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Electric cars have been around for decades, but until recently, were not considered viable options for everyday driving. Previous electric cars offered limited driving range, and were held back by long recharge times. Thanks to innovations in battery technology, electrics cars are now becoming widely available, bringing amazing fuel economy numbers to the masses. The verdict is still out on how effectively electric cars can replace standard gas and hybrid models, but many advocates are citing the fact that electric cars can run entirely on clean energy from sources like wind power and tidal power, if those energy types are adopted as a main source of electricity.
New battery technology has decreased the amount of time required to charge an electric car, and has also helped to increase the range. One of the most innovative new electric cars, the Nissan Leaf, reports around 100 miles on electric only drive, making it one of the most emissions friendly cars available. The Nissan Leaf is one of the few all electric vehicles available, making it both revolutionary and daring. Despite the limitations on electric vehicles, it appears from the early enthusiasm that consumers are willing to embrace and support the new technology.
Electric Vs. Hybrids
Electric cars and hybrids share many similarities, but it is the differences between the two that set them apart. One thing to consider before comparing electric vs. hybrid cars is that hybrid cars contain both an electric and a gasoline powered motor; this can make the comparison slightly trickier. To being with, electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions, and while hybrids have lower emissions than standards vehicles, they still emit pollution. Electric vehicles have a much smaller range than hybrids, where electric vehicles can normally be driver around 100 miles, while hybrids can drive more than 300 miles. Another important factor when comparing hybrid vs. electric cars is the refueling time. An electric car takes several hours to recharge, depending on the recharging station, and a hybrid car can be refueled in just a few minutes.
The biggest different between an electric vehicle and a gasoline vehicle is the difference in price per mile. Electric vehicles offer a $.02 per mile price, while gasoline vehicles offer somewhere north of $.12 per mile. Hybrid vehicles fall somewhere in between these numbers, costing around $.06 per mile.
Top New Electric Models
BMW has long been thought of as an innovative automaker, but they have yet to release an all-electric vehicle to the public. The BMW Megacity is a small electric car that may be available as early as 2012. This three-door hatchback is projected to have a range of around 100 miles, putting it in the same category as the Nissan Leaf.
The Nissan Leaf has become the poster child of the reinvention of the electric car, thanks in part to its zero emissions design and relative affordability. The Leaf is available for just under $33,000, and there are currently no other affordable options in the same class. Nissan has been slow to release the Leaf, so customer feedback has been in short supply.
The Coda is a port from China, based on the Hafei Saibao 3. The Coda has been reengineered to feature lithium ion batteries, and is expected to have a range of $100 miles. With a sticker price of $44,000, there will have to be extra features to compete with the similarly ranged but much less cheaper Nissan Leaf.