Great News in the Electric Car Department
I have the odd habit of smiling when I see that gas prices have gone up. I know: weird!
The thing is, I know that many people cannot be motivated to change their car-related habits with arguments of “pollution” or “climate change”. However, when it costs them too much to fuel their 7-passenger SUV, they will downsize. And, now, people don’t just have the opportunity to downsize, they have the opportunity to move to fully electric vehicles (EV). And, according to a post from Climate Denial Crock of the Week, the EV business is doing quite well.
Ford is the latest brand to release an EV onto the market. And demand for their Focus Electric is so high that Ford is “tripling its production capacity in order to reach over 100 000 through 2013. And in California, CARB (California Air Resource Board) will be allowing Focus Electric owners to drive in the carpool lane in that state’s congested highways. And if that isn’t enough to convince Californians to buy the Focus, how about at $2 500 tax credit from the state… on top of the $7 500 tax credit from the US Federal government?
(Note: Those kinds of financial incentives are sadly lacking in Canada. Québec and Ontario are offering generous rebates but there is nothing available from the Federal Government.)
The Nissan Leaf is also doing well. In Europe, Nissan “will increase the number of European car dealers carrying Leaf electric vehicles tenfold – to 1 000 – by the end of the year and will sell the car in two dozen European markets by 2013.” Nissan is also installing quick charge stations in European dealers and in various communities throughout Europe in “an effort to broaden the EV-charging infrastructure.” The quick-chargers are able to recharge a Leaf’s batteries to 80% capacity in 30 minutes.
Nissan is also working with its sister company, Renault, to develop a system where Leaf batteries that are no longer useful in the EV could be used as energy storage for the electrical power grid. Such a system would not only alleviate the fear that potential owners have about what to do with a worn out battery, it would also help deal with the variability inherent in renewable sources of electricity such as wind and solar.
Now if only someone could sell EVs in PEI!