By on June 4, 2013

Rainy forest, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Day six brought a typical Northern California morning: it was 41 degrees, foggy and raining in my forest. But because I was driving an electric vehicle, a squirrel greeted me at the doorstep to thank me for saving his home and a group of hummingbirds dried my charging cable with their tiny wings so I wouldn’t electrocute myself as I unplugged. Then I woke up. But it was still 41. And foggy. And raining.

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By on June 2, 2013

2014 Fiat 500e Under The Hood, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

If you’re just now reading this series, here’s what’s going on. Because reviews of electric vehicles (my own included) seem to be 1/4 review and 3/4 whining about EV related issues, I decided to divorce the review from the “EV experience” and post daily about driving a car with an 80-95 mile range. You can catch up by going to Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 before coming back to the saga. Don’t worry, we’ll wait for you. Day three ended with my battery at 15% because I drove the orange creamsicle Fiat we have named “Zippy Zappy” over 175 miles. I don’t have a 240V charging cable at home so the car told me it would be 24 hours until the car was charged at 120V. Good thing day four was a Saturday. (Read More…)

By on May 31, 2013

2014 Fiat 500e, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Because of my RA (Range Anxiety), I drove Zippy Zappy gently on day 1, plugged the EV in immediately upon arriving at home and nixed my impromptu drive to the beach. (I haven’t named a car since I was 12 but the garish orange hue and pill-box proportions have made the name stick.) Thanks to my prudence (or was it fear?) I awoke to a 90% charge. According to Fiat’s computer, that was good for an 87 mile journey, plenty for my 52 mile one-way commute. Of course, it was after I started climbing up the mountain pass that separates my home from civilization that I asked “how am I going to charge today?”

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By on May 30, 2013

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New and current Honda Fit EV customers can look forward to a reduction in their lease costs.

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By on May 28, 2013

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Elon Musk is turning his sights towards the Nissan Leaf. The Tesla Motors founder says his ultimate goal is for a sub-$40,000 car that’s better than Nissan’s EV, and he’s hoping to make that happen within 4 years.

(Read More…)

By on May 27, 2013
Select EV Sales
Company Vehicle Units Time-frame
Tesla Motors Model S. 4,900  Q1 2013
Fisker Automotive Karma  < 2,000  since inception
CODA Coda 100  since inception
BYD BYD e6 1,700 2012
Nissan Motor Leaf 62,000  since inception

Source: ABC News
By on May 27, 2013

Better Place “filed a motion in an Israeli court to wind up the company, bringing an end to a venture whose battery charging network had aimed to boost electric car sales,” Reuters says. (Read More…)

By on May 16, 2013

IMG_5063

The annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is quickly turning into a Nurburgring equivalent when it comes to bragging rights of electric vehicle makers. The venue is perfect for EVs:  The track is 12.42 miles long, as cinch even for the most range-challenged EV.  The track finishes at 14,110 ft, a height that deprives ICE-powered cars of oxygen and some 40 percent of their power. An EV just laughs at the breathless engines. I learn all those trivia today in Mitsubishi’s showroom in Tamachi, Tokyo. A descendant on Mitsubishi’s iMiev will be part of the electrified hill climb. (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2013

swapstation4-450x300

Beleaguered EV start-up Better Place faced yet another blow this week, as Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn declared that rapid-charging, not swappable batteries, will be the predominant charging technology for EVs.

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By on May 15, 2013

Scaling back from its former intentions of becoming “China’s No. 1 automaker by 2015 and the world’s leading car maker by 2025,” China’s BYD now wants to become a world-class fish in Hong Kong’s taxi pond. (Read More…)

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