Special Report: Electric Cars – Changing our Concept of Mobility & Saving Mother Earth (Part 2)
Stepping up in 2012
UK is now being eyed for a boom in electric cars with the release of new plug-in hybrid models, battery leasing and more special charging points.
Soon, electric cars will begin to lure motorists’ interest with Tesla’s and General Motors’ electric car offerings.
Tesla’s Model S and Model X cars are, however, still a bit pricey at around $50,000. The $31,000 price tag of GM’s Chevy Volt is more affordable though. Mass appeal should be gained by slashing it cost.
A Tesla executive was quoted as saying in the guardian.co.uk website that Tesla isn’t really mass affordable hence, the company’s aim now is to make the electric cars affordable.
“If you lower the cost enough, the market will respond. Our goal was to reduce the price half of a 300 mile car, and if you make it half, it becomes viable,” he added.
Meanwhile, Envia’s less expensive battery is said to give GM the reason to lower the cost of its Chevy Volt hence, making it more affordable to the general car buying public. Being a major stakeholder in Envia, GM may have a wise plan on the drawing board.
Other car companies can use Envia’s battery technology to manufacture economically-viable electric vehicles that could compete with petroleum-powered models.
Analysts say pure-electric cars are also getting better like Tesla’s “Signature” Model S ($92,400) that can travel 300 miles per charge. Slated for release in mid this year, the standard Model S ($57,400) can travel 160 miles on each charge that twice than its competitors.
A wise and practical buy will surely emanate from the new electric car models that will be out in the market this year. Hopefully, car manufacturers have crucially eliminated the price factor consistently revealed by surveys as the biggest stumbling block to the take-off of electric cars.
In the UK, prospective car buyers will have another option with a new generation of electric car hybrids. A promotional offering will allow them to test drive the cars in electric mode and then switch to petrol engine if the need arises.
It’s $103,000 price tag is still much higher, though, compared with most family cars like the Vauxhall Ampera, UK cousin of the Chevrolet Volt, and Toyota’s plug-in Prius. What makes the adoption of electric cars much closer is that with Ampera and Prius, motorists can expect lower running costs that standard vehicles.
Another car manufacturer, Renault, is also adopting the traditional model. Its ZE electric range — the two-seater Twizy quadricycle, Fluence family saloon and the Zoe super mini will have rented batteries and are expected to be out this year.
The rented batteries scheme is seen to surely cut the cost and avoid fears of expensive battery replacements and plummeting resale values.