2010 Is Here! Will This be the First Day of the New Electric Car Era? - VIDEO ENHANCED
AUTO CENTRAL - January 1, 2010: Three years ago, at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS), General Motors introduced a dynamic looking battery-powered vehicle they called the Chevrolet Volt. For all practical purposes it ushered in the new age of electric cars, that should kick off in earnest later this year.
Click PLAY to watch the complete Chevy Volt Introduction press conference at 2007 NAIAS
As the time has passed since its concept unveiling, the Volt has gone through some design changes that have dumbed down its appearance, and based upon Bob Lutz' comments at last months LA Auto Show it now seems like the Volt won't really burst onto the scene in December; it'll be more of a trickle (watch Bob Lutz' keynote speech by CLICKING HERE.
Click PLAY below to watch The Auto Channel's interview with GM's Dave Barthmuss at the 2008 Alt Car Expo
But, GM's 2007 announcement did set off a fire storm of activity around the industry with fellow OEMs like Renault/Nissan and Mitsubishi; begetting nuevo OEMs Tesla and Fisker; resuscitating existing manufacturers of slow speed electric car makers such as ZENN, ZAP, and MILES; and of course it helped foster a wide range of new thinking and innovations, of which BETTER PLACE may be the leading example. To watch two great videos that explain Better Place's "battery solution" CLICK HERE.
The downside is that comments from Ford and Volkswagen tell the story that they don't expect electric passenger cars to play any major role until at least the 2020's and even later. If this is the case, then we could be stuck with continuing to use poison gasoline and fund terrorist regimes, unless dramatic action is taken fast to open up access to CNG and propane fuel and vehicles, and to get the EPA and CARB to relax their preposterous restrictions on converting existing vehicles. Similarly, any restrictions regulating the use of alcohol/gasoline mixtures should be dropped immediately, and it should be made publicly known that virtually any fuel-injected vehicle could safely and efficiently use up to E50 without any problem whatsoever (many could go to E85, even if the vehicle is not labeled as "flex-fuel" capable).
Several algae bio-fuel producers have already perfected the process of creating both diesel and gasoline-style products that could help transform the free-Western world into being energy independent. They just need a bit more help from the private sector and/or government, and some good luck in keeping the gasoline companies from over-running their efforts by "patenting" the process out of existence (something they are trying desperately to do). Additional information about algae-based fuels can be found at Algae: the Truly Green Solution to the World's Energy Problem and Biodiesel Powered with SunEco Algae Oil Reduced Emissions 82% with No Loss of Power and by watching The Auto Channel's RoadTrip episode below.
But back to electric: Because of the Nissan Leaf's expected lower price tag, it may really be the electric vehicle that jump starts the new era. And if Nissan would allow them to be built in America that would be great.
Click the PLAY buttons below to watch video about the Nissan Leaf