New electric cars for the 2011 model year give car buyers more options than ever. Green technology has made an ever increasing impact in the market with hybrids becoming more popular, and it appears as though electric cars are trying to follow suit. Entries from General Motors, Nissan, and others give enthusiasts many ways they can go if they choose to buy an EV rather than a gas powered ride.
As of the end of 2010 the Volt had arrived for sale in some Chevy dealerships. It boasts a range of 25 to 50 miles on all electric motor and another 300 miles on gas once the four cylinder motor is running. The car is really the flagship for what Chevy hopes will be a public relations revival following the company’s recent bankruptcy. In the beginning these cars have been delivered in small batches only to limited locations around the country; depending on their popularity, this could change sooner or later. The Volt had been the EV getting the most press in its size and price range until Nissan began stealing some headlines with the Leaf partly because it is an ideal young driver vehicle.
Decidedly cheaper than the Volt, the Leaf appears to be Nissan’s big product of the moment, a car the company plans to sell worldwide. Sales are expected to be brisk for this high tech vehicle, well financed in its aggressive marketing campaign and seemingly designed for a very tech savvy driver. The range for this car is expected to average between 60 and 110 miles. It like the Volt will initially only be released in limited domestic markets, but industry experts expect that to change. This car is not so much an answer to the Volt as it is an expression of Nissan’s own vision of what an electric car should be.
This car is a mystery to most in the industry because so few have actually driven it. The Karma is a high performance EV and a monolith weighing in at about two and a half tons. It features twin electric motors as well as a GM sourced Eco Tec engine. This car is expected to feature a range of maybe 50 miles in all electric mode, and some source claim its speed actually surpasses that of a lot of gas powered roadsters. The Karma will debut in March of 2011.
This is an American car sourced in China and designed to fill the gaps in places where the venerable Volt and Leaf will not be available at first. It is a tiny vehicle but does get up to a fast enough speed to drive on the highway and features a range of around 100 miles. Unlike its much more extensively marketed domestic rivals, the LiFe can be found all over the country.
Popularity of Electric Cars
These new electric vehicles are just a few examples of the many that are either in the market now or coming down the pipeline ready for sale soon. The industry as a whole has seemed to sense that there might be a nice market for EVs, and manufacturers are banking on that being a correct assumption. Of course, no one expects these cars to overtake gas powered rides for dominance. But as time goes by, they may creep more into the mainstream, especially as more nameplates like the Leaf and the Volt become available. It will be interesting to see how these cars are dealt with by car insurance companies and others, given the differences between them and their gas powered cousins that are already out there.