It is without doubt the year of the electric car. It has shown up in Frankfurt and now in New York, it clearly has stolen the show. Last year, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt were launched to a lot of fanfare. This year, three more pure electric cars would be hitting the showrooms throughout the world. Major automakers and start up companies are jockeying for position in this increasingly lucrative market. This year’s show has also highlighted the following announcements:
Nissan North America Chairman, Carlos Tavares, has announced that the first Nissan all-electric vehicle to the United States with a faster charger. This would cut charging time from seven to four hours using a 240-volt level 2 charging station.
Mitsubishi on the other hand stated that its MiEV would cost $27,990 before taxes. With the current federal tax rebate, the price would fall to $20,490. Mitsubishi North America President Yoichi Yozokawa has said that the company would unveil more plug-ins until 2015.
BMW also showcased ActiveE, the second-generation electric car designed from the 1 Series coupe. The company intends to lease 800 units to individuals at $450 per month. This is much more inexpensive compared to the Mini E lease program. The ActiveE’s electric power train would be the basis for the BMW full electric, the carbon fiber i3.
Porsche has taken the hybrid route with its 380 hp Panamera S-Hybrid. The unit costs $95,000 and goes from 0 to 60 mph in less than six seconds. The model is pegged to be the most efficient Porsche, with a fuel efficiency of 6.8 liters per 100 miles under European standards.
Other announcements include the Lexus LF-Gh hybrid among others. Clearly, the electric car and the hybrid vehicle have made its mark and the future belongs to them.