns stock in car companies, what do you think the car companies will do? PRETEND TO PRODUCE AND SELL ELECTRIC CARS WHILE MANTAINING THE STATUS QUO. Face it, corporations control everything.
FenderFennec
5 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2011
"General Electric has already ordered 12,000 Volts"

My favorite line in any physorg article, ever.
Gunhaver
1 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
Electric vehicles won't ever really take off until EEStor's ultra capacitors come out. Few people will really want a car that can only go <100 miles per charge.
mrlewish
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2011
The United States has around 1.3 TRILLION barrels of known oil reserves.

if we passed a law banning the export of oil by the oil companies, so they can't sell OUR oil to someone else, then lift all the drilling bans and allow companies to drill at wiil, then the U.S. would have enough oil to last at present consumption levels for well over 100 years, which is plenty time to develop more battery technologies, or Rossi's LENR device, or solar, etc.


So you're proposing that other countries be stopped from selling their oil here? because that's what would happen if we banned exports. Also say goodbye to any American company currently involved in drilling oil overseas. I suggest that you look up the word fungible. And no we don't have 1.3 trillion in reserves. There are no drilling bans and currently oil companies are sitting on several million acres of unused land in which they already have the right to drill. Get real facts before you to spouting off.
gvgoebel
5 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
Get real facts before you to spouting off.


Ah, but what fun would there be in spouting off if credibility was a concern?

Sometimes I think QC has the facts, but since at other times I think he's just pulling a rabbit out of a hat, I can't pay too much attention to what he says.
wealthychef
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
The United States has around 1.3 TRILLION barrels of known oil reserves.

if we passed a law banning the export of oil by the oil companies, so they can't sell OUR oil to someone else, then lift all the drilling bans and allow companies to drill at wiil, then the U.S. would have enough oil to last at present consumption levels for well over 100 years, which is plenty time to develop more battery technologies, or Rossi's LENR device, or solar, etc.


That would be great. Then the environmental impacts of oil drilling would become obvious to us and the incentive to get off oil would be more evident.
As for this article -- it neglects to mention that the fact that the battery charging takes hours also makes it impractical for many of usto buy electrics until that issue is solved. "Consumer education" is not the problem. Consumers know what they want to buy, generally. YOu have to solve the problems and make it really work before I'm going to buy it.
Quantum_Conundrum
4.3 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2011
Guys, the 1.3 trillion figure came from watching several discussions on several different news networks, both liberal and conservative.

Specifically, it came from a FOX news contributor who is primarily involved in oil production, and HE said that there is around 300 billion barrels off shore of California, around another 300 billion for Florida, and then around 700 billion in shale oil.

That comes to a total of 1.3 Trillion barrels.

Additionally, the reason I used the "at current levels" projection is because American has a net negative "legal" population growth rate. We would have a "true" net negative population growth if not for illegal immigration.

At any rate, our population is only growing around 3% per decade, and almost all of that is due to illegal immigration and increased life expectancy(thus aging population).

Also, the raw numbers actually suggest 178 years at present levels, so there was plenty of "padding" for some population increase.
Quantum_Conundrum
3.5 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2011
neglects to mention that the fact that the battery charging takes hours also makes it impractical for many of usto buy electrics until that issue is solved.


It also neglects to mention that electricity is more expensive per unit energy than gasoline (even though it's true that due to increased efficiency, the per miles cost would be lower for electric).

However, you are correct. Presently, charging takes too long, and there are no "off grid" options for the majority of people, since your vehicle isn't home during the day to be charged by a personal solar power supply.

One gallon of gasoline equivalent worth of electricity is 36.39 kilowatt-hours. So even though electric is like 80% efficient, in order to get 70 to 80 miles worth of charge requires around $4.00 to $5.46 worth of electricity (cheaper than gasoline,) BUT in most cases it's 8 to 12 hours or more of charging.

