Electric Cars For Sale In 2017

Are electric cars your thing? Good, this is a page packed full of electric car facts, including electric cars for sale in 2016 in the US and their prices. Electric car answers for any question you have should be on this page. If not, drop us a note so that we can add them. If you have some important electric car answers to common questions or interesting facts to add, also drop a note in the comments below! This page will be continually updated.

Keep up with the latest EV news here, and keep up with the latest EV sales updates here. US electric car sales are reported monthly here.

For information on electric cars available in Europe, check out this more comprehensive commercially available electric car list or our sortable electric car page.

Basic Electric Car Answers

  • Electric vehicles (EVs) run on electricity.
  • Some EVs run 100% on electricity, while others (hybrid electric vehicles) run partly on electricity and partly on some other fuel (e.g., gas or diesel). Vehicles that can at times run solely on electricity but can also use liquid fuel — and that can be plugged in to charge their batteries — are called plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
  • 100% electric vehicles and PHEVs are clearly much better for the environment (and, thus, humans) than their gasoline-powered and diesel-powered cousins. Their fuel (electricity) is also typically much cheaper.

Currently Available Electric Cars

The following are electric cars that are for sale today in the US or are supposed to be for sale at some point in 2016.

The first prices listed are base prices before the federal tax credit. In parenthesis are prices after the maximum federal tax credit ($7,500). Other tax credits and rebates potentially available in your city or state (e.g., the $3,000 California EV rebate or $6,000 Colorado EV tax credit) are not included.

Links on the car names are mostly to our story archives for these cars. Links on the prices are to the car companies’ pages for the cars. Range and MPGe/MPG data come from the EPA.

Check these electric cars out and go test drive some this weekend!

100% Electric Cars

Table Key

Combined Fuel Economy # of Seats
Range on Full Charge 0–60 MPH (0–100 km/h) Time
Price (& Price after max US Tax Credit) Link to Review Article (When Available)

BMW i3

118 MPGe 4 seats
114 miles (183 km) 7.1 seconds
$42,400 ($34,900) Several Review Articles Linked Below

The BMW i3 is BMW’s first 100% electric car built electric from the ground up — and it’s still one of the only electric cars on the market built electric from the ground up. It is part of BMW’s “born electric” i series and its price puts it somewhat in the middle of the more popular Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S. Despite looking a bit bulky, the BMW i3 is the lightest electric car on the market thanks to its carbon fiber body. It’s super fun drive — one of my favorites. Compared to BMW’s overall sales, the i3 is selling pretty well, making it clear that BMW is one of the auto-manufacturing pioneers in the electric vehicle space. Read my first BMW i3 review here and/or my second review & comparison with the LEAF & Volt here and/or my comparison with the Tesla Model S here.

Chevy Bolt

119 MPGe 5 seats
238 miles (383 km) 6.5 seconds
$37,495 ($29,995)

The Chevy Bolt is certainly a breakout fully electric model — the first “affordable” fully electric model in the US to have long range. It arrived on the market at the very end of 2016 and is expected to see strong sales in the US, and perhaps also in Europe when it is launched there as the Opel Ampera-E if GM tries to market and sell the thing. A fully autonomous version of the Bolt will be produced as well. It will initially be tested/used by Lyft drivers.

Fiat 500e
(Only Parts of the US)

Fiat 500e

112 MPGe 4 seats
84 miles (135 km) 8.7 seconds
$31,800 ($24,300) Our Fiat 500e Review

The Fiat 500e has gotten great reviews. However, the head of Fiat apparently hates electric cars and is only producing the 500e in extremely limited quantities for a couple of states (basically, because Fiat has to do so in order to sell cars in California). Hopefully this cute electric car will someday be available to a broader market, and with a significant range boost, but that seems unlikely. With its relatively low price, good reviews, and cool styling, the Fiat 500e could give some of the top-selling electric cars on the market a run for their market if Fiat actually tried — what a shame. Its 84 mile range is a bit behind the times now but Fiat is still moving cars via super-low lease deals in California. Read my full review of the Fiat 500e.

Ford Focus Electric
(Only Parts of the US)

118 MPGe 5 seats
115 miles (185 km) 10.1 seconds
$29,120 ($21,620) Our Ford Focus Electric Review

The Ford Focus Electric is Ford’s only 100% electric car. The car compares in many regards to the top-selling Nissan LEAF, but it also has some disadvantages in terms of cargo space and EV design. The Focus Electric is more broadly available than many compliance cars, but it still isn’t as easy to find as a Nissan LEAF or BMW i3. As with the LEAF, though, it seems that Ford will have to drop prices a great deal to move Focus Electrics off the lot in the age of the Chevy Bolt. Read our in-depth review of the Focus Electric here.

Hyundai IONIQ Electric
(Arriving Soon … Nationwide)

 136 MPGe 5 seats
110 miles (177 km)

The Hyundai IONIQ Electric is a pretty popular new electric offering from Hyundai that will also have a plug-in hybrid twin sibling and has a conventional hybrid twin sibling. The range is moderate — between initial fully electric offerings but quite far below the Chevy Bolt (aka Opel Ampera-E) and updated Renault Zoe. The IONIQ Electric seems to be selling okay in Europe. If it is widely offered in the US, it could have a good run there as well, but it really needs more range to compete with the Bolt or Tesla Model 3.

Kia Soul EV
(Only Parts of the US)

105 MPGe 5 seats
93 miles (150 km) 11.8 seconds
$31,950 ($24,450) Our Kia Soul EV Review

The Kia Soul EV is a snazzy electric vehicle with a bit more space on the inside than the average car, and a clear youngster appeal. The Soul EV has sold okay in the markets where it’s available, but it isn’t widely available and the driving range hasn’t increased to respond to increasingly longer range from other electric models. Its overall sales in the US are pretty sad, and I don’t see them getting better unless the vehicle gets a big range boost or Kia starts offering deep discounts. You can check out our review of the Kia Soul EV here.

Mercedes-Benz B250e
(Only Parts of the US)


84 MPGe 5 seats
84 miles (135 km) 7.9 seconds
$39,900 ($32,400) Several Review Articles Linked Below

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric (now called the B250e) has been an extremely close competitor to the BMW i3, and was the first offering from Mercedes in the EV department. It has a Tesla drivetrain at its core, and reviewers have been split between it and the BMW i3, with some preferring the i3 and some preferring the B-Class Electric. One of our top EV reporters has the B-Class Electric and reviewed it after 1 monthafter 1 year and sort of again after 2 years. Mercedes has always treated this like a compliance car and not many have been sold, but I imagine sales will drop even further with the Bolt now for sale, the i3 getting longer range, and the Tesla Model 3 coming soon.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV
(Only Parts of the US)

112 MPGe 4 seats
62 miles (100 km) 13.5 seconds
$22,995 ($15,495)

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV (aka Mitsubishi i) is one of the most basic electric cars on the market, but also one of the cheapest. If you are looking for a bare-bones EV for a low price, the i-MiEV is your baby.

Nissan LEAF

114 MPGe 5 seats
107 miles (172 km) 10.2 seconds
$30,680 ($23,180) Our Long-Term Nissan LEAF Review

The Nissan LEAF is the highest-selling electric car in history. After test driving dozens of EVs myself, I have to say that the Nissan LEAF is one of my favorite models. It has great visibility, feel, comfort, space, flexibility, and acceleration (okay, 10.2 seconds isn’t spectacular, but it still feels great due to the instant torque). The 107-mile version was the top of the market for affordable electric cars until the Chevy Bolt (approx. twice the range) and updated Renault Zoe (only Europe) came along. Now it’s hard to say where the LEAF stands. Why buy a LEAF over a Bolt? It seems to be getting by on deep discounts and group buys. For a thorough look at the LEAF, check out our long-term Nissan LEAF review here.

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
(Only Parts of the US)

smart electric drive

107 MPGe 2 seats
68 miles (109 km) 9.8 seconds
$25,000, or $19,990 + $80/month battery rental ($17,500, or $12,490 + $80/month) Two Review Articles Linked Below

The smart electric drive is nearly the cheapest electric car on the US market … if you don’t own or lease it for very long. However, note that there’s an $80/month battery rental. Within about 6 years, the smart electric drive is about the same price as a 5-seat and much more plush Nissan LEAF. In my personal opinion, the smart electric drive is a hard sell — unless you really want a tiny car and/or only want it for 2 to 3 years. Read my review of the smart electric drive here or read the review of an owner who sold his Camaro for the smart electric drive.

Volkswagen e-Golf
(Only Parts of the US)

e golf

116 MPGe 5 seats
83 miles (134 km) 10.4 seconds
$28,995 ($21,495)

The Volkswagen e-Golf is VW’s second electric car model (following closely behind the Volkswagen e-Up!) and the first in the US. Clearly, it’s an electric version of VW’s extremely popular Golf model. The e-Golf has been one of the closest competitors to the world-leading Nissan LEAF, but it has been available in much more limited markets. Additionally, Volkswagen has been much slower to update the battery/range in order to compete with the updated LEAF — not to mention the fresh and exciting Chevy Bolt. A new version of the e-Golf with 124 miles of range is on the way, but it’s hard to see how that will compete now that the Bolt is on the market and the Tesla Model 3 is around the corner.

Tesla Model S

98–104 MPGe 5+2 seats
210–315 miles (338–507 km) 2.5 seconds
$68,000 ($60,500) Our Long-Term Tesla Model S Review

The Tesla Model S is widely regarded as not just the best electric car on the market but the best mass-produced car of any type in all of history (see here, here, here, here, and here for just a few examples). So, for many people, if they can afford a $60,000–$120,000 car, the Model S is as good as it gets.

This car has flipped the electric car and overall auto world on its head in many respects. It is a top-selling luxury/premium-class car — well, the top-selling luxury/premium-class car in the US. It has robbed Mercedes and BMW of loyal buyers quicker than the roadrunner can dart away from a certain coyote.

Tesla Model X

86–92 MPGe 5–7 seats
237–289 miles (381–465 km) 2.9 seconds
$88,800 ($81,300) Two Review Articles Linked Below

Tesla’s 3rd model is the ridiculously cool and highly desired Model X, an SUV with similar performance and specs as the Model S. In fact, despite being a large SUV, the Model X is one of the quickest production cars in history. It’s not quite as quick as the Model S, but it’s definitely more comfy and luxurious, imho. As Elon Musk has said, the choice between the Model X and Model S is really just whether or not you want an SUV/crossover or a sedan.

The Model X is special for combining excellent performance, great utility, and hot styling. Not many vehicles can do that. Its signature feature? Its falcon-wing doors, of course — love ’em or hate ’em. I honestly think this is the best passenger vehicle on the planet, but YMMV. You can read my review of the Model X here and Kyle Field’s review of the Model X here.

