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.
Volkswagen AG is developing a lithium-air battery that could triple the range of its electric cars, but industry experts believe it could be a long time before that chemistry is ready for production vehicles.
Californiaís plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isnít the first such undertaking and certainly wonít be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.
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