Ironically, covering the car in solar panels ends up being one of the cheapest re-charge options.
Quantum_Conundrum
4 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2011
I figure by the time our decendants extract and burn the oil, tht will be 486 trillion kilograms of additional CO2 (not counting the oil from other parts of the world), and of course H2) is produced also, which many don't think about, so that would be 670 trillion liters of additional water, again, not counting oil from over seas.

Now 670 trillion liters of water is equivalent to 670.1 cubic kilometers of water, which is, I think, around 1/4000th of the volume of the Gulf of Mexico. This represents about 1.5 millimeters of mean sea level rise...
J-n
3 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
Nissan's website says the leaf will charge in 30 min to 80% at a quick charge station, 7hours from totally drained at home.

J-n
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
"In a best case scenario, Tesla documents a recharge time of just under 4 hours using a 240v charger"
Quantum_Conundrum
3 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2011
J-n:

That's using existing coal and nuclear powered grid technology.

As oil is forceably phased out by the U.N. and American liberals, the price of electricity will go up (demand) if/when people do switch to electric cars.

To do that same charge for the Leaf using say, solar PV cells on your roof would take 7 or more hours for an array of 24 panels of 1.5 square meters each...not counting losses due to heat waste* and transmission in the battery charging.

* Solar panels lose about 10% of their specified watts due to heat waste making them less efficient. So for example, if a panel is rated at 220 watts, then on a hot clear summer day it will only actually produce around 198 watts, because as it gets heated up due to heat waste it's efficiency falls. If you submerge a PV panel in water it's power actually goes up, because the water helps carry away the heat waste, which increases efficiency.

So anyway, it takes over 24 typical solar panels to do that charge in 7 hours...
Quantum_Conundrum
3 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2011
I will say that during the life time of the solar panels in that situation, they will pay for themselves roughly 3.5 to 4 times over as compared current gasoline cars and gasoline prices.

The problem is, again, it doesn't work, because most people work during the day, so they aren't home to charge their car on Solar power.

the only real alternatives to that is to have swappable batteries (highly unlikely since they are so heavy,) OR to have extra batteries at home which charge during the day, and then use those to charger your car at night, but you lose about 30% efficiency this way.
J-n
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
I'm saying that when you said

One gallon of gasoline equivalent worth of electricity is 36.39 kilowatt-hours. So even though electric is like 80% efficient, in order to get 70 to 80 miles worth of charge requires around $4.00 to $5.46 worth of electricity (cheaper than gasoline,) BUT in most cases it's 8 to 12 hours or more of charging.


You were working with inaccurate or downright wrong information. I did not see you mention solar cells in regards to those numbers, infact quoting some price that would seem to reflect the cost of using the current electronic infrastructure. As aside from setup costs solar would be free.

grgfraiser
1 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
If nikola tesla hadn't been screwed over we woukd have free wireless electricity and electric cars with limitless range.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
"Request: A $12 thousand dollar electric car about the size of a Smart Car, top speed 80mph, range 50 miles, recharges overnight." - ahem

I second that request.

Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
"If nikola tesla hadn't been screwed...' - Screwball

And a chicken in every pot..
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2011
"Specifically, it came from a FOX news contributor who is primarily involved in oil production" - QC

If it appears on Faux news, then you know it is a lie.
danman5000
1 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
The problem is, again, it doesn't work, because most people work during the day, so they aren't home to charge their car on Solar power.

So the sun only shines directly over your house, and nowhere else? Not everyone parks in a parking garage.
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2011
"The United States has around 1.3 TRILLION barrels of known oil reserves." - QC

Meanwhile, back here in Reality land....

U.S. oil reserves peaked in the 1970's at 40 billion barrels. Current proven reserves are slightly over 20 billion barrels.

The USGS estimates that undiscovered but technically recoverable crude oil onshore in United States to be 48.5 billion barrels.

Americans are best advised to burn all of their oil as rapidly as possible.
sstritt
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
One thing almost never mentioned is the lifetime of the batteries. With normal use they will need replacement every few years, and as they are the single most expensive component of the vehicle, these electrics will have minimal resale value!
I'd rather buy a good used SUV and convert to natural gas.
J-n
1 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
Americans are best advised to burn all of their oil as rapidly as possible.


