Electric Feel

23 May

Nissan Leaf
With gas prices continuing to rise, a new interest for electric cars has come into play. Many dealerships are jumping on the bandwagon and bringing the futuristic concept to the present. The concept of not having to dish out a chunk of change to fill up your tank seems pleasing, especially with some of the electric cars being moderately affordable. However, many question if it is the best move for the environment. Will the cost of charging the car offset the price to fill a tank with gas? Is the design of the car appealing and what kind of power will the car provide? Will it be better to stick with a hybrid than to go all out? Well I’m here to settle confusion and help you decide if you should “plug it in and change the world.”

Electric cars or PEV (plug-in electric vehicle) run off an electric propelled engine that holds energy in the battery or some other energy storage unit. There are also hybrid plug-in electric vehicles that run off gas and electric getting around 70 mpg. The overall price of an electric car will be higher than a standard gas car, mostly coming from the cost of the battery. The transmission is gearless, giving it smoother acceleration and braking. The electric car companies claim that the cost to charge an electric car will far outweigh the cost to fill the tank. A PEV hybrid will cost approximately 75 cents per gallon to run. PEV costs can be quite low as long as consumers charge their vehicles overnight during off-peak electric hours. The average electric car could equivalently drive 96 miles on one tank of gas bringing the cost to about 3.4 cents per mile. Your electric bill, charging during off peak hours to peak hours, (depending on the area) could raise around $15-30 per month. It seems a lot more cost efficient, but the actual costs are yet to be determined since consumers will need to charge the vehicles at their home until public stations are built. Much like any product, once the demand goes up, so will the cost. The government does not see a concern of having to build more power plants at this time, but that may be a concern in the future.

As for the environment, electric cars are better, but not perfect. Unless we can find a way to create electricity solely from solar, wind, or a different renewable energy, we will still create electricity from coal power plants being one of the major sources for Carbon Dioxide and global warming. How long an electric car will travel and length of charge depends on the car. Here is a list of what is available and coming out for the U.S. market.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf – www.nissanusa.com

The Nissan Leaf offers three levels of charging. Level 1 will take 20 hours for the car to fully charge, level 2 takes 8 hours, and level 3 will charge the battery to 80% in 30 minutes. However, Nissan recommends using level 1 or 2 because level 3 will deplete the battery by 10%. The car will go 100 miles/charge and can go up to 90 mph. The MSRP is about $33,000 but can be low as $26,000 with the federal tax savings on electric cars. It comes with an 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty. It will be available this December.

Tesla Roadster and Model S

Tesla Roadster – www.telsamotor.com

Telsa Roadster is an all-electric sports car that goes from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph. It can run about 230 miles on one single charge and takes only 3.5 hours to fully charge. The battery life expectancy is seven years or 100,000 miles. The cost is around $109,000 and built on a Lotus frame. A more affordable car is coming from Tesla this fall called Model S. The sedan model car is priced around $64,000, seats up to 7 people, lasts 300 miles/charge, and charges in 45 minutes.

2012 Ford Focus PEV

Ford Focus
Ford will release the all-electric Focus in 2012 equipped with 240V charge that takes 3 hours to charge and 120V household charge that will take quite a bit longer. It is not released how long the charge will go far, but predictions are 100 miles/charge with a top speed of 84 mph.

Future Releases

Audi e-tron

Audi is rumored to release an all-electric ports car called the e-tron in 2012. It will be priced high with a range of 154 miles/charge and a top speed of 124 mph. BMW will jump on the band wagon with a model to be released in 2013 and working on a limited edition electric MINI. You can expect to see models from Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Porsche in the near future as well.

Fisker Karma – Gaudin Motor

If the all-electric isn’t up your ally, I would check out the PEV Hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt and Coda Sedan. But my personal favorite, and one car I may take up stripping just to be able to afford (not really, don’t get your hopes up) is the Fisker Karma. Come on, Karma? Really? I am not a car person, but with a name like that and a sick look… I am willing to save my pennies for the $87,000 car that get 100 mpg. It is sold here in Las Vegas at Gaudin Motor Company. I might be stalking them very soon. I wonder how many times they would let me test drive it? Just saying…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: