Progress in Electric Vehicles

July 6, 2011 1 Comment

I have just enough time for a short update in the blog today. I have been following the progress of electric vehicles (EV) during recent years. I really wanted to buy an EV for my next car but the price was just too much. I ended up getting a used gasoline powered model. It gets 31/32mpg on the highway so that is a good thing, but it is not as clean as an EV (one that would be charged by solar panels anyway).

Even with the high price of oil and gas, EVs have been slow to take off. The main problem is range. Most EVs only travel around 50 miles (in REAL driving conditions) before needing a recharge. The last I checked, the Tesla Roadster has one of the better ranges at a bit over 200 miles. Even though things are moving slowly, progress is being made. Project Better Place continues to roll out battery changing stations in select markets around the world. Changing the batteries is their solution to limited range. Of course, they will need deploy the changing stations very strategically to make them useful. Their main focus is in Israel, where they are now opening a few stations. If they can’t succeed there (where regular car and gas taxes are very high), then it might be a lost cause.

One place in the world where EVs seem to be succeeding is in Norway. With over 4,000 EVs on the road, they claim the highest number of EVs per capita of any country in the world. Most of the electric cars are used in cities where they do not need to drive very far, but that’s ok. Why use a gas-guzzler and fowl up the air if you don’t have to.

Some place else where and EV has suceeded is Pike’s Peak right here in the U.S. The Nissan Leaf recently participated in a race up to the top of the mountain and did very well.

In addition to electric cars offering a potential path to a cleaner future, electric motorcycles (EMs) could be popular as well. Most EMs developed thus far have been for racing but BMW has plans for commuters as well. They have recently produced an EM/scooter for non-racing types. No word on the price.

Of course, the adoption of EVs hinges quite a bit on battery technology and progress continues here as well. Researchers are making headway on Lithium Sulfur batteries that could increase the energy density/capacity of batteries a good percentage.

Have a good Wednesday! Meteorologist Justin Loew

About the Author:

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. David says:

    Justin I was in in Oslo Norway a month ago on vaction. Talking with friends and family members there they told and showed me that people with EV park in the closest parking spots at their apartments and work parking lots. Those spots have power supplied for charging. Norwegians are buying then for the cost saving from the high gas tax and the yearly registration cost is lower.

Leave a Reply