by Ramon Cardona,
This year the 2017 Cincinnati Auto Expo had a rising number of automobiles with a port to charge batteries from a common electric plug or a specialized 240 volt outlet.
The cars in question have the generic title of electric vehicles or EV’s and all have one goal in mind: to use less gasoline or use zero gasoline.
BMW and Chevrolet models totaled seven vehicles. BMW showed its second generation of the i3, a boxy style car with several carbon fiber components, a powerful electric motor and a battery capable of over 125 miles of range. Chevrolet proudly introduced the Bolt, an electric car with over 235 miles of range. Both vehicles could also have a DC Fast Charging option known as Combined Charging Standard (CCS). These can provide 80% charge in about 24 minutes or less.
Chevrolet also has the second generation Volt, an electric car with a 52 miles range with an internal combustion engine (ICE) that runs to provide continued electrical power once the battery power is depleted. The BMW i3 does have an optional range extender engine that can add 60 miles of range.
BMW also has the i8, a hybrid electric plug-in super car. Sleek and fast and powerful, the i8 is a sports car with beautiful looks and satisfying performance. Other vehicles from BMW with the standard J-1772 electric port are SUV’s with a sophisticated hybrid electric drive train. Think of a BMW engine with a turbo charger and an electric third power source. Genius.
Of course, the first globally available production electric car, the Nissan Leaf, now with a 30 kilowatt hour battery with over 125 miles of range, was present. The new generation battery is a quantum improvement as to density, energy management and durability and has 6 more kilowatt hours capacity.
The original electric car was the Toyota Prius hybrid, a concept born with the idea of making a super efficient ICE vehicle more efficient. Several generations later and with several other models added to the Prius line, Toyota carries the honor of having sold millions of these cars. Their performance and reliability are legendary. Later in 2017, a new Prius, the Prime model, a plug-in hybrid shall be available in the US.
As more car manufacturers add hybrids and plug-in hybrids, like Ford’s Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi models, both plug-in hybrid models, the list of electric cars increases each year. There is a vehicle, hybrid, hybrid plug-in or full electric that fits the needs of most drivers in the USA
Ford Fusion Energi
I am not forgetting the grand daddy of electric cars, Tesla models S and X. Tesla was absent from this show due to its unique way of selling cars, without dealers.
Both models are widely accepted, available globally and with ever increasing production, this is the car most people would like to have. That wish shall become reality later on in 2017 when Tesla starts delivery of the $35,000 Model 3. Tesla has high goals to manufacture hundreds of thousands of electric cars a year by 2020.
The show included all major brands, all model vehicles and judging from the well attended Saturday morning hours, a complete success.
Each day I get news like today's announcement that Daimler is converting a factory in Germany to produce only electric cars focusing on the labor issues as a lot of the process shall be automated. Other news as to nations and companies expanding electric car charging networks arrive as well. Of course, news as to models being released like the KIA Nero hybrid and others also arrrives just about daily. Thanks for your support in the LEED area and electric cars. Take care. Ray Cardona.
Interested in learning more? Here's the "Greenest Home in the World."