While gas prices keep going up in the last few years, it’s quite obvious why more and more car buyers are interested in purchasing hybrid vehicles. 2013 is a great
In the near future, electric cars will replace all diesel or gasoline powered cars. This is not just a mere idea; the possibility of it happening is very high. Think
It seems like every time we fill up at a gas station, the price of gas has jumped ten cents since the last fill up. It has become clear that
Electric cars have been around for a very long time now but the idea of driving one has never really caught on with the public until recently. The difference between
With today’s fuel prices increasing at a fast rate and global warming a worldwide threat, many people are looking for ways to use less fuel. Hydrogen for cars is one
While gas prices keep going up in the last few years, it’s quite obvious why more and more car buyers are interested in purchasing hybrid vehicles. 2013 is a great year for buying such a car as the offer is quite rich and should fit most budgets. For less than $40,000 you can go with the recently redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid which comes with a more upscale, sportier and larger appearance. The interior cabin is full of high-tech equipment while under the hood is a brand new engine. Even though it’s smaller in comparison to 2012, combining it with the firm’s electric drive system provides more power and also helps the car return 47 mpg in the city and on the highway, representing a 20% increase compared to its predecessor.
Another option for people looking for car hybrids is the Toyota Prius C subcompact which looks a bit sportier in comparison to its bigger Prius sibling. We should mention that it has a smaller propulsion system so don’t expect any fast acceleration. Nevertheless, the car is able to return an EPA-rated 50 mpg in the combined cycle. We should warn you though that the interior cabin is dominated by cheap-looking plastics and the ride is a little bit harsh. On the other hand, you get great mileage and a wide array of safety equipment.
There’s another model from the Blue Oval company which you might consider – the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid. You can consider this as a fun-to-drive and well-built alternative to a small sport utility vehicle. You get loads of interior space but less cargo room compared to other models in this segment. It comes equipped with the firm’s MyFord Touch infotainment system and promises to deliver 47 mpg in the combined cycle. Even the standard SE variant comes packed with lots of features so it is one of the few car hybrids to consider.
If you are willing to spend more than $40,000, you could consider the 2013 Infiniti M35h which is a luxury hybrid sedan powered by a potent V6 3.5-liter engine so don’t expect mpg figures compared to the above cars. With its 360 hp, the vehicle can run the 0-60 mph sprint in only 5.2 seconds and thanks to a 7-speed automatic gearbox it can return 29 mpg in the combined cycle. The car is nicely appointed and it handles very well.
Last but certainly not least, one of the best car hybrids out there is the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid which delivers 21 mpg combined. Featuring a lot of safety features and a posh cabin, the car offers a quiet hybrid drive in typical Mercedes-Benz fashion but at a steep starting price tag.
Automobile giant Nissan Motor has this week confirmed that the company’s chief operating officer will now take control of the electric vehicle division. This will be in addition to his high-profile role at the top of the company’s pecking order and while a little disappointing in the short term, due to the fact it occurred because of disappointing sales, it is good news for the future.
The company had hoped to sell 20,000 units of its award-winning Nissan Leaf electric vehicle into the US market during 2012 although unfortunately final sales were less than 10,000 last year. This prompted a major rethink with regards to the company’s electric vehicle business hence the management shakeup and more high-profile strategy going forward.
The Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf is one of the more popular electric vehicles available today and was being used by Nissan as a means to crack the US market. While the company did increase sales dramatically compared to 2011, it was from a relatively low base and no progress was made with regards to the 20,000 unit target.
Interestingly, the company seems to have recognised the failing sales of the Nissan Leaf during 2012 having brought out what is known as an “entry level” version. This was ahead of the launch of the Nissan Leaf 2013 upgrade which will incorporate the most efficient electric motor technology available, as well as additional technology for in car systems and also offer a journey capacity approaching 150 miles.
Is Nissan serious about the electric vehicle market?
While there is no getting away from the fact that sales of electric vehicles overall were disappointing during 2012 compared to projections, this is not the end of the world. We must appreciate that the worldwide economy is struggling, individual countries are struggling to control their budgets and to all intents and purposes electric vehicles are not exactly top of the political agenda.