Rimac Concept_One
(Super Limited)

rimac racecar

I don’t know if this one counts, so it’s not counted in the “20” in the title. The Rimac Concept_One is certainly no everyman’s car. It is an electric supercar out of Croatia that costs a fortune … as in, $1 million. Needless to say, most of us will be lucky to even see one of these, let alone touch one, let alone ride in one, let alone own one. Still, it’s a beauty worth mentioning. The Rimac Concept_One can reportedly go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and has a horsepower of 1,088 — yep, that’s a “supercar” … even though the top-line Model S is now quicker. Rimac Automobili is a Croatian company, and it’s unclear if it’ll ever grow up enough to produce >100 cars, but the Concept_One will go down in history either way.

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Cars

Table Key

Combined Fuel Economy on Electricity / Fossils (EPA ratings only) # of Seats
EPA Range on Full Charge (unless otherwise noted) 0–60 MPH (0–100 km/h) Time
Price (& Price after US, UK, and German Subsidies) Link to Review Article (When Available)

Audi A3 e-Tron
(Only Parts of the US)

Audi A3 e-Tron

 83 MPGe / 34 MPG 5 seats
16 miles (26 km) 7.5 seconds
$37,900 ($33,398) Our Audi A3 e-Tron Review

The Audi A3 e-Tron is a plug-in hybrid electric car with a bit of a sporty offering. The electric-only range is not spectacular, but it’s pretty much par for the course. The A3 e-Tron can go from 0 to 60 mph in a respectable 7.5 seconds. It has also landed a difficult 5 stars in Europe’s safety ratings. The A3 e-tron has a tough time competing with the Chevy Volt and Ford Energi models on value for the money, in my humble opinion, but some people clearly prefer the e-Tron’s looks and the Audi brand. Note that the A3 e-Tron is actually the same as the Volkswagen Golf GTE under the hood. The A3 e-Tron isn’t as limited in availability as the Golf GTE (which isn’t in the US), but as expected, the A3 e-tron is not available across the US, so it definitely gets the “compliance car” label. You can read my review of the A3 e-tron here.

BMW 330e

BMW 330e

71 MPGe / 30 MPG 5 seats
14 miles (23 km) 5.9 seconds
$44,100 ($40,099)

The BMW 330e is a plug-in hybrid electric car with some spunk on the “low end” of the premium sedan market. The electric-only range is not spectacular, but should get most people to work and back or out to the shops. I’m disappointed in any PHEV that doesn’t have at least 40 miles of electric range, but this 14 miles of range isn’t even par for the course. But hey, if you want a BMW with a backup gasoline tank and engine, here’s a competitive offering.

BMW 740e

64 MPGe / 27 MPG 5 seats
14 miles (23 km) 5.1 seconds
$89,100 ($84,432)

Similar to the BMW 330e, the BMW 740e has pitiful electric range — just 14 miles according to the EPA. It’s a plug-in hybrid electric car in the large luxury sedan class, “competing” with the Tesla Model S, but I can’t see why anyone would choose the 740e over the Model S. Well, I’m sure it includes more traditional BMW “luxury” than the Model S, but come one, really.

BMW i8

BMW i8 doors up

76 MPGe / 28 MPG 4 (really 2) seats
15 miles (24 km) 4.4 seconds
$140,700 ($136,907) Review Articles Linked Below

The BMW i8 is BMW’s second i-series car. It’s one of the most expensive cars on the market — actually, it’s the most expensive on the mass market today. It comes with a ton of style and great acceleration — its 0 to 60 mph time (4.4 seconds) only trails the Tesla Model S (2.5 seconds) and Model X (2.9 seconds) amongst electric cars currently for sale in the US. It’s hard not to covet this beauty. While it has amazing power and is a lot of fun to drive, however, it is hard to justify such a high price with the quicker and much more spacious Model S much cheaper. But if you’re chasing style, this may well be top dog.

You can read my review of the BMW i8 here and my comparison of the BMW i8, BMW i3, Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, Tesla Model S 70D, Tesla Model S P85D, and Cadillac ELR here.

BMW X5 xDrive40e

BMW X5 iPerformance

56 MPGe / 24 MPG 5 seats
14 miles (23 km) 6.1 seconds
$62,100 ($57,432)

The BMW X5 xDrive40e was one of the first plug-in SUVs to hit the US market, arriving in early 2016. For an SUV, its 0–60 time of 6.5 seconds is pretty awesome. Surely, the X5 also offers luxury and high-tech features that help pull in $55,000–75,000 for the vehicle. The X5 iPerformance also learns your driving habits and teaches you how to drive more efficiently. And it can avoid crashes that some drivers would fail to escape from.

However, it’s no Model X … which makes the model a really tough buy for someone looking in the luxury, high-performance, high-priced SUV category. I haven’t gotten into an X5 iPerformance yet, but I can say with confidence I’d choose a Model X over it, especially with the X5 xDrive40e only having 14 miles of electric range — pitiful, as is apparently typical for BMW’s plug-in hybrid offerings.

On the other hand, even after the tax credits, the Model X is nearly $20,000 more, so I guess the better choice depends on one’s price sensitivity to some degree. (Just note that you can save a lot of money on fuel with the Model X that could make up for the extra upfront cost.)

Chevy Volt

106 MPGe / 43 MPG 5 seats
53 miles (85 km) 8.4 seconds
$33,220 ($25,720) Review Articles Linked Below

The Chevy Volt is one of the most widely acclaimed electric cars on the market — well, one of the most widely acclaimed cars on the market period. It is the top-selling electric car in the US to date. Volt owners are known as Voltheads and were “the happiest drivers” in the US for two years running … before the Tesla Model S arrived (as per Consumer Reports owner satisfaction surveys).

Check out my comparison review of the Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, and BMW i3. Also see this 2016 Chevy Volt reviewthis 2017 Volt owner review, a 2017 Volt review series from our team (article 1, article 2, article 3), and this 2017 Chevy Volt vs 2015 Nissan LEAF review.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
(Coming Soon … Nationwide?)

84 MPGe / 32 MPG 7 seats
33 miles (53 km)  ~8 seconds
$41,995 ($34,495)

The  is the first plug-in hybrid — and first hybrid — minivan on the market. It is quite attractively priced for the minivan market and could be a huge hit. It’s strange that Fiat-Chrysler Automotive — whose CEO hates EVs — went and produced what could be one of the most competitive EVs on the market. Well, that’s if Chrysler really opens it up beyond a few compliance car regions.

Ford C-Max Energi
(Nationwide … Sort of)

2013 Ford C-MAX

95 MPGe / 39 MPG 5 seats
20 miles (32 km) 8.5 seconds
$27,120 ($23,113)

One of two cars in Ford’s Energi (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) lineup, the Ford C-Max Energi has quite good specs for someone who doesn’t drive very far on most days but wants to take very long trips fairly regularly. It’s also good for larger families, as it seats up to 5 people. Despite seating 5, note that it is cheaper than the Chevy Volt … until you factor in the federal tax credit. Actually, the C-Max Energi is quite similar to the Prius Prime in many respects, and almost exactly the same price. I think choosing one over the other mostly comes down to aesthetic/brand preferences. Though, the Prius Prime is considerably more efficient as well.

Ford Fusion Energi
(Nationwide … Sort of)

ford fusion energi

97 MPGe / 42 MPG 5 seats
22 miles (35 km) 7.9 seconds
$31,120 ($27,113)

Quite similar to the Ford C-Max Energi but with a few more bells & whistles, the Ford Fusion Energi has done quite well since its introduction in February 2013. The Ford Fusion Energi certainly offers some competition to its sister, the C-Max Energi, as well as the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius PHEV/Prime. Importantly, for some people, the Fusion Energi is larger than all three of these competitors. It has a bit less electric range than the Volt, but it has enough seats for five comfortable passengers. Lastly, I’d say the Fusion Energi it is quite the looker.

Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid
(Only Parts of the US)

99 MPGe 5 seats
27 miles (43 km) 9–9.5 seconds
$34,600 ($29,681) Our Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Review

The Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid is a fairly large and classy plug-in hybrid with moderate electric range. It’s basically another competitor to the Ford Energi models and the Chevy Volt. You can see our full review of the new-in-2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid here.

Mercedes-Benz C350e
(Only Parts of the US)

5 seats
11 miles (18 km) 5.9 seconds
$45,490 (~$41,490)

We don’t have much intel on the C350e yet, but it’s clearly a compliance car (11 miles of electric range?!) whereby an electric motor and battery have been added to a gasmobile. Watch the Fully Charged review of the Mercedes C350e.

Mercedes-Benz GLE550e
(Only Parts of the US)

43 MPGe / 21 MPG 5 seats
12 miles (19 km) 5.3 seconds
$66,300 ($62,215)

We don’t have much intel on the GLE550e yet, but it’s clearly a compliance car (12 miles of electric range?!) whereby an electric motor and battery have been added to a gasmobile.

Mercedes-Benz S550e
(Only Parts of the US)

Mercedes S550e plug-in hybrid

58 MPGe / 26 MPG 5 seats
14 miles (35 km) 5.2 seconds
$95,650 ($91,607)

We don’t have much intel on the S550e, but it’s clearly a compliance car whereby an electric motor and battery have been added to a gasmobile.

Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

46 MPGe / 22 MPG 5 seats
14 miles (23 km) 5.4 seconds
$78,700 ($73,364)

Following the successful Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid (see below), Porsche launched the Cayenne S E-Hybrid at the end of 2014. The Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds, and has a top speed of 151 mph. I think “wicked” is the word for that. The plug-in model sells quite well relative to the normal Cayenne, but that doesn’t compare to Model X sales.

Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S E Hybrid

51 MPGe / 25 MPG 4 seats
22 miles (35 km) 5.2 seconds
$93,200 ($88,428) Review Articles Linked Below

The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid electric sports car that is everything you’d expect — awesome. It can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in ~5 seconds. The Panamera S E-Hybrid sometimes accounts for nearly 10% of all Panamera sales. It’s a ton of fun to drive, but still a bit hard to justify for the price compared to other high-performance EVs on the market. The place where it has them beat, though, is in luxury (imho).

You can read my review of the Panamera S E-Hybrid here and my comparison of the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, Tesla Model S 70D, Tesla Model S P85D, BMW i8, BMW i3, and Cadillac ELR here.

