It feels like just last week that we were all eagerly awaiting the arrival of 2010, the year of the plug-ins. And here we are today, 2010 is nearly over and we have production EVs from major automakers on the road. Let’s take a look at a few of the plug-ins that went into production this year:
The Nissan Leaf is an all electric 5 passenger hatchback with a 77-mile range. More importantly, the Leaf is the first mass-marketed electric vehicle. The first Leaf was delivered December 11th, 2010, a historic day for the new wave of plug-in vehicles. At about $25,000 after federal rebates, the Nissan Leaf is the first competitively priced electric car and is just the first step of Nissan’s electric vehicle mission. Facebook user Joshua Rincon wrote some inspiring words about the recent Leaf launch: “I’ve been waiting my whole life for an EV… Now: Nissan is giving me a real chance to get one.”
Just four days after the first Leaf delivery, General Motors delivered their first Chevrolet Volt. The Volt is a truly unique vehicle, because it eliminates “range anxiety” with a gasoline powered generator that kicks in once the batteries are depleted. This means that the average Volt driver won’t use a drop of gasoline on their daily commute, yet they still have the freedom to drive to say, Las Vegas. It’s amazing how, in the past few years, General Motors has taken a 180-degree turn and now has a plug-in vehicle in full production. GM is even recycling used oil booms from the recent BP oil spill to make parts for the Chevy Volt.
Aside from the Leaf and the Volt, some lesser known EVs also began production this year. This month, Ford started delivery of their electric Transit Connect, an all electric cargo van with 135 cubic feet of cargo space and an 80-mile range. Ford plans to sell 600-1,000 of these vans in 2011 and twice that amount in 2012. Though not available in the US yet, Mitsubishi has shipped over 5,000 iMiEVs all over the world in 2010. We look forward to seeing the US model iMiEV in 2011.
To keep this blog short, I’m not going to list every single EV that became available in 2010. For a full list of electric cars that are available today, please visit our vehicle tracker.
Unfortunately, automakers are notorious for not meeting their deadlines. I won’t name any here, but there are a number of other EVs that didn’t make their 2010 deadline. Most of these are vehicles from smaller manufacturers that may have overestimated their capabilities. Hopefully we’ll see most of these EVs enter production in the first half of 2011.
May your new year be electric!
Posted by Colby Trudeau