Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Keeping Current on Electric Cars

Here's the latest on what car companies are doing to get an electric car into my driveway and yours.

Again, sounds like U.S. automakers are lagging, to the point of embarrassment.  Says car rider and writer Jim Motavalli:

I would say probably the smartest overall strategy for vehicle electrification is coming from Nissan, a Japanese company, and what's smart about their approach is they've also got into the charging business. The Renoit-Nissan alliance has built strategic alliances around the world to set up charging stations.

Something I hadn't thought of is the drive to leverage car charging as an opportunity to get consumers to shop:

We still have a massive learning curve in the American people to get them used to the idea of driving an electric car and charging up. I do see a very fast spread in which charging technology will take off and big-box stores, for instance, will have free electric car charging, and this will get people to visit them. When you think about it, a charge doesn't cost very much, it might cost three or four dollars, but if you get somebody in the store and they basically have to stay there until the car is charged - a fast charge might take 20 minutes - you've got a captive shopper for 20 minutes. That is worth more than four dollars. That's why you get this move towards not only widely available charging, but free charging as a competitive advantage.

Now that's a fresh angle on the economic benefits of our clean energy and transport transformation, to be sure!

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