Toyota Prius Prime

133 MPGe / 54 MPG 4 seats
25 miles (40 km) 10.6 seconds
$27,100 ($22,600)

The Toyota Prius Prime is a second-gen version of the Toyota Prius Plug-in, which was either the 2nd- or 3rd-best-selling electric car worldwide in 2013. The Prius Prime’s modest 25 miles of all-electric range is a letdown in my book, but the interior space and strong Prius brand sure help to sell this animal. The price is quite attractive, and the fuel economy (MPGe) on electric power is superb. The Prius Prime has about half the range of the Volt, but it does seat 5 people a bit more comfortably … if you need that.

Volvo XC90 Twin Engine

Volvo XC90 T8

54 MPGe / 25 MPG 5–7 seats
14 miles (23 km) 5.6 seconds
$67,800 ($63,215)

The Volvo XC90 T8 is yet another plug-in hybrid electric SUV that hit the US market in 2016. With a bit more seating space and a quicker 0–60 time, the XC90 T8 also costs a bit more than the BMW X5 xDrive40e. It looks like a beautiful luxurious SUV on the inside and the outside, but yet again, if the money is available, I can’t see choosing this over a Tesla Model X. However, if Volvo wants to give me one for a week to test out, I can see if my opinion changes. 🙂

EV Battery Costs

The at-the-register price tag of EVs and PHEVs is higher than that of similarly sized and equipped gasoline-powered cars, mostly because batteries are expensive. How expensive? That’s hard to know, because car manufacturers generally won’t say what they are paying for their batteries, or what they expect to pay in 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, etc. Here are some of the best answers we’ve got for now regarding EV battery prices for specific models:

→ Tesla’s battery packs were estimated to cost $240/kWh in 2014, while the rest of the industry was projected to be no lower than $400/kWh (that seems dubious). But the latest figure from a Tesla representative pegs its battery pack cost at under $190/kWh. (Note that CEO and Chairman Elon Musk stated in February 2012 that the cost of EV batteries would drop below $200 per kWh in the “not-too-distant future.”)

→ GM has a contract with LG Chem to get battery cells for $145/kWh, which probably translates into a battery pack cost around $190/kWh as well.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Battery Price Estimates

For some historical background, though, here’s some info from a 2012 BNEF report that found that the average price of batteries used in electric vehicles dropped 14% from Q1 2011 to Q1 2012, and 30% from 2009 to 2012 (I didn’t even realize/remember that I have been writing about EV battery prices for this long!):

“Electric vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Motor iMiEV, Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S require between 16 and 85kWh of storage, with a total cost of $11,200 and $34,000, or around 25% of the total cost of the vehicle,” BNEF notes. “Battery pack prices for plug-in hybrid vehicles such as GM’s Volt are on average 67% higher in terms of $/kWh, than those for electric-only vehicles like Nissan’s Leaf. This higher price is mainly due to the greater power-to-energy performance required for plug-in hybrid vehicles.”

A more recent BNEF study found that EV battery prices fell 35% in 2015. It stated that prices fell 65% since 2010. But it estimated battery pack prices at $350/kWh, which is considerably higher than the Tesla/Panasonic & GM/LG Chem estimates.

US Department of Energy Aims & Estimates

For another broad view, here’s a statement from US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, from back in January 2012, on battery costs (emphasis mine):

“Overall, the Department of Energy is partnering with industry to reduce the manufacturing cost of advanced batteries. While a typical battery for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a 40-mile electric range cost $12,000 in 2008, we’re on track to demonstrate technology by 2015 that would reduce the cost to $3,600. And last year, we set a goal of demonstrating technology by 2020 that would further reduce the cost to $1,500 – an accomplishment that could help spur the mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.”

It’s 2016, and by almost all measures, EV battery prices have fallen faster than projected. The DOE at that time was targeting $300 per kWh in 2015 (the $3,600 packs) and $125 per kWh by 2022.

Battery Price Projections Consistently Too High

Lastly, a 2014 study found that EV battery prices were falling much faster than most forecasts anticipated. Here’s a chart from that report:

Nature-EV-Battery-Prices-Cheaper-than-2020-ProjectionsCost estimates and future projections for electric vehicle battery packs, measured in $US per kilowatt hour of capacity. Each mark on the chart represents a documented estimate reviewed by the study. Source: Nykvist et al. (2015).

Looking at that chart, it seems that Tesla/Panasonic and GM/LG Chem battery costs are already (in 2016) down to the lowest projections for 2020. Will we achieve $100/kWh by 2020? We’ll be sure to let you know!

Overall, we have been seeing something I’ve presented about in Mumbai, India; Vancouver, Canada; Cocoa, Florida, USA; and  Berlin, Germany: once a technology is ripe, it takes over the market quicker than anticipated and costs come down faster than most people anticipated. Check out these three presentations for more on that (if you haven’t already done so):

UCS Study on Environmental Benefits & Fuel Savings of EVs

The Union of Concerned Scientists in April 2012 completed what was then the most comprehensive study to date on the fuel and environmental costs (or, more appropriately, savings) of electric vehicles. It was updated in 2014 and again in 2015. Factoring in lifecycle emissions, electric cars still crush gasmobiles on environmental performance.

Clearly, as we move more and more to clean, renewable energy in the US, electric vehicles will only become greener and greener to drive.

Furthermore, electric vehicle purchases encourage people to go solar and to cut their overall energy use, factors which have not been adequately studied or quantified yet. If one were to install solar panels on their home, the “fuel” for their EV would be clean, renewable solar power (sunlight) that would make their EV much cleaner than in any state in the UCS study above.

Got more car answers to contribute? Or questions you’d like us to answer?

Beyond the info above and below, the following posts may interest you:

  • @ZShahan A Toyota Prius 2016 model update is needed. The 2015 model range of 11 miles doubled in the 2016 model to 22 miles.


  • Epicurus

    Are these lists up to date? I finally convinced someone to buy a plug-in in the coming weeks or months (she’ll only go for a hybrid) and sent her this link to shop from.

    This article does need a “Coming in 2016.”

  • Carl Raymond S

    May I request a forward looking article comparing the “200 mile – $30 – $40K club”. I believe its members, as of 2017, will include Tesla, Nissan, GM (and BMW?) – and perhaps some stealthy surprise contenders.
    Seems to me the features shootout will put them all in the same ballpark. If so, differentiation comes down to the speed and ubiquitousness of the fast charging network, and brand ‘coolness’. I’ve already picked my winner in both camps, but I’d like to hear what the experts think.
    It will also be fascinating to see who is first to market – they will surely score the most and best free press, as the world slowly realises that petroleum (as fuel) has had its day. The race is on.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Seems to me that GM and Tesla are likelies.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nissan increase their range but stay well below 200 miles in order to set a selling price well under $30k (unsubsidized).

      I don’t know about BMW. They may have made it hard for themselves to price match with GM and Tesla by going the carbon fiber route.

      • Bob_Wallace

        And three hours later I take that back….

        “The enabling factor will be a “breakthrough battery” that permits a range of 200 miles, (Ghosen) said, which Nissan will launch within the next few years.

        That battery is widely expected to be offered in the second-generation Nissan Leaf, to be introduced as a 2017 or 2018 model.”


        And add Renault to the list. If Nissan has a 200 mile range battery then Renault will as well.

        • Glenn N. Davis

          Dear Bob,
          I drive about 3 17 mile trips each day. @ 34 miles round trip this is about 100 miles each day about 30k miles/year.
          I have been looking at used Nissan LEAF’s with chademo DCQC LEVEL 3 charging ports. The problem I am running into is that chargers for this standard seem to be unobtanium. That is not for sale! Nissan now claims that dcqc is only for commercial use. yet they will not refuse to sell the car with it. only the charger. I would love to be able to charge as fast as my 50kW 244V 200A single phase circuit breaker box will put out. but even close would meet my needs.

          CAN you please help me find one that will work and give between 30kW and 50kW.

          I refuse to buy the car until i can get the charger lined up!!!!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sorry, Glen. That’s outside my box of knowledge. Let’s see if one of the people who are up on chargers can help out.

            Also, have you tried any of the EV forums? I would imagine there’s one or more Leaf discussion forums.

            But, let me see if I understand. You drive about 34 miles three times a day on most days? How much time do you have between trips?

            Which year Leafs are you considering? I seem to recall that Nissan increased the size of their built in charger at one point. Here’s what Wiki says –

            “Models with an on-board 6.6 kW charger can be fully recharged from empty in 4 hours from a 220/240-volt 40 amp supply (7.7 kW allowable draw) that can provide the on-board charger its full 6.6 kW of usable power.”

            If you would expect a 70 mile range (highway driving) that means you’d be picking up `17.5 miles per hour of charging. (70 / 4 = 17.5). If you drove 34 miles and then plugged in for 2 hours it seems like you’d be fully charged and ready to go on the next 34 mile jaunt.

  • David P.

    There are very big tech advancements on the way, due 2017 but maybe sooner. Electric range almost doubled, for example, across the board. Also I think it is not yet settled how best to recharge. Tesla continues with the fillup station paradigm, but also possible and in my view very preferable is battery swapping. Swapping is not yet a good choice because batteries are heavy and many people don’t like to grunt. But ideas are being explored involving use of several batteries of lesser size rather than one big battery, resulting in less grunting. This ability to conveniently and effectively combine batteries is relatively new tech which the industry is probably still not leveraging to its full potential.

    • Tesla has offered battery swapping and found almost no interest.

      • David P.

        You say “battery swapping” as if it was just one clear and settled thing. Not so. I’m not referring to the Better World idea. I just recently read about some university that has a battery that can be swapped for a refill like a propane tank. I think that’s the way to go. Tesla didn’t offer anything like that. But rather than one big propane tank, I was thinking maybe 10 small batteries of maybe DVD size each, where the driver can keep maybe 5 or so filled batteries in his car (glove compartment?). And installation should be via dashboard convenience: if one of the 10 small batteries gets low, just pop it out, grab a replacement from the glove compartment, and plug it in. Should be able to do this while driving, with the other 9 batteries providing enough electric power while one is being changed out. The tech for this isn’t quite here yet, but it is very close and it clearly will be here soon. I recommend a smart company like Tesla plan for exactly this. And enough with treating electricity like gasoline. We don’t need electric fillup stations just because that’s the way we’ve always done it.

        • Bob_Wallace

          “some university that has a battery that can be swapped for a refill like a propane tank. I think that’s the way to go.”

          Try digging out some cost numbers.

          ” I was thinking maybe 10 small batteries of maybe DVD size each, where the driver can keep maybe 5 or so filled batteries in his car (glove compartment?).”

          That would take enormous capacity (Wh/L). Gasoline is very much more energy dense than batteries. How far to you think you could drive with a DVD (case) sized container of gas?

          “The tech for this isn’t quite here yet, but it is very close”

          That is highly doubtful.

          Why don’t you go back and reread. What you’re reporting here sounds like it’s from a sci fi site.

          • David P.

