Hello virtual & real life friends we hope all of you are well. We wanted to put together an update of the state of electric (EV) & Hybrid vehicles since things are changing so rapidly. First I think we need to correctly classify the cars like a Chevy Volt is a Hybrid by definition not an EV. A Hybrid is a car that runs on two power sources again by definition it’s semantics that it’s battery powered then gas/battery powered to us.

Let’s start with the Volt Chevy is advertising all over the place that they are “lowering the base price” of the Volt. Funny I don’t see in any of the ads that they took a lot of standard equipment out of the base car? Simply put you’re getting much less of a car for the lower price. We’re not big on this kind of BS. Also Chevy & Nissan with the LEAF are saying sales haven’t met expectations because of a lack of supply? WRONG every time clients have called for either dealers have had them in stock. These cars have not met sales forecasts because of one or more of the following reasons price, range, no carpool lane stickers, CA state refunds ran out about 3 months ago & did I mention price.

The Volt is basically a Cruze that’s twice the price which I unfortunately think will be the problem with the EV Ford Focus due in CA in approximately 3 months. This car has some cool technology that we’re really looking forward to checking out. Regenerative braking that a lot of Hybrids use to charge the batteries but this car has a more advanced system & “brake training” to show you on the  navigation screen how to get the most out of it. I haven’t seen any sales projections but price, range & it’s a Ford Focus (pictured) will be a big problem for this car.

As we all know CA “ran out” of clean air stickers in July but the big corporate money got them to come up with a new designation ATPZEV “Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle”? So they will start issuing a new green sicker on Jan 1, 2012 so the people that buy these cars just to drive in the carpool lane will have more options. The new Plug-In Prius qualifies for this as Toyota has a lot of money & pull with the politicians. The car has an electric range of “approx” 13 miles before the gas/battery engine kicks in. Just like their sales forecasts NONE of these cars have gotten close to their original projections.

I’m going to pass on commenting in depth about the Fisker Karma Hybrid while the car is spectacularly beautiful there’s no mass market for this car at OVER $100,000. Their sales projections are off the charts? Nissan says they have sold “approx” 3,000 LEAFs this year that means they have sold less than 3,000 & Fisker will never sell as many cars or even close to as many as the LEAF

So exciting times ahead with almost an alternative fuel vehicle in all price ranges & gasoline cars becoming far more efficient over just the last two years. Everyone has a reasonable option to drive a car that gets at least 30mpg & has low emissions. Almost all 4 cyl & most 6 cyl cars sold in CA are now PZEV Partial Zero Emission Vehicles. This includes Mercedes C, E Class, BMW 3-Series & pretty much all Hondas, VW’s & Toyotas. Also don’t rule out the great Diesel options available out there.

This is not meant to sound negative we are actually happy go lucky guys who really care about the environment. Since we deal with these cars 24/7/365 we have to look at the big picture. We have to look at it as how practical & cost effective is this in day to day life for regular working people like us (sorry Jeff). We think that each manufacturer is essentially building the same car instead of moving the technology forward as we are very far from an end result. I’m not an engineer but the batteries are to heavy & that should be a main priority to change. Also we would love to see a combination of say a more efficient battery combined with a Diesel (we think Volvo is working on this?) or Natural Gas engine? Again we’re not engineers & there has been a ton of progress it just seems we can all agree that this isn’t the end result so we’d like to see someone step out in different direction.

Check our our Showroom or Contact us with any questions or information about the lease or purchase of a new environmentally friendly car.

We welcome your constructive thoughts & opinions?

      ☮& ღ

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2011 at 1:39 am and is filed under Auto Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.