Getting Electric on the Road

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A lot of people have been waiting to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle since the 1980s. But what was once promised to consumers as an extremely economical way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and help conserve the environment turned into another green movement pipe dream. While the talk about electric vehicles was full of hope, major manufacturers did not start to produce the vehicles because of the lack of demand for them.

Yet today, electricity might be the future of commuting, not only with electric powered vehicles, but with electric features and products that are designed to aid those traveling a commute.

Major Companies Releasing Products

In the 90s and early 00s, companies decided to build electric vehicles as prototypes and public relations gimmicks. With other advances in technology like prosumer GPS devices from Skygeek and the increased need for alternatively powered cars, manufacturers are getting more serious with production.

BMW’s new iSeries of electric vehicles is targeted at young urban professionals who want the most efficient way to get around town. Aside from the electric vehicle features, these cars also have media centers with cloud computing music centers and ultra sleek interiors. Toyota’s Prius series of cars has released a new spin-off vehicle called the Prius Plug-In which can get up to 171 mpg.

More Refueling Stations

One of the biggest concerns for electric vehicle owners is that their vehicle will run out of battery power soon after they hit the road. With the advances in electronic grids, more charging stations will be showing up in the near future.

Faster Charging Speeds

A major barrier for electric vehicle companies is the amount of time it takes to charge the cars. People have to keep their vehicles plugged into their charger in the garage all night just to have enough power for the commute. According to an article on Fast Company, Nissan is trying to alleviate this problem by designing a charger that can fully refill your vehicle in under 10 minutes. Most homes can not currently afford a charge that powerful, but Nissan is striving to make their product available to everyone.

Solar Powered Cars

While cars that run completely on solar power are still being developed and tinkered with in university labs, many cars are getting a boost from solar panels on the outside. Large trucks used for shipping products that need to be cold are coming equipped with solar panels that refrigerate products and don’t rely on the truck’s diesel fuel supply in order to run.

With gas prices getting steeper and roads becoming more clogged with traffic, more people are looking for alternative methods of getting around the city. Public transportation is often unreliable and riding a bicycle around can be dangerous. Electricity might be the jolt the automobile industry needs in order evolve to consumer demands.

Article by Amanda Green, a guest blogger that has written extensively on the subject of technology and business.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

  • http://greenfutures.ws/ Jon Goss

    I think cars that run completely on solar will come most technologies are expensive at first.