            Electric tech is advancing very rapidly so in order to hit the target one has to “lead” the target. If we had not looked forward originally, we would not now have any electric cars at all.

            I say, “The tech for this … is very close.” “Highly doubtful,” you reply. You are entitled to your opinion but I am entitled to disagree. And I do.

          • Bob_Wallace

            David, do you have any facts to back up your opinion?

          • David P.

            @Bob: I do have facts to back up my opinion, but of course I don’t have facts to prove my opinion. Otherwise we wouldn’t be calling it opinion. I’ll give just one fact, this the biggest, I believe: in the last 10 years, EVs have advanced from glorified golf carts to one of the three best cars commercially available. I’m speaking of Tesla’s gem, of course. But even cars like the LEAF or Volt represent big advances in technology, and most tech prognosticators believe this is just the beginning.

            I’m hearing from pretty much all sources that by 2017 a 200 mile EV range will be typical, with the range soon to be much greater than that. This is what I’m hearing as the expert opinion. Experts can certainly be wrong but that’s the way to bet. In any case, while this hardly constitutes fact enough to prove my assertions, it clearly describes a very rapidly advancing technology.

            Today, there is no DVD-size battery that can provide even, say, 20 miles of range. But in 10 years, yes, I believe that is very likely. Maybe in considerably less time than that. And then 10 of those 20-mile DVD-sized batteries, working in tandem, will power an EV, eliminate range anxiety, and allow a guy like me, who parks on the street, to own an EV. A smart guy like Musk should be heading in this direction. My opinion.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Today, there is no DVD-size battery that can provide even, say, 20 miles of range. But in 10 years, yes, I believe that is very likely”

            David, I don’t think you realize how dense a storage system we would need to move an EV 20 miles on a DVD sized storage device.

            Gasoline contains 9,700 Wh/l.

            A DVD has a surface area of 109.4 cm sq. The thickness is 0.12 cm thick. That would make the volume 13.1 cm squared. Or 0.0131 liters.

            A DVD of gasoline would contain 127 Wh of energy. 0.127 kWh. Enough energy to drive an EV about 0.4 miles. Five “DVD”s would be adequate for about 2 miles.

            Twenty miles on a “DVD” assumes someone is going to invent a storage medium fifty times as dense as gasoline.

            The current capacity of lithium-ion batteries is around 240 Wh/l. About 2.5% as dense as gasoline. Only 0.25% of what you imagine.

          • Bob_Wallace

            David, look at where batteries and gasoline are on this energy density chart. What you envision is some sort of energy rich medium that would lie in the great white unoccupied space of the upper right of the chart.

          • David P.

            “Twenty miles on a ‘DVD’ assumes someone is going to invent a storage medium fifty times as dense as gasoline.” What you are actually saying is that you believe nobody ever will invent a storage medium fifty times as dense as gasoline. Certainly not in any foreseeable future.

            You realize that this is the same argument against, that someone much like yourself would have been making when PCs first came out, if I suggested that RAM capacity would reach gigabyte range. You would be saying, “David, I don’t think you realize how densely packed a chip would have to be in order for… and yet a chip can (now) only be packed with this much density, which is way less than needed…”. Etc. And you would have been wrong. (And btw, I was never smart/knowledgeable enough to make any such computer chip prognostication. That was just a hypothetical.)

            I make no guarantees. I don’t know how such advancement will occur, whether it be via new medium or new process or some combination. I’m only saying that electric tech advancement is trending upward very much like the tech advancement curve in computer chip technology, way back when. When I look into my crystal ball I see much greater range from much smaller batteries and again I say, this belief seems to be shared by the tech experts.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Enjoy your fantasies, David.

            Have a nice day.

  • Yeah, Bjorn is wonderful. Very happy he won the referral contest. 😀

    And on the other stuff as well. See:


  • Carl Raymond S

    Why combustion engine car makers are on a collision course with destiny:

    – They don’t want to sell you an electric car, because they will make less profit from parts, servicing and sales of their combustion models.

    – If they sell you an electric car, they have to concede that combustion engine cars are pollution emitters.

    – They know there’s a tipping point in the market, beyond which sales of combustion cars will drop quickly. Their goal is to reach that tipping point as slowly as possible.

    – They know that lithium batteries are only expensive because they are not produced in nearly the same volume as gearboxes, fuel injectors, crankshafts and spark plugs. By delaying market growth they can maintain the fossil fuel economic advantage a little longer.

    – They know that lithium batteries are limited in energy density because they have not undergone decades of refinement, as have gearboxes, fuel injectors, crankshafts and spark plugs. By delaying market growth they can maintain the distance-between-refuelling advantage a little longer.

    – They know that once you’ve experienced the joy of driving (in) a silent, vibration-free, rocket-fast, odourless car that never needs petrol, wild horses won’t drag you back to fossil fuels.

    The above reasons explain the following:

    The Nissan Leaf has no ‘frunk’. Pull the hood and you see a host of stuff that looks like it needs servicing.

    The boot of a Leaf is the oddest shape – it’s not remotely flat. There’s a wall between the hole where the fuel tank would normally be and the rear folding seats. Inside that wall is where they unthinkingly stuffed most of the batteries.

    The Leaf has a 150km range on a full charge. Just low enough to discourage most buyers.

    The servicing schedule on the Leaf is the same as a combustion car. At service 1 (10,000km), they do nothing other than inspect.

    I have not seen a single ad on TV (in Sydney) for the Leaf, yet many other Nissan model ads go to air.

    But here’s the number one reason they’re dreading the EV revolution. It’s all about brand. Let’s assume that Nissan were to release a ‘Leaf III’, at the same time as Tesla releases the Model 3 and, let’s also assume that the cars have equivalent range, performance, style and features. Which car will people buy?

    People concerned about Earth’s rising CO2 levels, or city pollution, or oil money destined for the Middle East, who buy the Tesla Model 3 will know they’re supporting a company who are part of the solution, not part of the problem. They know that friends who see the brand on their new car know it’s electric without having to ask. The Tesla will have instantly recognisable status. The traditional motoring brands have no way to put distance between logo and exhaust pipe. Imagine yourself on the road in your Nissan Leaf III and the car ahead is a hulking combustion engined Nissan, billowing fumes. How do you feel now, supporting the company that produced that monstrosity?

    If I were in charge of strategy for one of the incumbent manufacturers, I’d be immediately looking for a way to take what has value from my brand, yet divorce it completely from what will soon have the stigma of smoking cigarettes in a kindergarten. Don’t believe me? Just watch. When you see ads for “Nissan Electric”, an all new company (with a stylish new logo) sponsored by, yet autonomous to, the old “Nissan”, it signals that the new era in motoring has arrived.

    • Bob_Wallace

      That’s a very good summary and I suspect your insight it about right.

      What’s going to be interesting is to see how many current large car manufacturers survive the move to EVs. Right now we have Tesla along with BYD and other Chinese manufacturers taking EVs seriously.

      Imagine a future in which Apple and perhaps a couple other ‘new car’ manufacturers get into the game with mid-priced to luxury EVs and China starts flooding the market with mid-priced and economy EVs.

      I expect the largest (Toyota, Ford, Honda, GM, etc.) will transition. But some of the smaller manufacturers may be left behind.

    • Excellent summary. Mind if I publish it as a guest/reader post? Worth a lot of eyeballs. 😀

      • Carl Raymond S

        Please do Zachary – the more eyeballs the better.

        Carl Sparre
        M: 0427 200 275

  • Bamboo Justice

    Ok folks, the verdict is in: Those dumbshit in the Red States (those who voted for the world-class moron named George W. Bush) are neither qualified to drive an electric car nor are they smart enough to desire one. So, by virtue of natural selection, the dumb species should die. And die they will, after sniffing in those toxic fumes from coal-burning power plants, diesel trucks, and those poisonous cigarettes loaded with stuff cockroaches would even reject!

    Something’s really wrong with those conservatives whose brain cells are deeply contaminated with propaganda from the evil oil cartels. They go to church every Sunday but worship the most evil creatures on this planet: the oil companies.
    So, statistics do not lie (though, they’re often manipulated by corporate America).

  • Z Casimir Kmiotek

    Afghanistan has huge deposits of Lithium, guess why we care about Afghanistan.

    • Bob_Wallace

      We have huge deposits of lithium in the US and other “less problematic” countries. There will be no need for Afghanistan’s lithium for 100 years or more, if ever.

  • Karim Nasser

    New Lithium Sulfur batteries will dramatically increase range, reduce battery weight, and reduce recharging times.

    • Bob_Wallace


  • Lauie Brainard

    Is there incentive to buy a Huydai Sonata Hybred? I really like the size and gas mileage.

  • Yunzer

    I have been shopping for an electric car in the Pittsburgh area but so far have encountered a rather apathetic and unresponsive sales force. I have not tried Nissan, because I was interested in something smaller. I suspect that what few electric cars that are in my metropolitan area (probably no more than a couple dozen) were purchased elsewhere. Anybody else experiencing this?

    • Yes, it’s very common with dealers. Dealers make a lot of money on servicing, which EVs need much less of. Furthermore, the guys working there probably don’t “get” EVs. They often like oil and grit and noise.

  • Colin Ritchie

    Question Electric cars are GREEN at point of use agreed … But only electric produced by solar wind wave is greenish , but fossil nuclear is not Green agreed , as most of Europe is not on green power how can a electric car be green ?

    • Bob_Wallace

      The car is green.

      The grid needs to get greener.

  • SBarwal

    Any plan for Electric cars in India???

    • Bob_Wallace

      Yes, Tata is developing both EVs and PHEVs. Tesla is going to be selling in India in the near future.

      • SBarwal


  • blaid droog

    ever notice that when it comes to GM the chevy is the basic car, then they tack on a few frills double the price and then spell chevy a little differently so it then becomes cadillac.

    • yeah 😀

    • eveee

      Chevillac. Caddolet.
      Chevrolet brothers. Three Swiss brothers racing Fords founding a racing company called Frontenac after a Canadian hero.
      So American. Apple pie and Chevrolet.
      I am Swiss.
      Meanwhile Cadillac,
      “Cadillac is among the oldest automobile brands in the world, second in America only to fellow GM marque Buick. The firm was founded from the remnants of the Henry Ford Company in 1902, almost nine years before Chevrolet.[4] It was named after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who founded Detroit, Michigan. The Cadillac crest is based on his coat of arms.”

      How do you pronounce Detroit?

      History of Detroit, Michigan. Detroit was founded in 1701 when Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac established a fort and settlement on the site. The name means “strait” in French, and is derived from the narrow river connecting Lake St. Clair with Lake Erie in Michigan. Control of the area passed to the British in 1760.

      Du twah. Doo twah.

