As the concept of electric cars moves from the design stage to the road there are many companies now looking to make a name for themselves in this particular field. While some of these companies are well known and have been around for decades, there are some "new kids on the block" who are looking to be involved in the revolution which is the electric car market. Some companies to look out for in the future include:
Chrysler was first incorporated in America in 1925 and has a reputation that few companies in the world can match as well as finance to cover various development concepts. However, while Chrysler is now starting to make an impact in the electric car market the company has been slow to take up this challenge with many believing there has been undue influence from the US government.
The Chrysler Dodge ZEO is the latest electric sports car to be introduced to the market by Chrysler offering a 268 hp electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery which can accelerate from the 0-60 in just 5.7 seconds. With seating for four people the vehicle is able to travel up to 50 miles between charges and has caught the eye of many electric car fans.
Tesla is a company we have covered on numerous occasions and one which has made a significant mark in the electric car market despite only being incorporated in 2003. Based in America, the company has quickly taken the latest electric car technology and introduced a significant array of improvements which have taken the market to a new level. At this moment in time, while debatable, many believe that Tesla Motors is leading the electric car sector forward and is THE company to watch.
The recent launch of the Tesla Roadster has been by far and away the most successful and most widely covered launch of an electric car for decades. This is a vehicle which can accelerate from 0-60 in under four seconds, offers an efficiency rating of around 92% and is able to travel 244 miles on a single charge. At this moment in time the Tesla Roadster is the leader of the electric car pack and fully justifies its extensive press coverage.
Toyota Motor Corporation
Even though many people will be surprised that the concept of electric vehicles has not caught on quicker in the Far East, Toyota Motor Corporation appears to be the leader in this area of the world. Despite the fact that the Far East has historically been very much at the cutting edge of various technologies, the electric car market seems to be one which has passed it buy. However, Toyota has very quickly made a name for itself and the introduction of the famous Toyota Prius could push the company on to bigger and better things.
Despite being around since 1997, the Toyota Prius has only just made a significant mark on the worldwide market. This hybrid vehicle, which incorporates both gasoline and electric power, was recently confirmed as the bestselling vehicle of its kind in both the US and Japanese markets. These are significant markers for the future and Toyota is seen by many as an electric car manufacturer to watch.
Despite infamously been described as the "company which killed the Electric car" General Motors has re-entered the market and the forthcoming Chevrolet Volt could spearhead the company's move back into the electric car market. Only a few days ago General Motors emerged from bankruptcy protection in the US after a serious reorganisation of the company saw non-US operations sold off and a total focus upon the US subsidiary.
While the Chevrolet Volt is strictly speaking a hybrid vehicle there is some debate as to whether it is a hybrid vehicle in only name with confirmation that the lithium ion batteries are unable to power the vehicle for a maximum of 40 miles before a four-cylinder gasoline engine takes over, powering the electric generator, to increase the maximum mileage up to 640. Is this another attempt by General Motors to detract from the 100% electric cars of the future or is the company actually sticking a toe in the water of the electric car market?
As you might expect, it has not taken Ford Motors long to recognise that the electric car market is primed for significant growth in the short to medium term and potentially explosive growth in the longer term. The company has now focused a significant portion of its development budget on the hybrid car market with the launch of the Ford Fusion Hybrid earlier this year.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid is an eco-friendly version of the very popular Ford Fusion range and while it is not a purely electric car it is one which was voted into the "Top 10 Green Cars" of 2009 by a well-known US motor publication. The vehicle is able to deliver 41 miles per US gallon using fuel although this increases to 47 miles when the electric power system is activated. By using the traditional fuel and battery-powered systems available with the vehicle, it is possible to travel 700 miles on a full tank.
In what seems to be a clear pattern forming for the future, Far East-based Honda has now joined the electric car market along with many competitors in the region. The company has been a significant member of the mass car market for some time and its ability to deliver a hybrid vehicle which will reduce emissions and also improve efficiency is something which should be championed.
The well-known Honda Insight range now includes a hybrid electric vehicle which became available in Japan in February 2009 and was ranked as the top-selling vehicle in Japan for April 2009. This was the first time that a hybrid vehicle had taken top spot in the market and is a reflection of the company's ability to read the mass-market and what consumers require.
There are many companies set to introduce both hybrid and purely electric powered vehicles to the market in 2009, 2010 and beyond. The likes of Tesla Motors are a pure electric power play while other companies such as General Motors, Ford and other well-known names have chosen to go down the hybrid route. In all honesty, the more successful the hybrid and electric powered cars are the more chance that consumers will switch on to the benefits for their pocket and to the environment. This is a market which has only just begun to emerge from the shadows but one which could be the leading light of the worldwide car industry for many years to come.