Top 10 Electric Cars Arriving Soon

There are many affordable electric vehicles hitting the market in 2010 through 2012.  It will be especially exciting to charge these electric cars with home solar panels.  Here are the top 10 electric vehicles coming soon:

tesla model s

Tesla is the first to sell 1,000 electric cars for the U.S. highways. Like its Roadster, the company is going zero to sixty in less than four seconds. In August the company reported its first profits. With $465 million in DOE loans, the company is developing a roomy Model S sedan that starts at $57,400, about half the price of the Roadster. The Roadster is battery-electric with a 240-mile range; the Model S may have a remarkable electric range of 300 miles per charge.  This car is Lexus-quality in design and styling.

Nissan is expected to be the first automaker to put over 10,000 electric cars on U.S. highways. Major cities have already committed to over 10,000 Nissan LEAF and over 10,000 charge stations. The LEAF can be purchased starting at $32,780 or $349 per month. The Nissan LEAF is battery-electric with a 100-mile range per charge. This 5-door, 5-seat, hatchback has the right size and range for many who drive under 100 miles daily, or for households with more than one car.

coda autmotive

Coda Automotive is launching an all-electric vehicle in late 2010.  The range is expected to be 100 miles and priced in the 30s.  Based in California, the American designed and assembled CODA will use batteries and parts mostly from Asia.  This is expected to be an affordable, functional, everyday, everyman electric car.

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid (PHV) will build on the million car success of Toyota hybrids. At first glance, the PHV looks like another Prius until you spot the J1772 plug for smart charging. Five hundred PHV are now being put into fleet trails from cities to car sharing services. In 2011, U.S. dealer orders were planned, but with Toyota’s 8 million vehicle recall this is likely to be delayed. Toyota will initially control costs by only using a 5kWh battery for a 14 mile electric range. In late 2011, Toyota will expand its offerings to include a pure battery-electric FT-EV

General Motors wants to be the plug-in leader with the Chevy Volt , a plug-in hybrid with 40 miles of electric range and up to 500 miles by engaging a small gasoline engine to act as a generator. Bob Lutz says than Chevy hopes to build at least 8,000 in 2011. GM has a complete E-Flex roadmap which envisions added offerings. Converj may become the Cadillac of extend-range electrics. In the future, Opel may offer a diesel plug-in hybrid in Europe. Look for a range versus cost battle with Toyota, as the Volt achieves more electric range by adding to vehicle cost with a 16kWh battery.

Ford will be selling at least three electric cars by the end of 2011. The best seller will be the Ford Focus EV a battery-electric that we expect to aggressively compete with the Nissan Leaf. Ford will be taking orders for a 2012 plug-in hybrid; likely, it will be the Ford Focus available any way the customer wants it: battery-electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid, or fuel efficient sedan. 

Build Your Dreams BYD Auto has over $200 million invested by Warren Buffet. BYD is now selling its plug-in hybrid and E6 battery-electric car in China. We expect the plug-in hybrid to be a freeway-speed electric car price leader in the U.S. in 2011. The E6 battery-electric is likely to be more expensive with enough batteries for a 250 electric range. These may take longer than expected to be selling in the U.S. due to tough safety, regulatory hurdles, and charging standards. Fleet sales are likely before BYD establishes consumer channels. BYD is already selling a plug-in hybrid in China, but with little success. BYD will bring a plug-in hybrid to the U.S

Fisker Karma is a luxury sports plug-in hybrid with prices starting around $90,000. With a $528 million DOE conditional loan, Fisker is moving into production with plans to start shipping Karmas to dealers in late 2010. A more affordable family sedan is planned for 2012.

Think has been selling its smaller battery-electric City car in Europe for years. Many of the Copenhagen climate delegates were transported with Think EV . Now Think is evaluating eight U.S. states to determine the best site for a new 16,000 EV per year factory. With new capital from EnerDel, Valmet, and Kleiner Perkins, Think hopes to have its financial struggles in the rear view mirror. Think hopes to have 2,500 on U.S. roads by the end of 2010.

Chrysler has about 40,000 of the GEM 25-mph light electric vehicles (LEV) on the U.S. roads in university towns, fleets, and retirement communities. With federal and local tax breaks, the net cost is under $10,000. With the growth of electric cars and charging stations, sales may actually increase for cost-leading LEV. Under the new Fiat leadership, Chrysler dropped its ENVI sports car, SUV, and minivan plug-in offerings. A sub-compact electric Fiat 500 EV is expected to be offered in the U.S. in 2012, priced in the mid-thirties. We will see if GEM remains part of Chrysler.

Electric Vehicle Forecasts

Accenture forecasts 1.5 million electric vehicles in the United States by 2015. Over 10 million electric vehicles are easily possible by 2020. Single electric utilities have scenarios for charging over one million electric vehicles in their own service area by 2020. With renewable energy investment required of utilities in 30 states, these utilities are most interested in night time charging of electric vehicles with solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower. Utilities are also implementing smart grids and incentives for off-peak charging. By 2012, competition will be intense for electric car leadership.


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