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Eco-Car Market Shifts Into High Gear

Business  (tags: marketing, energy, eco-friendly, subsidy, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, high gear, Japan, automakers )

- 2906 days ago -
Japanese automakers are gearing up to launch new environment-friendly models after September, when the government's eco-car subsidy program will likely expire.

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Norm C (74)
Friday July 30, 2010, 4:55 pm

Unless your electricity comes from really clean sources, buying and driving a plug-in electric or hybrid is onlt changing the source of pollution from your tailpipe to the local coal, natural gas, oi or nuclear-fired power plant. The only potential advantage (and it's an iffy one at that because the utilities are fighting really strong controls on carbon emissions and because the scrubber technology does NOT do a very good job -- clean coal does not exist) is that the pollution is all in one spot. Which is not such a great advantage if you currently live "downstream" of the plant.

However, if you live in an area mostly or almost entirely using "clean" sources to produce electricity, go for it as long as you don't drive very far each day. Most of these plug-in electrics will only go 35 - 85 miles on a charge if driven normally. That include the Tesla which brags about a range of over 200 miles. Well, that 200 miles is achieved only at about 55-60 MPH or less.

You'd just be a speed bump and a pretty squashed one at that on I-5, I-80, I-75 or any other highway. In the Tesla if you have the optional circuitry and a rapid charger is available, it takes about 45+ minutes to recharge the batteries, every 85 miles. If you don't have the extra cost circuitry and access to a quick charger, it will take pretty much all night to recharge. That brings a whole new meaning to the fast lane.

The problem is battery technology. It is still way behind what is needed. It needs tons and tons of research money to really make plug-ins as multifunctional as most of need our vehicles to be.

However, if you only commute to work or run errands around town and never go on vacations or sightsee in your car and your electricity is clean, this is a really cool way to go.

Erin R (181)
Saturday July 31, 2010, 4:23 pm
I like Japanese cars.

Drew B (12)
Saturday July 31, 2010, 7:44 pm
Eco-friendly cars still have a long way to go..

mr Crowley (23)
Sunday August 1, 2010, 12:46 am
good news

Pavel R (11)
Sunday August 1, 2010, 7:46 pm
Yes, this is good news

patrica and edw jones (190)
Friday August 6, 2010, 12:16 am
Yes they have a way to go - but at least they have made a start.
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