The top 10 up and coming electric vehicles (EV)

Posted In Electric Vehicle, News - By WhyGREENPower On Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 With 0 Comments

Which GREEN Power Electric Vehicle would you pick?

Tesla S is a SEXY EV - WhyGREENPower.orgThe verdict is still out on electric and plug-in hybrid cars. They’re still being made in limited numbers, and delivered to very specific test markets. And half the really exciting ones aren’t even here yet. Still, it’s time to make some predictions about what will succeed and what will fail in the marketplace.

Here are WhyGREENPower.org’s top 10 leading candidates, in descending order:

1. Tesla Model S: Due next year, this $49,990 electric sedan is half the price of the exotic Roadster, but it has far more utility. On the same platform, Tesla will also offer a Model X crossover that should sell really well.  Yep, can you say the first SEXY EV? 🙂   Tesla Motors – WhyGREENPower.org would be glad to beta test one for you -” just sayin”

 

2. BMW i3 Megacity Vehicle: BMW was an early player in the space with its lively Mini-based electric vehicles, and its successor, a plug-in version of the 1-Series. The 2013 BMW i3 is the company’s first all-electric platform, and it’s headed for the road in the world’s super-crowded cities (hence the name).

3. Nissan Leaf: Some 4,000 have been sold so far in the U.S., and East Coast customers are still waiting patiently. The price is going up for 2012 — to $38,000 for the SL trim that most customers will want.

4.  Chevy Volt (at right): GM’s $41,000 plug-in hybrid, soon to have a sister car in the more upscale Cadillac ELR (first seen on the auto show circuit as the Converj in 2009). GM has sold 3,200 so far, but the number doesn’t have much to do with demand — production’s been shut down as the company gears up for a capacity of 60,000 a year by 2012.

5. Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid: There is now downside to plug-in hybrids, except maybe their price. This one is headed for the market in 2012, and with 500 miles of range it should be a really practical, fun-to-own car.

6. Ford Focus electric/Toyota RAV4 electric (tie): Take your pick. The 2012 Focus (pictured at top) is an electric version of the redesigned Focus small car, best used as a city car with an 80-mile range. It should offer good performance — celebrities raced them on Jay Leno’s show! The RAV4 is being built with Tesla, and it continues the electric career of the popular crossover (which was briefly on the market around the turn of the millennium as a competitor for the GM EV1).

7. Fisker Karma: After many delays, the Karma (at right) is finally on the market, or at least the first set of keys has been handed to Leonardo DiCaprio, with Colin Powell and Al Gore in the wings. The Karma is a $100,000 plug-in hybrid with Italian supercar good looks (though the BMW veteran designer is actually a Dane). This car has serious glamor going for it, but it has to perform up to the hype.

8. Honda Fit/Toyota iQ city electrics (tie): I love subcompacts, and they make great bases for inexpensive electric cars. These two (both headed for production in 2012) should be evenly matched, and go head to head. I’m really hoping for low prices on these two cars — under $30,000 would be nice, even if it means a smaller battery pack and less than 100 miles of range.

9.  Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid: With an all-electric range of nine to 13 miles, after which it’s a regular Prius, I just having a hard time seeing this over the other options.  Sorry Prius owners.

10. Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid: Speaking of the super-rich, this car will cost $845,000. Porsche will build just 918 of them when it debuts on Sept. 18, 2013. (They’re into numerology at Porsche.) But even if they sell only a few of them, at that price the company will make money — and reap acres of publicity and the cover of every car magazine.

A number of other cars face a tougher time in the market. The Smart car(pictured right) has had a troubled run in the American marketplace, and its “electric drive” version hit the showrooms with a high lease price. A new version is coming, and with Mercedes alone in control it might be a huge improvement. Like Smart, Think (which just survived a near-death experience and now has a Russian owner) has an inherent two-seater limitation, plus a relatively high price. The new owner needs to lower the price, and maybe offer the battery pack in a separate lease offer.

Coda has many hurdles, from a high price to plain-Jane styling. Most of its original executives (including the high-flying CEO, Kevin Czinger) have left, and it’s on indefinite hiatus. Wheego’s ace in the hole is Mike McQuary’s can-do attitude and very low overhead, so it could make it with sales of a few thousand cars a year.

China’s BYD, which intends to import both a battery electric and a plug-in hybrid, has a good chance of making it in the U.S. if it keeps prices low, and brings quality, design and safety up to Western standards (big if). Aptera, well, that one requires a leap of faith. The company, which just returned deposits to customers, is highly dependent on a federal Department of Energy loan that is a bit of a longshot. But Aptera insists it’s still a practical enterprise.

Which GREEN Power Electric Vehicle would you pick?  You already know ours 😉

Tesla Model S and Roadster - Premium Electric Vehicles

 

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