Nissan helped the EV industry take a big step forward to a common public charging platform today when it announced that it will use a new “EZ-Charge card, a first-of-its-kind platform” to promote sales of the all-electric Nissan LEAF. However, Nissan relies on various charging networks—such as ChargePoint, Blink, Aerovironment and eVgo—to play along.
Talking with Tony Posawatz makes one optimistic about the future for electric vehicles. The executive who helped create GM’s Volt, and tried to save Fisker Automotive, is now spreading his talent around to many EV-space companies and he is stoked. “I am a passionate believer in electric drive tech and auto clean tech stuff,” he told PluginCars.com.
A gas-powered car with a full tank of petrol can commonly travel 300 miles before requiring a fill-up. Drivers of those vehicles probably don’t see much difference between an electric car that has 80 miles of range—versus one that can go 120 miles before needing to fill-up. But that difference, I have learned in the past two weeks, is huge. That’s because I recently leased a 2014 Toyota RAV4 EV—when the three-year lease on my 2011 Nissan LEAF came to an end.
The growth of electric car sales in California can be attributed, in part, to the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. But the success of the program, which has surpassed expectations, caused the California Air Resources Board this week to temporarily suspend immediate processing of new rebate applications. The administrators of the program formed a waiting list for EV buyers seeking the rebate.
Today's units are priced to absorb high development and materials costs (especially copper), but lower-cost options are arriving. And portable 240-volt chargers are gaining ground.
Selling electric vehicles (EVs) in oil-rich Texas is comparable to Nixon going to China, and the effort thus far has had similarly unexpected but successful results. Cars that do not use gas are proving surprisingly popular in the Lone Star State, and one of the main drivers for EVs has nothing to do with the cars themselves.
The U.S. launch of the BMW i3 only a few weeks away. That means the days are numbered for the BMW ActiveE, the company’s 1-series test platform for electric car technology. As much as I'm going to miss the ActiveE, I don’t feel the same as when I returned my MINI-E. I really loved that car.
Electric cars are high-tech driving machines. As such, they often carry a higher upfront cost compared to similar gas-powered cars. But putting one in your driveway gives you a powerful economic tool to lower daily operating expenses, and thereby recoup that initial investment. In fact, driving electric is about three times cheaper per mile than gas. Here are eight ways for you to save money with an EV.
Chinese automotive companies have long aspired to build vehicles for the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) market, without much progress. However, recent developments indicate that Made in China could be stamped on cars stateside before long.
The Nissan LEAF is by far the most popular EV in the world. It is a well-equipped, all-electric hatchback that seats five adults and commonly travels about 80 miles on a single charge. The LEAF is available to test-drive and purchase at Nissan dealerships throughout the United States.
The Chevy Volt is a well-equipped, five-door, four-seat hatchback that operates as an electric car for its first 38 miles after a full charge and then uses gas to extend its range. It burns no gasoline during those first miles after a charge, drawing energy from a lithium ion battery pack. When the battery is depleted, a 1.4-liter engine kicks in to power a generator that sustains the battery charge enough to give the car another 340 or so miles of range.
The Ford C-Max Energi is a compelling alternative to the other leading plug-in hybrids—the Chevy Volt and Plug-in Prius. It offers 21 miles of all-electric driving, 620 miles of total range, and an attractive price. American consumers will need to get accustomed to the body style, a small "activity" vehicle.
The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid’s 4.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack provides 11 or more all-electric miles after a full charge. As a result, drivers with short commutes commonly get more than 100 miles per gallon. But EV purists might be disappointed with how often the gas engine comes on.
The stylish yet quirky BMW i3 is the lightest EV on the market. It uses a liquid-cooled 22-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack to deliver 90-plus miles of range. The i3 is also available with a small gas engine that essentially doubles the range. A 170-horsepower electric motor drives the rear wheels.
The Ford Fusion Energi offers a robust plug-in electric system in an ultra-popular roomy full-size sedan platform. The model offers the equivalent of about 100 miles per gallon, without compromising style or passenger space. After its battery is depleted, the Fusion Energi still delivers 43 miles per gallon.
The 2014 Spark EV is the all electric version of Chevy's five-door urban mini-car. The powerful motor, quick acceleration, and short wheelbase, make it an exhilarating drive. At an estimated 119 MPGe, it is the most efficient electric car on sale today. The Spark EV is GM’s first all electric car since the EV1, and it’s the first electric car on the market to support the SAE Combo Fast Charging system.
The Fiat 500e is every bit as cute as the gas-powered Fiat 500. It uses a 24 kilowatt-hour liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack, providing an estimated 80 miles of range under typical driving conditions. The Fiat 500e is widely considered a "compliance" car produced only in small numbers to meet California regulations.
New to EVs? Start here
What Is An Electric Car?
Before we get going, let's establish basic definitions.
A Quick Guide to Plug-in Hybrids
Some plug-in cars have back-up engines to extend driving range.
Electric Cars Pros and Cons
EVs are a great solution for most people. But not everybody.
Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
Federal and Local Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
Eight Factors Determining Total Cost of Ownership of an Electric Car
EVs get bad rap as expensive. Until you look at TCO.
Quick Guide to Buying Your First Home EV Charger
You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.
Electric Car Utility Rate Plans: Top Five Rules
With the right utility plan, electric fuel can be dirt cheap.
The Ultimate Guide to Electric Car Charging Networks
If you plan to charge in public, you'll want to sign up for charging network membership (or two).
Eight Rules of Electric Vehicle Charging Etiquette
Thou shalt charge only when necessary. And other rules to live by.