Will 2011 Be the Year of the Electric Car?

Electric cars — By on December 27, 2010 at 12:24 am
286973.6 lg Will 2011 Be the Year of the Electric Car?

Questions to be answered before electric cars take over the roads (image from theautochannels.com)

One of the hottest topics around the dinner table this Christmas (at least at my house) was the question of, “will 2011 be the year of the electric car?”

My father has been involved in developing the infrastructure, working with auto manufacturers and just getting the work out to the general public, via op eds and newspaper articles.  We chatted this holiday season about my upcoming visit to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Michigan in January 2010, compliments of Ford Motor Company.  But not everyone around the table was convinced that EVs are the way to go.  Range anxiety topped the list of issues facing regular consumers, as well as the time that it will take to recharge electric car batteries, and the cost to do so.

Will the electric car survive this time around, or will it get “killed” again?

Many in the industry believe that – this time – EVs are here to stay.  General Electric itself has ordered 25,000 this year and is selling the WattStation charger for electric cars.  But, there are definitely a few hurdles to clear before we’ll see an electric car in most driveways:  cost and range anxiety top the list.

Most EVs will go only about 100 miles on a single charge, and will cost more than their gasoline counterparts. There are a lot of questions to be ironed out, most definitely.   For people like me, that live in a relatively small community with short commutes, an electric car may be just the answer.  But for those that travel 40 miles or more each way to work each day, an EV may be better suited to a second car, rather than a primary vehicle.

While 2011 will include the introduction of several electric cars and plug-in electric hybrids, experts believe that we’ll have to wait for full acceptance by drivers.  But most believe that EVs will take hold as the transportation option of the future.

Hybrids, diesels and super-clean gas cars, as well as battery powered electric vehicles will be in competition with each other.  Jostling for the lead in consumer confidence when it comes to saving gas and money, while not overly compromising on convenience.  All that being said, EVs are already expected to sell out in 2011 (they have waiting lists and pent-up demand).

What do you think?  Will 2011 be the year of the electric car?  What are your vehicle purchasing plans?

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