Sensor Pro I agree with your assessment of political correctness. I don't see the design connection between the futuristic styling and the EV power train. The consumer demand for hybrid and EVs that does exist today is being met by Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai. With minor styling changes, these manufacturers begin with a nearly stock Camry, Civic, or Sonata and pour a hybrid power train into it. These consumers are looking for the mpg of hybrid and maybe even a smaller environmental footprint without driving around in a signboard that screams "look at me!".
I feel the concept EVs with all of the futuristic styling and materials are attempting to make a political statement that indirectly says EVs are our future and they are really, really cool. The volt looks like a video game on wheels. Why didn't Chevrolet put an EV power train into well-equipped Malibu? I suggest it would have been adopted a heck of a lot sooner. Rule of any experiment: It is best to change only one variable at a time.
I don't think fender skirts chased buyers away from the Insight.. It just had too small payload for my needs! and it wasn't 100% EV... I see a lot of 50 ish men commuting in them though, and the second hand market is much younger! EVen CARDBOARD fenderskirts gave my EV noticible additional range!
Sensor Pro, I see your point too regarding the electric sports car, because the performance aspect mitigates the whole idea of energy savings. So I guess we're kind of meeting in the middle on this subject. Thanks for the reply.
I see your point that there are clear possibilities and demands for an electrical vehicle, but when we are fightring for low cost fuel and trying to market an electrical car a savings tool, expensive sports car just makes no sense.
This is why it is a pure marketing decision based on polytical correctness.
Nissan definitely believes there's money to be made in pure EVs. To some degree, CEO Carlos Ghosn has staked his reputation on it. Most other automakers believe that pure EVs will sell well in Asia, but not in the U.S. Still others are just dipping a toe in the water so they'll be ready if the market suddenly accepts the idea.
I respectfully disagree about EVs and politically correctness. The automakers clearly perceive that there's money to be made here. If we were talking one carmaker, maybe, but there's a mass movement towards building electrics. One should also note that numerous electrics were extant BEFORE the rise in popularity of the internal combustion engine. For an interesting sidenote on this, see Chuck Murray's recent story on Thomas Edison's electric storage battery, produced in mass quantities in a factory, circa 1916. Link is here.
I personally feel that at this of the game the sports car and electric car are not suitable to be in the same section. Electric car is a polytically correct vehicle with a large distance in mind. Sports car is a performance oriented vehicle.
I agree mellow fellow. The acceptance of EVs is inevitable. We just don't know whether the tipping point will come in two years or 15 years. There were mobile digital music devices long before the iPod, but the iPod drive a while new level of consumer acceptance. Maybe we need an Apple EV. Interestingly, it wasn't price that tipped mobile digital devices. The iPod was more expensive than its predecessors.
Alex: I agree that the Volt probably has th best chance to become accepted for its high mileage, as opposed to being accepted as a novelty by early adopters. The key to the Volt's success might be the battery. The Volt probably has a better chance if it switches to a smaller battery -- in other words, a less costly battery that would cut the overall price of the vehicle.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
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In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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