inautonews says that Nissan expects its Leaf sales to double in 2012.  Nissan has already sold more than 20,000 Leafs this year. Most of the cars were sold in Japan and the United States. Next year it is looking at sales around 40,000.  Meanwhile Consumer Reports gives us more observations from driving the Leaf.

Japan is extending its green car tax breaks for another four years posts businessGreen. The greenest cars such as hybrids and electric vehicles do not face any tax, cutting the price of popular green cars such as Toyota’s Prius hybrid or Nissan’s electric leaf by around 150,000 yen ($1,900). Other low-emission vehicles also face lower levels of tax than higher-emission models.

Pike Research thinks that high prices are going to limit the growth of EVs in 2012.  The think tank says that American consumers looking for an affordable EV next year will have to keep waiting. Nissan raised the price of the Leaf for 2012, and while the 2012 Chevrolet Volt will sell for $1,000 less, the car comes without several features that were previously standard but are now options. Its consumer surveys show that people want green cars in the low $20,000 range but are instead being offered cars $30,000 and more. Pike Research’s industry predictions for 2012 include the following:

— Car-sharing services will expand the market for EVs and hybrids.

— Battery production will outstrip vehicle production.

— The Asia-Pacific region will become the early leader in vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems.

— Third-party EV charging companies will dominate public charging sales.

— Employers will begin to purchase EV chargers in large numbers.


The Independent adds that if Americans are going to buy EVs, “it is going to take the heavier hand of government.

Renewable Energy Magazine says that 9 Japanese companies are promoting quick charging for EVs. Toyota, Honda, Mitsuibishi and six other firms have formed an organization to provide membership-based quick-charging services for users of electric vehicles (EVs). Members will pay a fee to join the service and their information will be kept in a central database. The organization will then make charger information, such as number and location, available to members, thus facilitating convenient and efficient charging.

Wireless electric car charging is coming writes plugincars.  Wireless charging addresses the anxiety over having to learn a new way to fill your car up with electricity—all you have to do is park, and these automated systems will do the rest for you. Pike Research forecasts that car fleets that can share charging docks are the mostly likely early adopters. Sears is working with Evatran to install home wireless EV charging stations.

Energy Efficiency News tells us that Amazon is now selling the GE EV charger. Electric vehicle drivers in the US and Canada can now buy GE’s wall-mounted charging point online, just like any other Amazon product. The $1100 charger can fully charge a 24 kWh battery in 4-8 hours, compared to 12-18 hours using a standard electrical outlet.

Better Place is swapping batteries in China to speed up the recharging experience writes CleanTechnica. The company is working with China Southern Power Grid to build an EV battery switching facility in the city of Guangzhou, the third largest city in China. The idea is to make battery switching more convenient that regular recharging and as quick as filling your car with gasoline. Using advanced automated equipment, from start to finish, the whole process takes just a few minutes.

Chicago is introducing a car sharing program using solar-powered recharging stations by the spring of 2012 according to CleanEnergy Authority. The city’s I-GO car sharing program is rolling out 36 EVs and 18 solar-powered charging stations throughout the metro area. The 18 stations will have two bays reserved for I-GO cars and two that will be publicly available for anyone else in the city who wants to charge their plug-in electric vehicle.

Bloomberg notes that the Pennsylvania turnpike will have 17 recharging stations by 2013. There will be Level II charging stations, which can charge a car in about four hours, and Level III charging stations, which can charge a car in about 20 minutes. What the fee may be for using the charging station is still to be determined.

Last week we mentioned that Ikea was opening EV charging stations at its stores on the west coast of the US.  Now we hear from the Milwaukee Business Journal that Kohl’s department stores is opening 33 recharging stations across the US. All stations should be operating by the end of 2013.

Wichita, Kanasas has its first recharging station reports KSCW while mySA says that San Antonio, Texas now has 6 new recharging stations



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1 Comment on The Week in EVs

  1. Elroy Jetson says:

    Given the very hilly nature of Pennsylvania, it’ll be interesting to see how busy those recharging stations get and how often pure EVs ply those roads (vs extended range EVs like the Volt).