Electric cars are poised to revolutionize the American automotive industry but the market has not been quick to adopt them in large quantities. Although electric vehicles are touted for their benefits in reducing emissions, saving money on gas, and promoting energy independence, there remains a large segment of the consumer base that has lacked an affordable electric option. Drivers seeking a sub $25,000 electric car have come up empty handed for some time – both the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt exceed this price point even with their generous federal tax credits. Electric Vehicles such as the Tesla Roadster and Fisker Karma remain but a dream for aspiring everyday electric drivers.
Due to the high cost of lithium-ion battery packs large enough to provide significant ranges for electrics, we will not see ‘cheap’ electric cars in the near future. However, a handful of new cars poised to hit the U.S. market in the next 6-12 months will substantially grow the market for affordable electric vehicles. Ford has already released the Transport Connect, an everyday work truck for small businesses with a price around $22,000. Ford’s Focus Electric, debuting later this year, is expected to be around $25,000 after a $7,500 federal tax credit. Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV Electric sedan is scheduled to debut later this year with an MSRP of $29,125 – before a federal tax credit which can bring the price down to $21,625. Toyota is eying 2012 as a launch year for an electric version of its RAV4 SUV, while Ford plans to launch its C-Max plug-in hybrid electric hatchback later that year. Advances in battery technology and production economies of scale will soon bring many moderately priced EV’s to the market.
Hopefully in time we will see electric vehicles become more affordable and gain a larger share of the automotive market. At what price would an electric car become a reality for you? Please Comment.
Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.