      You tell me.

      So Chevrolet raced modified Fords, Cadillac is Ford, And Detroit is a French city.

      Apple pie. Isn’t that a French thing? No, that’s English.

  • Outstanding post on electric cars.Generally, electric cars are more expensive than regular gas cars. Electric cars run on electricity only. Electric cars have several advantages over regular gas cars such as energy efficient, performance benefits, environment friendly and reduce energy dependence. Save money and fuel by using electric cars. Thanks for sharing such informative post.

  • FreeDem

    I have a Bombardier with dead lead acid batteries and would like to convert it to a more modern system. Is there anywhere in Central Florida area where someone could make the conversion and get it working again.

  • Douglas Ledet

    All electric cars have serious downsides to the way we use vehicles. Therefore, they should be cheaper than cheap and they are not. That is so much like this world, upside down and nobody even mentions it at all. Insanity runs very strong in this world.

    • Patrick

      Total cost of ownership on an electric car is less that internal combustion engine. It’s close now but the gap is widening.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Emerging technology is almost always expensive. As manufacturing volume grows prices drop.

      When my family bought their first color TV (19″, mono sound, no remote) it cost about $3,000 in today’s dollars. The Apple II, and amazingly crude machine by today’s standards, was $2k.

      • Epicurus

        And the Lisa, predecessor to the Macintosh, was $10,000 then.

      • neroden

        My father bought a 20 Megabyte hard drive (yes, megabyte) for $5000 back in the 1980s. In 1980s dollars (adjusting for inflation would give you an even larger number).

        • Bob_Wallace

          That was probably Apple’s. I bought my first HD and plugged it into an Apple II after a second vendor came to the game, about ’84. 30 megs for $3,600.

          $266,667 per gig ramped to today’s dollars. Of course one can get HD storage for less than 5 cents a gig today.

          It held about a quarter of our database. We rotated data on/off using VHS tapes.

  • Epicurus

    It would be great if someone would put the relevant data in spreadsheet form for easy comparison.

  • Recharge able batteries that provided a viable means for storing electricity on board a vehicle great step. Vehicle that uses electric motors for propulsion, while “electric car” generally refers to highway-capable automobiles powered by electricity.

  • Terry

    Leases suck. When driving an EV and not spending money on gas you going to want to drive more and more and wave at the gas stations. Big cities cause a lot of miles to come quick on any lease. I have a Volt for 2 1/2 years and am past total lease miles and work mileage was only 34 miles. You really do not want to lease.

  • Terry

    I leased 1 vehicle will never do that again. Had to let the van sit because of too much mileage. Bigger cities make for a lot of miles. As for EVs the batteries should be able to be upgraded. When EVs get older there will most likely be after market parts just like ICE vehicles.

  • topher strongarm

    So I have a 2015 Chevy volt and I was curious as to the battery limits (it has 2 batteries), and as to anyone’s opinion on installing a (removeable) small subwoofer in the back. I feel a small enough amp/watt system would be safe, and effective. Any ideas???

  • Dominik S.

    I noticed under Tesla’s Model X, you listed it has 5 seats, but it actually (according to the video) has seating for 7. Just though it was worth pointing out.

  • Volt Owner

    I got to sit in a Kia Soul last month at the Drive Electric week rally in Sunnyvale. If the e-Golf is listed, the Soul should be too, both will be available soon…

  • nancy white


  • Anton

    Any data on electromagnetic fields produced by electric motors, batteries, …, in electric cars?

    • I’ve seen some that it’s negligible but didn’t dig deeply and didn’t save the links.

  • Sushant R

    I think we forgot one car. Mahindra e2o. it is the most affordable ev in the world. 120km range, 19kw powertrain and bevy of other features.

    • A Real Libertarian

      Currently running at between US$8,316.60 (Base, Bangalore) and US$11,901.43 (Premium + Quick2Charge, Delhi).


      But this article is about cars for sale in America, and the e2o is only sold in India, Bhutan & Bermuda.

      How about a worldwide article, Zach?

      • Sushant R

        Thanks Real!
        +1 to worldwide article.

        • A Real Libertarian

          No problem.

      • I’ve thought about it. Would be a lot of work 😛 And specs wouldn’t be comparable from one place to another.

  • IMPOed

    What happens if your charge is low, meaning if you are a mile from home is it going to flat out quit or just get slower and slower?
    Also are there solar panels available so it can charge while at rest? (The wife drives 50 miles to work and is there for 12 hrs., if you have a 70 mile range, it may charge enough for the trip home)
    I know everything is “relative” but anything like that in the works?

    • Bob_Wallace

      There’s not that many square feet of surface area on a car roof (hood and trunk). If super efficient cells weren’t so expensive one might be able to grab a few miles while parked.

      What really needs to happen is that businesses and schools need to install charge outlets for EV drivers. That would double the range and make EVs practical for a lot more people.

      Then put about 3 kW of panels on your roof for every 13,000 miles you drive per year.

      • IMPOed

        Thank you, interesting,, :>) what about,
        What happens if your charge is low, meaning if you are a mile from home
        is it going to flat out quit or just get slower and slower, in an EV?

  • Rudolf Zölde

    new real electrical power gain is a quantum leap in the electronics
    world with high gain due to increased power for each power source and
    is an efficient use of energy for electric vehicles, photovoltaics,
    Rudolf Zölde
    / Fax: +34 965832368


    Info: http://www.slimlife.eu


    Die neue reale elektrische Leistungsverstärkung
    ist ein Quantensprung in der Elektronikwelt mit hohem Gewinn durch
    erhöhte Leistung für jede Stromquelle und ist eine effiziente
    Nutzung von Energie für Elektrofahrzeuge, Photovoltaik, Luft-und

  • mcamello

    How about installing on board the vehicle one dynamo along with two ultra-capacitors that can store electricity for alternate use, and instant alternate recharging, in the E.V.?

    The dynamo shall then be “hitched” by an appropriate adopter to the wheel or to a rotating shaft of the vehicle. Then initially connect the fully charged ultra-capacitor to power the vehicle. In the meantime, the idle power-drained ultra-capacitor shall be connected to the dynamo through the plug-in mechanism for instant recharging each time the vehicle is being driven.

    When the “on service” ultra- capacitor runs low of power, simply switch it out and then switch in the fully re charged ultra-capacitor to the vehicle to continue powering the vehicle. The “switched out” ultra-capacitor shall then be connected to the dynamo for instant recharging while the vehicle is traveling.

    Is the foregoing recommendation possible for adoption?

    • Calamity_Jean

      “Is the foregoing recommendation possible for adoption?”

      No. What you have there is another variation on the perpetual motion machine. It’s impossible. Sorry.

      • neroden

        The realistic version (which doesn’t violate conservation of energy) is known as regenerative braking, and is present in all electric cars.

        • Calamity_Jean

          Yes, I know that, but regenerative braking isn’t expected to completely recharge the battery. It still needs to be recharged from some other source occasionally to replace energy lost to friction and wind resistance.

  • julia john

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  • David van Zijl

    Options for EVs certainly are becoming more attractive, although the prices are still quite high and range in general is relatively low. That being said there seems to be plenty of competitive and innovation going on in the industry, long may it continue!

    • Agreed. 😀 And a lot of people are looking forward to the Model 3, Chevy Bolt, and 2nd-gen Nissan LEAF. 😀

  • Phil Katz

    Here in Seattle my wife and I are looking to get a pure electric compact sedan. (Not a a tiny car or a concept car.) Not having the funds for a Tesla, it looks like a Leaf or a Ford Focus Electric. (Electric Fit is still lease-only, right?)

    Prob is either Ford Company or Ford dealers here seem not to be serious about selling the Focus Electric. We went to a Ford dealer in Renton and they didn’t have one “right now” and showed us a used Leaf instead. One in North Seattle sez he only has one in for a day or so; if you don’t show up on day certain, the one he has that 2 weeks or month is gone. This is in complete contrast to when we bought our 2013 Volt; virtually every dealer had at least 1 to show us, and several offered a choice (though I think some were sharing available inventory.) We had several dealers hot to have us test drive, and several offerers at differing prices when we bought. (It’s a wonderful car, btw, but we really dont need both our cars to have gas engines for extended range.)

    So is Focus Electric really a) a California-only car, to comply w/ rules to sell a fraction, b) something Ford hasn’t got its heart in; c) so out-competed by Leaf that nobody wants ’em, or what? What is the skinny on them? Is everybody waiting for the next price down-increment in Tesla models?

    • Charlotte Omoto

      I think many of the cars listed are only available and serviced in CA, Toyota RAV4 ev, for one. It would be useful on the list to indicate where they are sold and serviced. I’ve heard of those who live outside of CA having heck of a time getting service on their RAV4 ev.

      I think there is a general problem with EVs other than Tesla, which explains why Tesla does not want to use the dealership model. Most dealers are not keen to sell EVs since they will not need as much maintenance and frankly I think many are downright against EVs. I’ve heard of others who went to a Nissan dealer for a Leaf and got steered to a regular car.

      • Bob_Wallace

        I think most car companies do not want to build EVs at this time. I suspect they see no market and want to concentrate on what is currently making them money.

        They are making a few EVs in order to sell other cars in Ca. And making a handful gets them ready to jump into the EV market once demand increases. I have to admit that were I running a car company and had to keep profits up it’s likely what I’d do.

        Nissan, Tesla, GM and to a small extent Toyota are in the electric market. Their market share is very small, splitting it up over several other manufacturers would be bad for electrics. We need a few manufacturers turning out enough electrics per year to bring battery prices down.

        Once battery prices come down to where EVs/PHEVs are only a few thousand more than a same-model ICEV then sales will take off.

  • wholehousefanguy

    I am looking for a good used EV with gas engine so I can convert the engine to CNG. Any advice on which EV to look for??

  • hdfcg

    what abt pollution??

    • Bob_Wallace

      Pollution hurts my nose.

  • Senlac

    Thank you Zachary, as usual nicely done.

    The question of electricity sources and “carbon foot print” of EV verse other types of cars is really a moot issue. The bottom line is, EV technology is more efficient, even when using less than optional energy sources, like coal and gas. A typical ICE engine is 15% efficient gas tank to wheels. EVs are 67-80% battery to wheels. And of course as we clean up our energy sources it becomes even more moot. Same with “carbon foot print”. Case in point is Germany, where the BMW 3i is made in an economy which during the day energy is 1/3 solar and some wind. Batteries do raise the carbon foot print, but then there is recycling, so not a big sweat. As we move to a renewable energy economy EVs make more and more sense. The Chinese company Kandi is building towers which hold EVs for daily rental. The test city “Hangzhou” will have perhaps 30 such towers.

    Here is a pretty cool video about it.

