Electric cars still not quite popular, study says

Article by Christian A., on January 4, 2013

Pure electric cars hold little appeal to consumers, according to a new study by the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. However, it determined that the market potential for plug-in hybrids is better. These include the Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and Ford C-Max Energi.

The researchers also said that the study "casts doubt” on the target of the Obama administration to have one million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015. The study determined that most consumers believe that the advantages are outweighed by the drawbacks.

Researchers discovered that there’s more interest in hybrid-electric vehicles, with a gasoline-powered backup engine, than in electric-only vehicles.

It also found that cities that are more open to pure electric vehicles are San Jose, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston. Meanwhile, the least interested cities are Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Detroit and Nashville. Over 2,300 adult drivers in 21 large U.S. cities were surveyed in the fall of 2011.

Nissan president and chief executive Carlos Ghosn called the Nissan Leaf as a tremendous accomplishment that all of the carmaker’s employees take great pride in. He remarked that the Nissan worked tirelessly to unveil a real-world car that offers not just reduced, but zero emissions.

According to Nissan, the EV’s “Leaf” name is a statement about the car itself. While leaves help purify the air, Nissan’s Leaf help purifies mobility by allowing people to drive in the real world without polluting the environment.

Nissan will commence sales of the Leaf in late 2010, with pricing set to be disclosed near the launch date. While not disclosing the price of the new Leaf, Nissan wants the new EV to have a price similar to a well-equipped C-segment vehicle. Because of its eco-friendly nature, the new Leaf is expected to qualify for a number of significant tax breaks and incentives -- local, regional and national -- in several markets globally. Moreover, the new Leaf EV features less mechanical complexity than a conventional car, which means it is both friendly to the customer’s budget and to the environment.

Serving as the heart of the new Nissan Leaf is an electric motor that delivers 80 kW of output and 280 Nm of torque, as powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 90kW. This combo makes sure that the new Leaf is as responsive and is as enjoyable to drive as a conventionally powered car.

Nonetheless, the new Leaf is not as harmful to the environment as a conventional vehicle with internal combustion engine – simply because it emits no carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. The new Nissan Leaf is able to travel more than 160km (100 miles) on a single full charge thanks to its lithium-ion battery packs and its regenerative braking system.

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