The past six months have been a hot time for plug-in vehicles. Automakers large and small have unveiled pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids, from Detroit Electric's racy SP:01 to Fiat's tiny 500e and Volkswagen's fuel-sipping XL1.
If there's a lesson to be learned from all this recent activity, it's that plug-in vehicles come in all shapes, sizes, and costs. Volkswagen's XL1, for example, weighs a scant 1,753 pounds, while Cadillac's ELR checks in at 4,070 pounds. And Chevy's pure electric Spark is expected to cost less than $25,000, while Detroit Electric's SP:01 will start at $135,000.
We offer a collection of photos of vehicles unveiled at recent auto shows, including Los Angeles, Detroit, and Geneva, as well as two cars expected to make their debuts at this month's Shanghai show. Click the image below to start the slideshow.
The Fiat 500e, unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, is the first retail electric car in Chrysler's 87-year history. (Source: Chrysler Group)
Impressive slideshow, Chuck. It's interesting to see both the outside and the inside of these vehicles. Clearly automakers are committed to designing and producing EVs. Now all we need are the customers.
I agree with Rob, it's great to get a closer look at these vehicles and see what the latest designs for them are. Hopefully the diversity will start to bring in those customers that Rob mentioned. I think the trend is on its way up, though, according to market research. At least customers now have a big of choice as well.
Good point, Rob. The customers aren't there yet. And for the reasons you cite, I'm getting a strong feeling that the winds are changing. A lot of electric cars and plug-ins are coming out now because it takes three to four to five years to design, develop and produce a car. Four years ago, EV optimism was in the air. I'm not feeling it now, though.
BMW's three-door i3 Concept Coupe takes three hours to charge.
It a pretty long time to charge compared to fuel refilling. Its something like keep your car for charging and forget it. What are the spec of battery, like how much is the mileage if the battery is charged upto 10% full battery charging? What is the life span of these batteries?
It looks like there's a lot of money being spent on developing these EV's by a lot of manufacturers. It's going to be a hard sell in a market focused on value and price. We may be seeing a lot of early adopters buying now that there's a larger selection, but time will tell if the general public will ever be willing to take on the extra cost and inconvenience.
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
As it does every year, Consumers Union recently surveyed its members on the reliability of their vehicles. This year, it collected data on approximately 1.1 million cars and trucks, categorizing the members’ likes and dislikes, not only of their vehicles, but of the vehicle sub-systems, as well.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.