  • Pingback: SolidEnergy and The Key To Electric Vehicle (EV) Survival | TechFaster()

  • k4kenneth

    Iposted a video of Tom Hanks driving his electric car on my blog http://countrymusic.empowernetwork.com/blog/electric-cars-2014

  • Thanks for this article. This article is uncommon but attractive. Here I have found details about electric cars and this is good. General people can get information here and they car purchase an electric car. I only want to say that this car can save us from pollution. So use this car and save environment.

  • Ace

    Great Information! Are you keeping this up to date? Would it be possible to include the battery size with the vehicles and cumulative sales?

    Missing Upcoming:
    -Cadillac ELR
    -Mercedez-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

    • Yes, I update it, but it is ripe for another. Sales would be very hard to gather & include. Practically impossible. But I do crete monthly sales reports for several countries.

  • Jesse Stephenson

    Hey Zachary, check out my new electric vehicle. It is called the e-fox. http://www.nuway2commute.com thanks, Jesse

  • You could add the Mercedes Electric Drive.

    In Electric Blue, please!

  • sun

    all out electric car marketing start
    who win ?
    maybe google

  • sun

    all out electric car markitng start
    who win?
    may be google

  • Todd

    Right on Maxx the Katt!

  • MaxxTheKatt

    In the VERY near future, batteries as we know them will be a thing of the past as super conductors come on line. It will be like jumping from a Model T to a Ferrari. Super Conductor technology will revolutionize power storage. Imagine cell phones and Laptops that can run a month on one charge and take less than 30 seconds to recharge. Imagine electric cars with 500 miles or more range and take less than ten minutes to fully charge. Now your talking. That technology is right around the corner. Watch for it!

    • A Real Libertarian



    There is also OKA NEV ZEV available


    From $7,500

  • Mairead

    How can it be possible that designers continue to design overlarge, heavy vehicles? Are they really so poor at design that they don’t realise that wrapping a 100Kg payload in a 1000Kg vehicle makes even less sense when the package has to be moved by electricity?


    • Bob_Wallace

      Perhaps because they have to balance efficiency and market acceptance.

      Car companies could bring a tandem-seating, bullet-shaped “Aptera” to market but their marketing specialists would probably be telling them that the shape/size would not be acceptable to a large portion of buyers.

      I suspect Toyota would have grown their US market share for the Prius had they released a model that US buyers found attractive. People I know held their noses and bought a Prius in spite of its looks.

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  • BigB

    How about the Fluence ZE, 75KW peak family sedan with 22KwH, 15.6 KwH/100 KM battery, five-minute swap time, about a thousand sold and operating so far in Israel and Denmark?

    • Bob_Wallace

      IIRC Better Place recently gave up on battery swapping in Israel.

    • Renault cut this model, unfortunately.

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  • Not sure why, but thios article has left out what will no doubt be a top performer and game changer for the EV industry… The BMW i3 and i8. The i3 is an AMAZING car,sporting an ultra-light and ultra-strong carbon fiber composite body, “suicide door” access, and projected to be just under $40k starting price, less tax incentives and rebates, landing in the sub $30k range for California drivers!! I personally can’t wait to own one!



    • They’ve been added by now of course. And I intend to get an i3 😀

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  • justin bieber

    very nice

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  • You can charge these things overnight very cheaply if you choose real time pricing. Unfortunately, the Sierra Club is against real time pricing and is encouraging people to adopt flat rate programs that subsidize businesses. Only with real time pricing can you get electricity at 2 to 3 cents per kilowatt hour. The Sierra Club plan rates are 5.5 cents per kilowatt hour. Check your suppliers. In general those green energy plans do not encourage conservation or electric vehicles. Smart meters are the future and give us the best opportunity to have a green energy system.

    • Sierra Club is against real time pricing? That seems odd. Don’t understand what its logic would be.

  • I would like to add Rimac – Concept One, the fastest electric car, custom made and is produced only 20 pieces per year:

    The Concept_One is an exceptional supercar with a new propulsion concept. With a curb weight of 1650 kg, and 1088 HP, the Concept_One can reach 100 km/h from a standstill in 2.8 seconds and continue to accelerate to the limit of 305 km/h. 92kWh of energy in the Battery Modules delivers enough juice“for up to 600 km of range.

    Price: over 500.000 $

    • Somewhat out of the “typical consumer” range, and certainly not mass production. We have covered the car, though. Could you pass along a webpage that includes MPGe or something similar?

  • Richard

    This article omits the environmental impact of manufacturing an electric or hybrid vehicle. Then there’s the impact of predominantly coal generated electricity to charge the batteries of electric cars in the US. Perhaps the Europeans have something with their 80+ mpg clean diesel cars that can run on vegetable oil.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Well, Richard, you thinking that the environmental impact of manufacturing an EV or hybrid is significantly different than the environmental impact of manufacturing a gasmobile?

      And since only 36% of American electricity comes from coal but 100% of gas and diesel comes from oil which do you think the larger problem for the environment? Especially as that 36% is going to continue to drop as the input from wind, solar and geothermal continue to increase.

      (We’ve haven’t used coal as our predominate electricity source in the US since 2003 when it provided 50.8%.)

      And exactly who do you think should give up eating so that the rest of you guys can drive around on vegetable oil?

      • Richard

        Yes manufacturing is significantly different. Subtract all the common elements like sheet metal, upholstery, glass and engine components etc and then add the impact of producing the lithium ion batteries (or whatever batteries). So I don’t buy the manufacturing side at all.

        Electricity from coal as of 2005 was 49.6% (Ref. http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-and-you/index.html). Of the electricity generated in the United States in 2006, 70% was produced from fossil fuels (mainly coal and natural gas), almost 20% came from nuclear power, 7% from hydropower and 3% from other forms of renewable energy such as wind and solar energy. (Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_of_the_United_States).

        In regards to vegetable oil and giving up eating, I wasn’t thinking of Burger King or McDonald’s. I was thinking about producing low sulfur oil from algae. A simple Google search will provide tons of info on oil from algae. (By the way around 90% of the corn produced in the US is not used for human consumption. It’s wasted on ethanol and animal feed. Ref. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/datablog/2010/jan/22/us-corn-production-biofuel-ethanol. And http://www.iowacorn.org/en/corn_use_education/production_and_use/)

        Lastly, diesel is much more efficient in internal combustion engines because it has a much higher calorific value than gasoline. We’re talking 80mpg which is unheard of in a country where so much energy is wasted using inefficient 5 and 6 liter V8 gasoline engines (boasting 20mpg). For example, in the UK over 80% of all cars sold including luxury brands like Jaguar, Range Rover, Audi, BMW and Mercedes are all diesel. Yes, the Toyota Prius is available in the UK but as was proven in a road test a number of years ago, a BMW 520d (diesel) was more economical, (Ref. http://www.autoblog.com/2008/03/23/bmw-520d-beats-prius-in-gas-mileage/) I’d go for the larger more economical 5 series BMW any day over the smaller less economical and slower Prius.

        It appears the Europeans know a lot more about efficient economical eco-friendly vehicles than we do.

        • Bob_Wallace

          So you think that mining and processing all the metal it takes for a internal combustion engine along with its cooling, fuel and exhaust systems is less energy demanding than making lithium batteries?


          2005 was a bunch of years ago. In 2012 US use of coal dropped to 36%. It will be lower in 2013. And lower still in 2014.

          We have approximately 100 coal plants scheduled to close over the next few years. We’ve essentially quit building coal plants. Coal is a dead man walking (to borrow a description from a German investment bank).

          Nuclear is now down to 19% and will be dropping. A plant in Wisconsin is closing this year and Oyster Creek is closing in a few years. Crystal River and San Ononfre are down and may not be coming back up due to extensive repair costs.

          First half of 2012 we got 7.6% of our electricity from hydro and 5.4% from non-hydro renewables. Wind, alone, provided 3.5%. Look for that to go up next year as we just installed a bunch of new wind capacity.

          Yes, we could power our cars with bio-oil from algae. If someone figures out how to make it in ample quantities at a reasonable price. At this point in time algae oil is simply an unproven idea.

          As for getting our fuel from food crops, even giving up meat…

          “If you were to take every gram of crops produced anywhere in the world for all purposes — and that includes every grape, every ton of wheat, every ton of soybeans and corn — and you were to use that for biofuels and essentially stop eating, those crops would produce about 14 percent of world energy,” says Timothy Searchinger, an associate research scholar at Princeton University.

          G. Philip Robertson and colleagues at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station have been looking at plants that don’t require farm fields.

          “First, we discovered that the grasses and flowers that take over fields once you stop farming produce a fair amount of biomass, especially if you provide them a little bit of fertilizer,” Robertson says.

          Robertson and his colleagues surveyed the Midwest acre by acre and identified 27 million acres of marginal farmland where these plants could grow, and where the acreage falls into a compact enough area that someone might want to build a refinery to produce biofuels.

          They figured that it would become too expensive to transport this heavy and bulky plant material more than 50 miles, from field to refinery.

          “At the end of the day, we discovered we could produce enough biomass to supply 30 or so of these potential biorefineries,” Robertson says.

          The 27 million acres identified in the latest study would provide less than 0.5 percent of (US) national energy demand,


          Around 200 million tonnes of waste is produced in UK every year which is capable of producing 4% of the total UK’s electricity and water needs.


          41% of all US energy is electricity. 28% of all US energy is used for transportation.

          EVs are about 90% efficient. ICEVs about 20%

          • Richard

            Please see my reply to Patrick above. My whole point is that swapping one form of pollution for another potentially more environmentally harmful one is not a solution.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Were that what was happening everywhere and in the future then you would have a valid point.

            See my longer reply elsewhere in the thread.

          • But the point you’re missing is very clearly this: it’s not an even swap — EVs (even on a dirty grid) are much cleaner. If you want to encourage people to bike & use transit, go for it! But as far as automobile options go, there’s no beating an EV today. (Also note that a lot of EV owners are in states with more renewable energy on the grid, and it seems the large majority actually have solar panels on their roof.)

          • Richard

            If EVs off the grid are more efficient and cleaner from a total environmental impact standpoint then I stand corrected. Please keep in mind that electric power station efficiency especially in the case of coal is 30%. In other words 70% is wasted in the form of heat and other environmentally toxic byproducts. If this is accounted for as part of the “dirty grid” then I would concede in favor of EV vs clean diesel technology.

          • Yep, UCS has done a thorough study on the matter. I guess a lot of people still haven’t seen that (and you missed it when first reading the article).

          • Patrick

            Can you refer us to that study. I mention it all the time but I cannot cite it

          • Bob_Wallace

            ICEVs waste 80% of their fuel in the form of heat.