However, during this difficult period for automobile sales as a whole the likes of Nissan have always been very supportive of the industry both in terms of time, money and effort. Only last year the company was suggesting that electric car sales would make up 10% of worldwide automobile sales by the end of the decade which was certainly a very positive forecast going forward. Whether or not sales will reach this target during the current decade remains to be seen although there are signs of movement.
Too far to turn back now
The fact that the electric car industry has been around for in excess of 200 years is often overlooked by the general public. Electric cars have experienced a number of false dawns over the last 30 or 40 years and indeed the debacle of the turn-of-the-century involving the EV1 perfectly illustrates this fact. However, companies such as Nissan, governments around the world and, to a lesser extent, consumers have invested far too much time, money and effort to allow the industry to fail once again.
Recently we saw the likes of China stepping forward to support the electric vehicle industry, we saw the Chinese authorities funding local companies to acquire overseas electric vehicle assets and the government of China also issued a number of very upbeat and promising sales forecasts. There is momentum behind the electric vehicle market, there is finance available and the technology is certainly improving on a month by month basis. It will be interesting to see whether 2013 is indeed the turning point many are predicting for the EV market and whether those who have fallen by the wayside, reduced their expenditure and dismissed their exposure will regret their relatively short-term approach to a long-term industry.
Will the Nissan Leaf still be leading the sector going forward in 2013?
Over the last couple of days a number of observers have suggested that Nissan is looking to move away from the pure electric car market in favour of the hybrid market which has perhaps more sales potential in the short term. This has obviously caused major confusion within the electric car market amid concerns that we could be moving back towards a boom and bust scenario for the industry. So is Nissan committed to the electric car?
The Nissan Leaf
While the headlines would maybe suggest that Nissan is looking to backtrack a little on a full-blown assault of the electric vehicle market, with indications that the hybrid market will come into play, this is not necessarily correct. The company has already confirmed that it is looking to triple the number of quick charging stations in the US over the next 18 months, expand the European recharging network and also look to increase sales of the Nissan Leaf itself.
There is no doubt that this particular vehicle will be the battering ram that the company uses to gain control of the electric vehicle market and also to encourage third parties to introduce charging stations. Whether the idea of tripling the number of charging stations across America within 18 months is viable remains to be seen as it is most certainly an ambitious target.
Keeping the momentum going
The Toyota Prius and the Nissan Leaf are two of the most recognisable vehicles in the EV market today. They have most certainly caught the attention of the public, they are often within the reach of the general consumer and governments around the world have been offering large financial incentives to take up such vehicles. The ongoing worldwide recession does not help the situation and has perhaps taken some of the wind out of the sails of the electric vehicle market, but this is only a short-term problem.
As we have mentioned on numerous occasions, the large car manufacturers have invested billions upon billions of dollars into the electric vehicle market and they will want a return at some point. Many have now passed the point of no return and will ultimately need to invest more in the short to medium term to reach market penetration levels required for payback. Nissan may well be hedging its bets by also mentioning the hybrid market but if you take a look at the situation from a distance this makes perfect business sense.
Turning consumers on to electric vehicles
Despite the fact that there has been significant progress in allaying some of the fears that consumers have about electric vehicles, there is still much work to be done. Journey capacity and charging services are two of the major issues in the minds of the general public although they are being addressed by the likes of Nissan, etc. There is perhaps a need to further publicise the benefits of electric vehicles, both in terms of the environment and cost, which should catch the attention of more people.
It is also inevitable that the general cost of electric vehicles will fall in the years to come as critical mass is reached and the cost of new technology falls. This will also be a major turning point for the industry and one which cannot come quick enough for the likes of Nissan.
Despite the fact that Nissan has been discussing hybrid vehicles over the last few weeks there is no doubt that the company is still committed to the electric vehicle market. It makes perfect business sense to hedge your bets in the short to medium term, via the hybrid market, while the electric vehicle market continues to grow and blossom. The Nissan Leaf and the Toyota Prius have certainly caught the headlines over the last few years and while not all of the publicity has been positive there is no doubt it is making a difference.
Despite the fact that the European economy is certainly under a cloud, the European Union has today come out in favour of electric vehicles and also suggested a large increase in the number of charging points could kickstart the industry. This is certainly just what the doctor ordered with regards to the electric vehicle market which has come under pressure of late after a number of high-profile recalls.
What is the European Union suggesting?
