With the immense strides made in the field of eco-friendly technologies, it seems that tag line of 21st century civilization is ‘Save The Environment’. Be it consumer electronic products, automobiles or even aviation for that matter, nearly every field is doing its part to ensure that the consumers get the very best of tech at the most minimal or even zero impact on our already ailing eco-system. Especially when it comes to automotive engineering, we have indeed come a very long way from gas guzzling cars and trucks to a new breed of vehicles that have been designed to benefit from electric power or a combination of both electricity as well as conventional gasoline.
In the last year or so, numerous luxury automobile companies such as the likes of General Motors, Ford Motors, BMW, Mercedes Benz, along with a slew of emerging automobile manufacturers have been pressing their own visions of eco-friendly cars into the markets. These magnificent electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrids carry with them exceptional performance sheets, without any compromise in regards to comfort and style. Understanding the impact and future of electric as well as hybrid vehicles, here at Trends Updates, we created a list of some of the most suitable electric vehicles that you should be looking forward to this year.
1. 2011 Nissan Leaf:
Designed a developed by Nissan Motors, the all-new 2011 Nissan Leaf is one of those vehicles that have been conjured up keeping in mind the modern customer’s need for performance, style, comfort and his willingness to do his part for the environment. Nissan Leaf is a 5-door hatchback and is features a front engine as well front wheel drive system. This magnificent EV is solely powered by electricity that is generated via a 80 kW synchronous motor providing 110 hp and comes with a 24 kWh lithium ion battery. The battery of the Leaf can either be charged via home charging station or via electric charging stations. Nissan Leaf is currently being rolled out in a limited edition basis in the U.S, while the company plans full-fledged launch in the upcoming months. In the U.S, will be introduced in two variants, the SV and the SL models. The Nissan Leaf SV will feature an advanced navigation system and Internet/smart phone connectivity, while the Nissan Leaf SL will comes with a host of modifications such as solar panel spoiler, fog lights, and automatic headlights.
Price: $32,780 (Base Models)
The much talked about and highly anticipated 2011 Chevrolet Volt is a magnificent new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that makes use of both electric power as well as conventional gasoline. The remarkable Volt is powered by a 149-horsepower electric motor with a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery and when in gasoline mode, the Volt makes use of its 1.4-liter engine giving out 84bhp. Designed and developed for the dual purpose of family trips as well as day-to-day commuting, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is quite a cost effective offering from General Motors (GM). You can achieve a range of an astounding 344 miles on a full tank of gasoline, and the electric mode provides a mileage that is equivalent to 93 mpg. 2011 Chevrolet Volt can get a complete battery recharge in just 10 hours. Inside, the Volt features navigation-sound system, a USB port, and Bluetooth while the car itself can sprint from 0 to 60mph in just 9 seconds. As of now, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is available on a limited basis, however, GM has stated that the pre-orders will be met by the month of November this year.
Continuing with its commitment towards the preservation of the environment, Ford Motors has now introduced the all-new 2012 Ford Focus Electric, a 5-door hatchback EV that has been designed and developed to become stark competitor to Chevrolet Volt. Powered by a 100 kW synchronous motor, this remarkable new Ford Focus variant will get about 130bhp and will be able to cover some 100 miles on a single charge, while attaining a top speed of 84 mph. Providing the drivers with exceptional performance, the 2011 Ford Focus Electric will feature an all-electric powertrain and single-speed transmission. As far as security is concerned, Ford has designed this magnificent EV to be quite safety intensive, with the inclusion of six airbags and electronic traction control, as well as hands-free SYNC telephone connectivity. The 2011 Ford Focus Electric is also quite high on luxury with the availability of various stunning features such as a Sony audio system, Sirius Satellite Radio with Travel Link, HD Radio and voice-activated Navigation System. Also, owners will be able to stay in touch with their cars via the highly advanced MyFord Mobile app for smartphones that will provide them with critical information including car’s state of charge and current range.
Availability: Late 2011
Based on the highly successful Ford Transit Connect truck, the all new stunning 2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric is an electronic variant of the original truck and has been designed and developed to compliment the plethora of EVs in the markets. This light commercial vehicle has been designed and assembled by Azure Dynamics Corporation, on behest of Ford Motors. The all-new 2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric is powered by a 134 hp electric motor as well as a 28 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and features electrically-assisted steering, electrically-generated air conditioning and heating. As per the specifications released by Ford Motors, this remarkable mini truck can cover a total of 80 miles on a single charge and takes about six to eight hours for a complete charge. The 2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric mini truck can achieve a top speed of 75 mph, with a 0 to 60 mph sprint on 12 seconds and can easily hold 1000 pounds of cargo.
