Towards the end of 2012, there were some negative vibes amongst electric car enthusiasts amid concerns over reliability, journey capacity and battery power. However, as soon as the doors opened to the San Diego International Auto Show, these concerns suddenly disappeared and everybody was looking at the latest electric vehicles!
What was on show at the San Diego event?
While the San Diego event is not a pure electric vehicles show, it does showcase some of the latest vehicles in the sector and obviously plug-in vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and other such high-tech systems are in the limelight at the moment. One car which seems to have caught the attention of the general press is the 2014 Sparks, which is set to hit the showrooms in the summer of 2013 and be on general release in 2014.
General Motors is behind the 2014 Sparks and hopes that this will lead the company into the promised land of the electric vehicle market after a history which seemed to suggest that the company was doing everything it could to avoid this sector. Oh how times have changed!
The new vehicle is rumoured to have a journey capacity of up to 80 miles on one charge, significantly less than the BMW 3i, but these are certainly very different vehicles. It is also worth noting that this is not a concept vehicle and is actually ready for widespread production, therefore the technology used is based on "now" as opposed to the future.
The new Toyota Prius plug-in
Toyota certainly has some ground to make up in 2013 after a difficult end to 2012 which saw a number of battery issues with their award-winning Toyota Prius. These concerns seem to have been contained and new warranties and new batteries have been made available to those who have suffered. So perhaps now is the right time to bring out the NS4, which is to all intents and purposes a plug-in version of the Prius. So how did this go down?
At this moment in time this vehicle is a concept car and the company is gleaning as much feedback and information from the general public as possible. What we see today is unlikely to be the finished version, but the fact that the company seems intent on bringing this "style" of vehicle to market means that the technology we are finally able to purchase may not be an awful lot different to that seen at the San Diego Auto Show.
Building up interest in the electric vehicle market
As we touched on above, 2012 began very well for the electric vehicle market although ended on something of a sour note with various issues regarding reliability and journey capacity. Thankfully the electric car companies seem to have grabbed back the limelight and put a more positive spin on the industry with the San Diego Auto Show well represented by the media and the industry.
It will be interesting to see what direction the 2013 electric vehicle market takes, which new technologies arrive and whether the much rumoured improvement in battery power materialises. There is so much potential in this particular sector that it is difficult to know where the next big breakthrough will come. However, 2013 could certainly be the year when the electric vehicle market is put very firmly back on the map!