Why? I would think leaving an investment to grow in value, while the cost to pull it out of the ground and use it goes down, would be the smart thing to do.

Pulling it out now would not reduce the price of oil we pay, even if we pulled all 48.5bb out today. It's a global market and oil companies and OPEC want us to pay as much as they can charge for it, no matter demand/availability.
J-n
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
One thing almost never mentioned is the lifetime of the batteries. With normal use they will need replacement every few years, and as they are the single most expensive component of the vehicle, these electrics will have minimal resale value!
I'd rather buy a good used SUV and convert to natural gas.


After 10 years, 70 to 80 percent of the packs capacity will be left. This is for the Nissan leaf. I expect MOST folks replace their car before 10 years. Yes this will affect resale value of the car if you are selling it after 10 years of use, then again a 10 year old car even today only gets you a pittance in resale anyway.
bg1
2 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
The United States has around 1.3 TRILLION barrels of known oil reserves.

Where did you get this 1.3 TN number? The proven US reserves of crude oil is about 35 billion barrels, or about 5 yrs present consumption, based on 20mm bbls/day. Are you counting shale oil?
bfast
1 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2011
Electric vehicles, gasoline vehicles, wind farms, coal -- all these are about to be obsolete. See wikipedia entry "energy catalyzer".
Pkunk_
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2011
But they really dont, they just want to look like they do. If an oil company owns stock in car companies, what do you think the car companies will do? PRETEND TO PRODUCE AND SELL ELECTRIC CARS WHILE MANTAINING THE STATUS QUO. Face it, corporations control everything.


The EV1 was based on completely outdated technology of lead-acid batteries which require periodic "top-ups" and maintenance. In an era of cheap col-fired electricity also it didn't make economic sense.
Apart from a few "pioneers"/eco kooks no one really cared about it. The current generation based on Li-ion batteries are more realistic.
Face it - The EV1 failed only because it was based on outdated technology. I'd rather corporations control things more than the government which does a very poor job at it.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 12, 2011

One gallon of gasoline equivalent worth of electricity is 36.39 kilowatt-hours. So even though electric is like 80% efficient, in order to get 70 to 80 miles worth of charge requires around $4.00 to $5.46 worth of electricity (cheaper than gasoline,) BUT in most cases it's 8 to 12 hours or more of charging.


70-80 miles of driving in a Nissan Leaf for example cannot consume that much electricity because it doesn't have 36 kWh in the battery. It has 24 kWh, yet it can go up to 130 miles with it and 75 miles isn't out of the ordinary.

With the average prices, you'd pay about $2.64 for a full charge, and the charging time is practically limited by your circuit breaker. 240 volts x 30 amps gives you three hours.
Jimee
not rated yet Apr 13, 2011
Clean cars? Let them eat poison! Nothing would tickle big oil more than "recovering" oil from tar sands, poisoning our rivers, lands, and children, and making $175 a barrel to boot.
fixer
not rated yet Apr 16, 2011
This is an old argument, I would love to own an electric car but I wouldn't consider one without solar panels in the roof and bonnet.
Many people park their cars outside even at work so where is the problem?
CSharpner
not rated yet Apr 19, 2011
According to this: http://www.nation...reserves
The U.S. has about 22 billion barrels of oil, and that's the site I've been going by for quite some time, but based on what I /thought/ were outlandish claims of "trillions" in this thread, I Googled, "trillion barrels of oil" and was quite surprised to find that the claims are true. Just enter "trillion barrels of oil" into Google to see it. Quite surprising!

More news stories

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

New US-Spanish firm says targets rich mobile ad market

Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica and US investment giant Blackstone launched a mobile telephone advertising venture on Wednesday, challenging internet giants such as Google and Facebook in a multi-billion-dollar ...

Unlocking secrets of new solar material

(Phys.org) —A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...