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Can Electric Cars Make Headway?

Can Electric Cars Make Headway?

A boom in electric car models has been predicted for years, yet somehow the brakes keep getting put on the move toward non-gas guzzlers. Between the faltering economy and stable fuel prices, sales of hybrids have been flat in the past couple of years, accounting for just 2.5 percent of the new car market.

The all-electric Tesla is currently on the road with a sale price of $109,000. But now  some affordable models are making it to showrooms, with many more expected. This year the electric Nissan LEAF and the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt are making electric cars a possibility for those who don’t care to drop 100 grand on a mere car.

According to Hybridcars.com, industry analyst Alan Baum predicts that there will be 108 electric-drive vehicles by model year 2015, including more than 50 conventional hybrids, more than 30 pure electric cars, nearly 20 plug-in hybrids, and a handful of fuel cell vehicles.

Government regulation could support this prediction. The Obama administration has been pressuring the EPA to adopt stricter  fuel efficiency standards, and a technical analysis projects that fuel standards could reach between 47 and 62 mpg requirement by 2025, making fuel-efficient cars more attractive.  In addition, federal and some state governments are offering incentives to consumers, including a $7,500 federal tax rebate for purchase of electric and some hybrid cars. 

But electric vehicles have a long way to go. The recent Tesla recall — due to a faulty cable — affected just 439 cars.  And the total market share for hybrids and EV cars, even if Baum’s prediction comes true, would hover at four or five percent of new cars in the U.S. by 2015.

Electric, hybrid and other eco-car fans will gather on Saturday, October 9 for Green Drive Expo-Bay Area, a consumer car show focused on high tech, more eco-friendly vehicles.  Keynote speaker is Electric Vehicle guru Chelsea Sexton, featured in the 2006 documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car:

Electric cars don’t have tailpipe emissions, but they still take energy to run, manufacture, and recycle at end of life, so eco-friendly is a relative term.  Some Green Drive Expo attendees will be looking for an affordable family car, some will be scoping for the latest, coolest gadget, and some tinkerers will attend to learn how to convert their gas guzzlers to run on biodiesel.  Attendees will also hear from an eco-taxi owner and the bike coalition.  No-emission, economical electric vehicles are becoming a reality; they are not the solution to our energy and environmental challenges, but may be one step down the right road.

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Photo: Electric cars as they used to be. Public domain.

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101 comments

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9:51AM PDT on Nov 5, 2010

Nobody has even said how much would your electric go up to charge these cars?

Another thing how many gas stations would be around to handle these type cars.

If the prices don't come down a lot regular folks wouldn't be able to afford them.

8:34PM PDT on Oct 24, 2010

I was very impressed with the new Volt....If the desire is to convert people to electric then the price tag of $41000.00 will deter a number of people , even if the Government will be giving tax incentive of about $7000... also to get everyone converted is going to take a very long time...unless the Car companies get huge incentives from the Government...

10:50AM PDT on Oct 24, 2010

electric cars, as well as bio-diesel and such will all take off as gas gets to 4 and 5 and 6 dollars a gallon, which alas will be quite soon.

9:09PM PDT on Oct 19, 2010

...and an electric motorcycle!

5:07PM PDT on Oct 19, 2010

BEV's and solar powered cars can run for extended periods of time. Just follow the Mars Rover Exploration vehicles. They have been running for YEARS on their own renewable energy source. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that someone has been telling us lies. We know who and we know why. It is time that we all speak out. Time has come

4:16PM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

When does electric charging station infrastructure begin developing?
Sort of the chicken and the egg dilemma.

1:24AM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

With the environment suffering which causes asthma in people, and the price of foreign oil skyrocketing, it's just common sense to go electrical. I just hope that the prices come down to affordable prices.

And because of the new industry, it will help create jobs, which is a necessity. I really hope it floats. Once upon a time, we had crank up cars. This can happen.

10:02PM PDT on Oct 12, 2010

The whole global warming discussion is moot. We must change our ways no matter what! http://thesecondopiniontribune.blogspot.com/2010/10/global-warming-debate-hotting-up-again.html

2:26PM PDT on Oct 12, 2010

Until the glitches are worked out, the price becomes affordable, recharging stations are created, who would want one?

2:04PM PDT on Oct 12, 2010

Great, not before time.

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