Monday, March 3, 2014

Electric cars

Only 6% of U.S. drivers own an alternate fuel vehicle, but surveys found that 53% are potentially interested in purchasing one. Millennials — generally the population born between the early 1980s and early 2000s — have a relatively high level of interest in electric vehicles (EVs).

An all-electric car is powered only by an electric motor that receives electricity by plugging into the grid. These cars consume no gasoline and produce no tailpipe emissions. However, the level of overall emissions depends on the amount of coal used to make electricity.


While high-end Tesla Motors (TSLA) is selling all the plug-in Model S sedans it can make, expected to be more than 35,000 this year worldwide, General Motors (GM) and Nissan (NSANY) have had to discount sale prices and leases to move the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid and Nissan Leaf plug-in EV. In the U.S., GM sold only 3,606 Volts in Q1 2014, while Nissan sold just 5,184, though that was a 46% jump for the Leaf from the year-earlier quarter.

Electric vehicle sales have largely failed to meet manufacturers' sales expectations because their capabilities and features fall short of customer expectations, but the outlook for the EV market is improving.

High prices and long recharge times are 2 good reasons why electric vehicle sales haven't taken off, aside from Tesla sales.

Consumers prefer a driving range on a single charge of more than 250 miles, but EVs available today typically have a range of 100 to 200 miles. (Regulators give the Tesla Model S with an 85 kWh battery a range of 265 miles.) And the average battery recharge time considered acceptable by consumers is 2.74 hours, but today it typically takes three to 20 hours to recharge an EV, the study notes.

Price is still an issue with most of consumers expecting to pay less than $20,000.


After a federal tax credit, the Tesla Model S costs at least $63,570 to buy. Nissan advertises its Leaf as starting at $21,480 after the credit and GM advertises the Volt for as low as $26,685 after the tax credit. It also now sells the tiny Chevy Spark EV for $19,185 after the tax credit.

Among other plug-ins on the market, Ford (F) sells the C-Max Energi Plug-In Hybrid for $32,920 and the Fusion Energi SE for $34,700, while Toyota (TM) offers the Prius Plugin for $29,990.

Survey found gas-electric hybrids to be the most popular choice among people interested in possibly buying alternate-fuel vehicles for their next auto purchase. Natural gas vehicles were of interest to 22% of drivers, followed by plug-in hybrids at 19% and diesels at 18%.

BMW's new Mini electric concept car drives, parks, and charges itself

March 2015 news:
  • Mercedes is launching its first plug-in hybrid-electric midsize sedan, the C350e, in U.S. dealerships in September 2015, according to reports. Chatter on the street suggests that the German auto-making powerhouse plans to deeply undercut Tesla stickers, with a price around $42,000 before $5,250 worth of federal and state incentives. The 85 kWh Tesla starts at twice that level. And the brash young automaker will not have a competitive product until at least 2017. Mercedes can undercut the pricing because it has a lot more experience at mass production and sourcing; will make the car in low-cost Alabama instead of high-cost California; and it can subsidize the vehicle with its other vehicles, just to gain market share. The market for electrics is growing dramatically; this is just the start.
2016 Mercedes-Benz C350e

No comments:

Post a Comment