Electric Cars: Your Next Plug-in Home Appliance

Electric Cars: Your Next Plug-in Home Appliance

Joel Pirela
Dec 1, 2010

Engineers are making steady advances in lithium-ion battery technology, the same technology that power up some of our favorite electronics. These batteries provide all the necessary power, energy storage and durability for the next generation of electric vehicles and will makes cars similar to your other rechargeable devices in your home: you'll need to plug them in.

Nissan Leaf
At just above $20,000 after federal tax credit and state based incentives, this could be the most affordable EV Vehicle available today. This is an all electric, compact sized hatchback that seats 5 and have a top speed of 90 miles per hour. LED lights everywhere and all the gadgets you can imagine are stuck inside: a main system that connects to a global data center and supplies all kind of info and entertainment to the dashboard, maps with charging point locations is one example.

Chevy Volt
Defined as an "extended range vehicle", the Volt is not a pure electric vehicle, but more of a hybrid, like the Toyota Prius. The Volt operates entirely as an electric car for it's first 40 miles after a full charge. It burns no gasoline during those miles, drawing energy form a 400 pound, 16 kWh lithium ion battery pack. Since 40 miles is not practical enough, it also has a tiny 1.4 gasoline engine that drives a generator (not the wheels) to charge the battery enough to give you additional 300 miles.

Ford Focus Electric
This car will be based on the next generation Focus platform, saving the expense of creating a brand new vehicle instead of applying the EV technology to an existing model. With a range estimated of 100 miles between charges, courtesy of 23 kWh lithium ion based batteries and the use of a single speed transmission. The focus will be available in 2011.

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