The last couple of weeks have been big for electric cars. GM finally debuted the Volt
(to be released in 2010) with a newly revamped exterior. It's more generic than the original design, but not nearly as ugly. They're still planning to get 40 miles off of a charge and they say, "The car will cost 'less than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee' to recharge, and use less electricity annually than a refrigerator."
For those not in the know, the Volt
is a series
hybrid. Unlike the Prius
(a parallel hybrid), the Volt does not use its gasoline engine to supply torque to the wheels. the gasoline engine in a series hybrid serves only to generate electricity to recharge the batteries. All of the motive force comes from the batteries/electric motor. The advantage to this is that you can travel the full forty miles of your charge without ever using any gasoline. It may not be great for those in the exurbs, but for carting around town it can't be beat.
Using this tool
from the Brammo website, I calculated my daily miles. I found that on my heaviest driving days (go to Kung Fu in the morning, pick up the boy at school, bring him to his Kung Fu class in the afternoon, hit up Trader Joes in the mean time) I may do 30 miles. With a little bit of planning, I could easily stay below that. Now if I could just get a garage...
All fine and good for pure electrics, but if you already have a Prius, don't dispare! In other news
last week, There's a Prius chop shop now open in San Francisco that will convert your prius to a plug-in. Luscious Garage
is open for business and it sounds like things might really start to pick up for them. Converting your Prius costs around $7500, but that's down $2500 from the estimated cost from calcars about a year ago. Scroll down on this calcars
page and find a list of companies who do conversions.Conversions
are also on the radar at Wired magazine.
And still there's more. Electrics made a grand showing at the Paris Auto Show
. The Time article highlights the Nissan NuVu. More pictures of it can be found here
Labels: ev, hybrids, news