            We’re learning that even “clean” diesel may be harming our health.

            Once more, don’t concentrate on the grid as it is now, or especially yesterday. We are very likely in the early years of a massive move away from fossil fuels. Just real the posts on this web site for a while. What you’ll see is stories about how grids around the world are changing and about new developments in clean technology which will drive those changes faster and faster.

            Go up to the top of the page and click on the “Wind” and “Solar” sections that Zach has put together. Look at how renewables are growing.

          • jeffhre

            Those same power stations also produce billions of kWhs of electricity needed to refine gasoline, in cars that are about 22% efficient. Electric motors are 90% or more efficient.

          • rickster

            Yes it is a solution, Why don’t you check Shanghai China, The smog caused by auto emissions in there is staggering, would be minimized if all the cars were electric. At the coal plant is easier to control emissions rather than control emissions in millions of cars. Besides even if 100% of the electricity used by an EV is coal based the emission is smaller than and internal combustion engine. Also notice Coal plants are being closed every year,and that is awesome. Check this analysis by UCLA

          • jeffhre

            I’m so sick and tired of folks coming in years after the conversation start and saying, hey this is why “none of what you say matters.” Even if they said, I thought much about about this but this is why you seem to be wrong, would be annoying at this point.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m a little lost here. You just commented to a two year old thread and you’re complaining that people do that?

          • jeffhre

            Maybe some carbs will help!

          • David Milner

            I have tried vehiclecommercial (dot) com myself, they have some genuine get paid to drive programs. Worth to make a difference

        • Patrick

          Electric cars are dramatically more energy efficient simply because electric engines are more efficient. Most importantly, batteries create a standardized interface that separates energy generation from it’s use. It’s engineering 101: build an interface so the two systems can evolve independently.

          • Richard

            Agreed if you just look at it from an EV standpoint. For example, there
            are people driving around in hydrogen powered cars believing they have a
            zero carbon footprint. If you just look at the car, with water as
            exhaust, it is true. However, when you look at the energy required to
            produce and compress the hydrogen, nothing can be further from the

            We need to look at the whole picture. Hybrid cars like
            the Prius have batteries and an internal combustion engine. Should you
            look at the carbon footprint in producing one of these cars, I’m sure
            you’ll find it’s greater than producing a diesel equivalent vehicle. My
            point is simply this: ‘Swapping one form of pollution for another is
            not a solution’.

            I’m open to finding the best energy efficiency
            combined with the lowest manufacturing and operational carbon
            footprint. In the meantime please hang on to the insults.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If you’re looking for the cleanest option right now it is not going to be one size fits all.

            If, for example you have a commute within the range of an EV such as the LEAF and live in a place with a very green grid, say Idaho, or perhaps work nights and could charge your ride with rooftop solar then an EV is for you.

            If, however, you live in a utility service area that uses lots of coal then a high MPG gas/diesel might be a better choice.

            But if you’re wondering what the future best choice would be it’s very likely it will be EVs.

            We, all around to world, are greening our grids. Wind and solar technologies have just developed to the point at which they make economic sense and they will continue to drop in price. We’ve got very promising battery technology coming out of the lab, we should see affordable 200 mile range batteries in the near future.

            We can’t make liquid fuel as cheaply as we can make electricity. Driving an EV with US average priced electricity is like driving a 50 MPG gasmobile on $1.80/gallon fuel.

            ($0.12/kWh x 0.3 kWh/mile = $0.036/mile.)
            (50 miles x $0.036/mile = $1.80/gallon.)

            We cannot, even if we had the land and water, make biofuel for $2/gallon.

            We can’t make and distribute hydrogen as cheaply as we can electricity.

            Furthermore, the price of electricity will drop. EVs charging on smart meters will use the cheapest available electricity, not average price.

            Have you ever torn down and reassembled an internal combustion engine? If you have then you know how many carefully designed and manufactured separate pieces there are. All made of metal which means lots of ore extracted and processed into various different metals.

            I’m pretty sure you’ve changed batteries in a flashlight. Just a bunch of identical containers filled with some chemicals. Very much simpler, easier to automate, very high volume production of identical components – that leads to lower cost manufacturing.

            When economies of scale kick in the purchase price of an EV should fall below that of a gasmobile.

          • Patrick

            Hybrids are a bridge technology. They are supporting and creating a battery market, advancing fuel efficiency technology, etc. Short term evolutionary steps are never perfect.

            Hydrogen cars are in their infancy and can be made efficient. Just because they aren’t perfect now doesn’t mean they can’t be perfect later.

          • Patrick

            The whole picture is that electric cars are more efficient. Even if we’re simply trading oil for coal, both generating electricity at 30% efficiency, electric cars use that energy more efficiently. They don’t use gas while idling, they can be smaller and lighter by removing the engine and all of the systems that support, etc.

            Most importantly, we’re currently building millions of shitty power generation plants (cars). By separating power generation from usage we can allow new (and regionally variant) power sources to evolve and contribute to vehicles. We can stop being blocked by the infrastructure switching cost problem.

        • jeffhre

          MIT Sloan studies show that the vast majority of energy use for passenger cars is from propulsion – not from production.

    • Richard, if you’re comparing an EV to a normal vehicle, the manufacturing impact isn’t going to be noticeably different.

      Regarding the source of power used to generate the electricity, there’s a whole section on that above that you seem to have missed. (Some people seem more interested in criticizing a technology than reading about it.)

      What’s your real beef with EVs? Do you work in a competing industry? Or just an avid FOX News viewer? (I’m not asking this judgmentally — just very curious why you’d skip reading an article and then criticize the technology it’s covering.)

      • Richard

        Zachary: I have no beef with EVs and do not work for a competing industry. Furthermore, I agree that EVs are efficient but ultimately the energy comes predominantly from fossil fuel and that was my point. My only criticism is that we seem to be swapping one form of pollution for another with a potentially greater impact on the environment. This is not a solution. Yes I did read the article and please see my comments to others in this same discussion thread. Cars with built in solar panels that do not need electricity from the grid would be a step in the right direction. Energy derived from methane gas might be another alternative. The problem is not harnessing the energy, it’s producing it in a sustainable and eco-friendly way.

        The fact that a BMW-520d diesel beat a Toyota Prius in all round fuel economy makes a very good point for diesel vs hybrid vehicles.

        • If you look at the EPA’s latest ranking of the most efficient vehicles, the top 9 are EVs and the 10th is a PHEV: http://cleantechnica.com/2012/12/09/most-fuel-efficient-cars-list/

          I’m personally not that into cars. I prefer bikes and transit for many reasons. But I’ve become a huge EV supporter because they are much cleaner — and a lot of people are going to own/drive cars for a long time to come. I had questions about their ‘superiority’ and I’ve had those resolved.

        • Bob_Wallace

          ” we seem to be swapping one form of pollution for another with a potentially greater impact on the environment”

          Again, that would be true if we were likely to continue using large amounts of fossil fuel to make electricity. But we won’t.

          We will continue to make more and more of our electricity using renewable technology. Let’s look at what happened to date:

          2003 2.0% electricity from non-hydro renewables.
          2006 2.4%
          2009 3.7%
          2012 5.4% (first half of year)

          That is an accelerating curve and I believe that is is only the very early shallow end of a curve that is about to drastically shoot up. We just installed a lot of wind generation in 2012 and we should see a very large boost in solar in 2013 due to recent price drops.

          BTW, those numbers do not include end-user rooftop solar, only utility-side solar.

          “Cars with built in solar panels that do not need electricity from the grid would be a step in the right direction.”

          Current (affordable) solar panels would not generate enough power to drive very far. And drivers would have to be careful about where they park, avoid shade/garages/etc.

          Better to connect panels to the grid and charge off the grid. Especially with late night wind power.

          “Energy derived from methane gas might be another alternative.”

          Methane (natural gas) is not environmentally friendly. It’s better than coal as it produces less CO2 per unit electricity, avoids the mercury/etc. problems from coal, and is dispatchable.

          Methane is something that we unfortunately need to use right now to fill in around wind and solar while we develop better storage technology.

          If you wanted to be environmentally friendly what you could do is to buy an EV or PHEV and put some panels on your roof. Produce as much electricity as you take off the grid to charge your batteries. Less fossil fuels will be burned while your batteries are charging.

          If you could do your driving with a LEAF you would be causing zero fossil fuels to be burned.

          If you needed extra range frequently enough to make a LEAF unusable you could do your first ~40 miles each day with electricity (make your own) and the rest at about 50 MPG.

        • bymaak

          What I dont understand. These cars have room for 4 or 5 people..most anyways. But…WHY is everyone comparing them to 27-32 mpg cars?..My 2007 and the new 2014 Corolla get 41-43 mpg and only cost 15,000. To pay 30-50,000 up front that will buy alot of gas for a car that gets 40mpg. Furthermore Federal Standards are increasing MPG to 50 mpg by 2025. and yes thats combined city/highway. EVEN Trucks by 2015 will HAVE to get 32mpg combined in order to be sold on American soil. I’m not saying Electric is the way to go. but how well do they perform up here in Montana with 30″ of snowfall a year?…where do we put the Block Heater when the temps drop to -30 degrees?…and do they have Heaters/AC for summer and winter driving?
          I would LOVE nothing more than to get an EV vehicle but lets be reasonable, I make 40,000 a year and to buy a car that costs 30-50k is just stupid to me. Houses up here are going for 150k-200k, Id rather put a nice down payment on some land than pay that kind of money for an electric car. Id rather have a corolla/civic/echo/focus for 1/2 the price. Plus i know it will start at 30 below in my driveway when a blizzard hits. Until these prices drop the average “Joe” like myself will never put one in the driveway until the year 2050 or 2060 when the Internal Combustion Engine is in a museum!

          • Bob_Wallace

            If you leave your EV plugged in then you can pre-heat (or air-condition) the cabin and batteries using grid power. Even better than a block heater that warms only your engine. Once you start driving an EV the batteries give off heat which can be used to help heat the cabin. EVs are starting to use heat pumps which is a much more efficient way to heat and cool the cabin.

            Right now the Nissan LEAF is $21,300 including the federal subsidy. Prices will keep falling.

            Compare your Corella to the LEAF, not a luxury car like the Tesla S.

            People compare EVs to the average US car, ~25 MPG, and to the Prius. ~50 MPG. Both are valid comparisons as long as they are clear which they are using.

            The federal standard of 50 MPG is for “fleet average”. To hit that mark car manufacturers will have to include a lot of EVs to make up for lower mileage larger cars. Unless they are all EV/PHEVs by then, which is likely.
            An EV with snow tires is likely to do better in snow than an ICEV – it will be heavier. Better traction. And once we start getting intelligent four wheel drive like the Mercedes has then nothing will be better in snow.
            If you do the math you’ll see that an EV is cheaper to drive over the life of the car than an ICEV. Cost per mile is one quarter to one half as much. Maintenance costs are close to zero. (No oil changes, no mechanical stuff to service and replace. Much less brake wear.)