The European Union is one of the first major groups around the world to suggest that charging points will solve the “chicken and the egg” conundrum which the industry is so far struggling to accommodate. European Union Climate Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, who hails from Denmark, is encouraging her country and her government to provide 5,000 charging points by 2020. While this is obviously an ambitious target it is something which the European Union seems set to promote.
The idea now is that if the Danish government takes on the proposals from the European Union, with regards to 5,000 charging points by 2020, other EU members will be obliged to follow suit. This would create a massive investment in the charging point industry, increase the number of charging points around Europe and also bring down the cost of introducing these services. Neither the car industry nor the charging point industry have yet reached critical mass therefore there is still scope for significant cost savings in the short, medium and longer term as and when demand improves.
Will this help?
There is no doubt that one of the major concerns amongst consumers, with regards to EVs, has been the lack of investment in charging points. You can have the best electric vehicle in the world but if it is only able to take you 100 miles before it needs recharged then this is a major problem.
If we can create something of a petrol station type network with regards to charging stations, which should be cheaper and quicker to install, this will give confidence to consumers, increase sales of electric vehicles and ultimately help the environment. The European Union has for some years now been supportive of the electric vehicle industry and the assistance which this gives to the environment when compared against traditional fuels. It will be interesting to see how many EU member states take up the baton with regards to charging stations and indeed how quickly these can be installed.
Is this what the EV market was waiting for?
Time and time again we have seen promises from governments around the world taking the headlines only to falter and die behind-the-scenes. We have seen consumers showing great interest in electric vehicles but when push comes to shove, many of them are frightened to hand over the money. There is still some skepticism with regards to the reliability of electric vehicles going forward, the basic cost of electric vehicles and some confusion as to when savings will kick in and how large these will be.
The introduction of charging stations will take away one headache which the consumer and electric car industry have been suffering from for some time. This will allow the various groups to focus upon the ultimate goal of improving electric vehicle technology, increasing electric vehicle sales and helping the environment. If this momentum created by the European Union announcement could be replicated across America and other areas of the world then we could be on the verge of something enormous, we could be on the verge of a major breakthrough for the electric vehicle market.
Riding is a pleasurable activity that fills you with an encouragement to move out of spite. You can grasp all life’s potential through a challenging yet bold adventure with off-road driving.
These are the machines that can be used to serve the heaviest nomadic jobs. These days a range of electric vehicles can be driven to have excellent performance over the steep slopes. The engines are ideal for serving military and defence purposes besides professional use.
Speed allows you to easily ride them over rock-strewn pavements. With their small narrow width, you will be able to easily operate in tapered regions or mountainous tracks. These machines can offer you maximum torque at every speed. The functionality is superbly guaranteed to give greater autonomy and perfect manoeuvrability downhill.
What utility can these automobiles give?
• These can provide you sensation of driving lean and mean
With the sturdy tyres, caterpillar tracks and flexible suspensions, they are less prone to get stuck in mid-way. They can also be driven through the tough pavements with an ease. One can have lean and mean drive with these efficacy equipments.
• These can perform well in deep slopes and lose ground
Since these have low ground pressure, they do not sink into wet mud or lose grounds. A good traction is maintained by these movers so that the performance is highly efficient.
• The set-up can provide you a good sports utility
These are in general two-door models to provide you sports efficacy. Some of these are available with open or removable tops. Known for their high ground clearance and upright body, they are an excellent means of transport for sporting.
• Can easily rover over the terrains in mountains
The designs of these automotives are made to perform efficiently over routes that are tough, rock-strewed, un-surfaced and unlevelled. An expert technology being used in these set-ups undeniably builds them as powerful machineries. They can serve you high performance in mountainous regions.
• Clears snow from roads
The tools and equipments have also made their way in serving public by clearing roads off the snow. De-icing assists in smoother transportation and easy flow of traffic in mountain regions.
Accompanied with the additional tyres, these are fitted with low gearing and tall and flexible suspensions so as to rover over the obstacles too. The low gearing helps in making an optimum utilisation of power of their engines. The stumpy gearing also permits comfortable ride.
These machineries can also be customised as per the defensive needs and military travelling requirements. These offer a range of services to perform exceptional even in extreme conditions. These are simply ideal for off-roading.