Introduced as an inexpensive alternative to conventional fuel based compact cars, the stunning 2011 Mitsubishi i-Miev is a battery-electric subcompact car that has been designed and developed by Mitsubishi Motors. Developed especially for the urban commute, the i-Miev features a 47 kW permanent-magnet motor giving an output of 63 hp and comes with a single speed reduction gear as well as an 88 cell 330-volt li-ion battery pack. As per the initial estimates released by Mitsubishi, the i-Miev is more than capable of covering a respectable 85 miles on a single charge and the battery of this gorgeous car can be fully charged in 7 hours on a conventional 220-volt outlet. Inside, this incredible EV features an intelligent HVAC system that comes with an electric manual air conditioner as well as power door locks, windows and mirrors. Leaving no stone unturned in terms of comfort, Mitsubishi has given the i-Miev 4 speaker 100-watt sound system, as well as a vehicle security system and a MiEV remote system. When it comes to safety, the all-new 2011 Mitsubishi i-Miev features anti-lock brakes (ABS) Traction Control Logic (TCL), Active Stability Control (ASC), as well as dual front air bags. The 2011 Mitsubishi i-Miev will be rolled out in selected U.S states such as California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii by November this year, while the other U.S states will receive this magnificent EV in the year 2012.
Price: $27,990 (Base Model)
Unveiled at the prestigious 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, the all-new 2011 Honda Fit EV Concept is an all-electric vehicle from Honda Motors that has been designed on the Fit compact car platform. The 2011 Honda Fit EV Concept is powered by a high density motor that is comprised of a lithium ion battery pack and a coaxial motor. Furthermore, to ensure that this new EV is absolutely carbon emission free, Honda has provided the Fit EV with a 3-mode electric drive system. This unique new system provides the driver with three selectable modes namely, Econ, Normal, and Sport. The 2011 Honda Fit EV Concept can travel up to an incredible 100 miles on a single charge, while the car’s battery can be fully charged in less than 6 hours using a 240 volt outlet. Inside, the Fit EV features eco-friendly gray bio-fabric along with a connectivity system that enable seamless integration of smartphones and computers. Furthermore, Honda has even introduced a mobile application that allows for charging notifications and 24 hour roadside assistance.
From the house of one of the foremost manufacturers of eco-friendly vehicles, Tesla, comes the all new stunning and high performance 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5, an electric sports car. This incredible new sports EV has been designed and developed to provide the power hungry car owners an effective alternative to the gas guzzling sports cars. The 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5 is powered by 3-phase 4-pole AC induction motor which gives out an impressive 248 bhp, there by propelling the vehicle to a maximum speed of 125 mph with a 0 to 60 mph sprint in just four seconds. This remarkable electric sports car is an upgraded variant of the original Tesla Roadster that made its mark in the electric vehicle circuit. The 2 door roadster comes with a single speed BorgWarner fixed gear system and a 53 kWh Lithium-ion battery. The all-new 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5 can cover a distance of 244 miles on a single charge. Tesla has provided this new variant with a host of features such as a 7 inch touchscreen display with back-up camera, front fascia with diffusing vents, and rear diffuser.
Price: $110,950 (Base Model)
Introduced at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, the 2011 Fisker Karma is a plug-in hybrid luxury sports sedan that derives its power from a both conventional gasoline as well as an electric motors. Designed and developed by Fisker Automotive this remarkable plug-in hybrid offers the drivers with the benefits of an electric car as well as a high performance sports car. The 2011 Fisker Karma is primarily powered by two electric motors with a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery. Once the electric juices is depleted, you can easily switch over to the 2.2 liter Turbocharged Ecotec engine that provides this gorgeous sports car with a top speed of 125 mph and. Furthermore, the Karma features a Single Speed Fixed Gear transmission that enables the car to achieve an acceleration of · 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. When in electric mode, the Karma can cover a distance of 50 miles (80 km), while in the gasoline mode, the vehicle’s range extends a further 300 miles (480 km), making it an ideal transport for long drives. Despite numerous and delays, the Fisker Karma has now been given definitive roll out time of late July, 2011.
Availability: July 2011
Price: $95,900 (Basic Model) & $109,850 (Top Model)
Building its reputation in the international car market, Think Global, has now come out with beautiful electric vehicle called, 2011 Th!nk City EV. This 100% electric hatchback that not only features electric components but also boasts of body panels and interior trim pieces being made from recyclable materials. Available in three gorgeous shades of Bright Red, Sky Blue and Classic Black, the remarkable new 2011 Th!nk City EV is powered by a 34 kW 3-phase induction motor that is equally complemented by a 24 kWh Zebra battery. The Th!nk City EV comes with a one-speed gearbox and the car can attain a top speed of 70 mph, while given the potential of covering a respectable 100 miles on a full battery charge. Think Global has already introduced the 2011 Th!nk City EV via Think North America and the EV is even equipped with a host of safety features including four-wheel ABS and regenerative braking that is applicable to both the front discs and rear drum brakes.
10. 2011 GEM e2 EV:
Introduced by the leading electric vehicle brand Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) and classified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) in the U.S, the all-new 2011 GEM e2 EV is a two passenger electric vehicle that has been designed to provide the leisure seekers with an inexpensive option. The unusual 2011 GEM e2 EV is a powered by a six 12-volt flooded electrolyte batteries and comes with a heavy-duty DC motor. Furthermore, this new EV has also been given a front wheel drive system with speed reducer. With an output of 21 hp, the GEM e2 EV can achieve a top speed of 30 mph, while this figure has been lowered to 25 mph for U.S streets. The points that the unique EV loses with its performance specifications, it makes up for them with its safety measures. The all-new 2011 GEM e2 EV features three point safety belts as well as a tinted automotive safety glass with windshield wiper.
Price: $7,495 (Base Model)