            Set up a spreadsheet and compare a LEAF with a Corella or Civic. You may be surprised to see that it will cost you more to drive a gasmobile than an EV.

          • neroden

            FWIW, it’s basically impossible to get 50 mph without making a hybrid. Before all cars are EVs, all cars will be hybrids. And if you’re making a hybrid, you might as well make a plug-in hybrid.

            Don’t worry about a block heater, you don’t need one for an electric car. Now, a block heater is powered by electricity, right? Then you need to plug your car in

            whether it’s electric or not!

            Heating and A/C in an electric car is powered by, again, electricity.

            So basically the only issue for you is the upfront price of the car. If the Leaf has enough range for you, you’re golden. Otherwise get a Volt…

        • rickster

          It seems you are one of those anti-EV evangelists that go all over the internet looking for articles and try to inject you half baked theories trying to scare future EV buyers. The fact is that most of the people who come and comment here are EV lovers, like myself. Your comments are not doing any impact, as matter of fact those comments are starting to become pointless. Yes, we understand you believe in the oil industry. We Don’t. sir go right ahead and use your gas guzzing car, feel free to fill it up! and take a 500mi trip..great~!. But, please dont try to cover the sun with you tumb, by trying to say that EV are more polluting than gasoline cars. That is a non-sense myth.

    • This is simply not true. Wind power is more available at night, when people are most likely to charge their cars, and it is very cheap. By going to a real time pricing plan you can charge your car for 2 to 3 cents per kilowatt and you will be encouraging the development of wind farms. You will also be helping to put coal plants out of business.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Wind probably won’t stay that cheap. It’s cheap now because there is little demand at the time wind farms are often the most productive. What’s often happening is that coal and nuclear plants are forced to underbid wind because they can’t shut down and have to sell their power even at a loss. They’ve got to go low enough to get under the wind subsidy and force wind to curtail its output.

        As EVs come on the grid demand for late night power will increase and it’s likely rates will rise to about the point where wind can make a profit. Since new wind is likely to be in the 3 to 5 cent range and a few pennies have to be added for transmission, distribution and profit I would expect nighttime rates to hit around 8 cents. Perhaps there will be enough profit in selling peak hour power to let wind cut their price a bit, but I don’t think 2 to 3 cents will hold.

        And, remember, the 2.2 cent subsidy is almost certain to go away. That is currently helping lower the price of nighttime electricity.

        Eight cents for charging would still be a sweet price. Like running a 50 mile per gallon gasmobile on $1.20/gallon fuel.

  • Anoni

    I would include a list of current Federal, state, & other incentives to lower prices.

    Tesla has a future cost of battery prices of around $150 per kWh.
    Bottom of fact page for S model.

    An approximate cost per mile (cost of car / range )
    An approximate cost of ownership

    • Thanks. Will try to get around to digging up as much info on incentives as possible.

  • JPnSD

    You use confusing terms. PEV is Plug-in electric vehicle – generic term that means all plug-in vehicles (all electric and plug-in hyrid electric vehicle (PHEV). You try to indicate that PEV means PHEV only…it does not! Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) DOES NOT HAVE A PLUG CONNEVTION! It is the run of the mill hybrid like the standard prius that has been out there for 10 years plus.

    • I’m well aware of the differences you write about here. Will review the text to see if there is some confusion.

    • was very off & confusing — not sure what was going on when i initially wrote that segment. fixed.

  • lee colleton

    If I may humbly suggest some horizontal rules between the pictures and associated range/efficiency ratings. It’s a bit confusing which numbers go with what picture.

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  • Hi guys 
    Thanks for another great article.
    ps the updates received are really appreciated…keep it up .

    • Greatly appreciate it, thanks! Such comments make my day, or week 😀

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  • Patrick

    If you’re going to develop content in this page then you’ll need NYT style navigation/table of contents. 

    I’d really like to see EV battery recycling topics covered. I’m a cleantech fan and I find EV battery recycling worrisome. 

    • Thanks — yeah, need to figure out how that works (or get someone who does). have another potential/likely solution, too.

      EV battery recycling — good topic. I don’t have much info on that, so would need to do some digging. Let me know if you’ve got anything.

      • Patrick

        I’ve read some stuff about it and it sounds a bit ugly. The bottom line seems to be that as we reduce the cost of batteries we also reduce the value of batteries (by definition) and thereby recycling becomes unprofitable. Unprofitable recycling, without mandatory recycling laws means that all these batteries get buried in landfills.. 

        Still, I’m more concerned about carbon than old batteries in landfills, but it’s important to be informed when people ask questions about this type of thing. 

        As a reader of cleantechnica, I rely on cleantechnica articles to be well researched, cited (please do this as much as possible), and accurate. I don’t want to preach false gospel….

        • Bob_Wallace

          If we end up using lithium-ion batteries, the lithium will have value.  It’s likely more concentrated than lithium ‘in the wild’.

          It is possible that we will have to add a small charge to all sorts of products in order to make their recycling more profitable than dumping them in landfills.  That is not something specific to batteries.

        • Very good point. And i agree, on all fronts.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Batteries won’t likely decrease in cost because we use less expensive materials, more likely due to more efficient manufacturing.  

          I did run across a claim a couple hours ago that it was cheaper to mine lithium than to recover it from used batteries.  That could be the case and if it is then one practice might be to isolate used electrolyte for future extraction.   

          A properly designed landfill might be a future efficient mine.

          Or bite the bullet and charge a recycling fee to even things out.  

          • Tei

            Lithium should be lower in price till, everyone has a EV till then they can recycle it.

        • Even if battery cost will decrease, recycling still makes a good sense because lithium, cobalt and other materials are (probably) easier to recover from batteries than from Earth crust as raw material. Tesla already stated they use battery recycling because it is cheaper source of raw material (which can be sold to battery manufacturers) than mine new raw materials.

          Tesla Motors point of view:

          • Patrick Kee

            Thanks for the link. That’s good news to hear from Tesla. Anyways, carbon is the problem so battery waste is secondary.

          • miserableoldfart

            tell that to the idiots of the world.. 🙁

        • I don’t think cost of recycling will be a problem, as typical present car batteries are much cheaper and they are recycled now.

        • Moohamed

          even with cheaper batteries the lithium needed to make them is still very expensive to source, so recycling will be mandatory just to keep production rates up!

          The Lithium can be separated but unfortunately it is a fairly messy process, but still far less so then mining fresh!

          Life cycle wise it is still all round better then even the best ice!

          late to the show but a importent thing to mention.

          • Bob_Wallace

            There’s not that much lithium in EV batteries. Four kilograms in the Nissan Leaf batteries. And bought in large quantity it’s not expensive. That makes a problem for recycling EV batteries, the extracted lithium would be more expensive than ‘virgin’ lithium.

      • Lead-acid batteries have been the single most recycled product since they were first used in automobiles, and they are still being nearly 100% recycled. The issue is HOW they get recycled and by whom. The process has shifted to the 3rd world where it gets ugly, but the truth remains that almost all lead-acid vehicle batteries are recycled, but perhaps not under ideal conditions for workers.

    • Bob_Wallace

      There are not enough EV batteries to worry about yet.  But let’s see how it might play out….

      When EV batteries decline to the point where they hold only an 80% charge some people will want to swap them out.

      Utilities want those “80%” batteries.  They will rack them up in inexpensive real estate and use them for grid smoothing and storage.  

      Then when they are truly worn out they will be recycled.  Toyota already has a recycling system for their Prius hybrid batteries.  And we commonly recycle lead acid batteries.  Lead-acids are one of our most successively recycled products.

      It’s hard to say exactly how the process will work out.  We’re years away from having enough used up EV batteries to be concerned.  It would seem that if people are already planning options then we shouldn’t be overly concerned.

      We don’t yet know the dominate battery chemistry.  Will we be recovering the lithium from lithium-ion batteries or will be be separating the materials in zinc-air batteries?  Or will the electrolyte of choice be sodium-ion?  

      From a couple years back…


      • As i’m reading this comment, I’m remembering another where someone said batteries had the leading recycling rate. Something to look up / verify, but it’s clear that many people know batteries don’t go to the landfill and should be recycled. Sort of common sense now.

        Not to say everyone has common sense… but, by definition, most people do. 😀

        • jeffhre

          Yes, someone did say that.

        • Bob_Wallace

          “Lead-acid batteries are the environmental success story of our time. More than 98 percent of all battery lead is recycled. Compared to 55% of aluminum soft drink and beer cans, 45% of newspapers, 26% of glass bottles and 26% of tires, lead-acid batteries top the list of the most highly recycled consumer product.

          The lead-acid battery gains its environmental edge from its closed-loop life cycle. The typical new lead-acid battery contains 60 to 80 percent recycled lead and plastic.”


      • BigB

        EV batteries are nade of modules, each of which conbtains cells.
        In a swap-able battery concept the battery owner (service provider, not the customer) will take those 80%ers off the rack, and will send them for remodelling with newer, higher density modules, alllowing for longer trips and less swaps. The modules will then be sold for large arrays of cheap storage, for home business or utility, especially solar utilities. It will take many years before those cells will actually be recycled

    • Patrick, most of the late life cycle batteries will be used for stationary energy storage for micro-grid home systems. Afterward they are 100% dismantles and 90+% recycleable.

  • ashevillere

    Geese… you are so good at this. Motorcycles next? mike d

    • haha.. 😀 (blush)

      was thinking about motorcycles, scooters, and electric bikes while doing this one. looks like a much bigger project, but the vehicles are even cleaner. worthwhile one, i think. if you’ve got any info to share on those, drop the links!! 😀

      • ficknfecker

        Zachary, Absolutely amazing information. Thanks for sharing, please keep them coming! 🙂

  • Way to put the info out there!

    • Thanks!

      • jstack6

        Why is the GM SPARK not mentioned? It is supposed to be the range leader of mid size and priced EVs !

        Also you would think all EV makers would offer 2 or 3 ranges of EV battery systems like Tesla does ? Maybe next year.as batteries continue to improve. Note thermal management of the batteries make them last much longer, life of vehicle !

        PS always lease EVs since they change so fast and keep dropping in cost.

        • gross oversight. will add.

          • I just realized why it wasn’t included. It doesn’t come up until summer. But just went ahead and added it anyway.

        • ananth

          looking for your views, for this unique product developed for rural applications, low inititial investment, highly useful for carrying agriculture produce, animal, men etc.

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