With petrol prices approaching $2/Litre I have noticed the reduction in the number of obscenely large 4WD vehicles on the road. From a personal perspective this is a good thing because I’ve always hated sharing the road with vehicles which were designed to be off the road, not because I hate soccer mums but because I hate driving behind a brick wall in heavy traffic.
On a side note, in the last week or so the prices dropped about 15-20c/Litre and I noticed an increase in the number of cars and particularly large cars on the road, maybe $2/L is the magic number to kill of Humvees forever.
Having said that, we do own a Subaru Forester XT which isn’t known for it’s fuel efficiency but we own it through necessity, for the business…and becasuse it’s a Turbo and it goes fast. It’s ok, I offset that extravegance by driving a Honda Civic which does 7L/100km.
So reports that Nissan (and others) are working on 100% electric vehicles to be commercially available within 3-4 years is good news.
What remains to be seen is the initial cost and running costs, electricity isn’t free. Also, how do you bill your running costs to a lease since you (theoretically) just plug the thing in to your house socket and charge it from there?
How much you’ll pay for one remains an open question, and one answered by the price of the lithium ion batteries. “They’re over $1,000 a kilowatt hour,” Tom Turrentine, director of the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Research Center at UC-Davis, told Wired.com. “The Volt battery is 16 kilowatt hours. That’s $16,000 just for the battery.”
See the full article on the Chevrolet Volt.
It all starts in 2010. General Motors promises to have the Chevrolet Volt rolling into showrooms by then. Toyota says it will roll out a small fleet of plug-in Prius hybrids to see how they do. Volkswagen has similar plans for its plug-in Golf. And Fisker hopes to have a few dozen pricey Karma sedans in driveways within 18 months. Ford and others are moving more slowly, aiming for 2012 and beyond.
More good news is that going off the design for the Chevrolet Volt not all electric cars have to look like bulbous ugly overly streamlined rejects designed by aerodynamics computers, oh wait…