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Electric Cars For Sale In 2015

Are electric cars your thing? Good, this is a page packed full of electric car facts, including electric cars for sale in 2015 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 or 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.

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

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, and 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 cousins. Their fuel (electricity) is also 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 2015.

The first prices listed are base prices before the federal tax credit, and in parenthesis are prices after the federal tax credit (normally $7,500, but often less than that if the cars aren’t 100% electric cars). Other tax credits and rebates potentially available in your city or state (such as the $2,500 California EV rebate or $5,000 Georgia 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!

Table Key

Combined Fuel Economy # of Seats
Range on Electricity Type of EV
Price (& Price after US Federal Tax Credit) 0-60 time

Renault Twizy

Renault Twizy

2 seats
50 miles (80 km) 100% electric
I’m seeing $12,490 (on eBay) Top speed = 50 mph (80 km/h)

The Renault Twizy is a cute and fun little two-seater that comes in at a super affordable price. With just two seats, it’s clearly not a “family car,” but it is a ton of fun to drive and very adequate for most driving needs. Despite (or because of) its small size, the Twizy was the 10th-best-selling electric car in Europe and 15th-best-selling electric car in the world in 2013. It’s really a blast to drive. I’d recommend it. Read my full Twizy review here.

Mitsubishi i


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

The Mitsubishi i (aka Mitsubishi i-MiEV) is one of the most basic electric cars on the market, but also one of the cheapest. As noted below, the Citröen C-Zero, Peugeot iOn, and Mitsubishi i all have essentially the same design but serve different markets.

Smart Electric Drive

smart electric drive

107 MPGe 2 seats
68 miles (109 km) 100% electric
$25,000, or $19,990 + $80/month battery rental ($17,500, or $12,490 + $80/month) 9.8 seconds

The smart electric drive could be the cheapest electric car on the US market… if you don’t own or lease it for very long. However, due to an $80/month battery rental, the price rises to about the same as a 2014 Mitsubishi i within 3 years (note that the Mitsubishi i seats 4, while the smart electric drive seats two). 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 or only want it for 2 to 3 years. Read my review of the smart electric drive here or the review of an owner who sold his Camaro for the smart electric drive here.

Chevy Spark EV

2014 Chevy Spark EV

119 MPGe 4 seats
82 miles (132 km) 100% electric
$25,995 ($18,495) 7.2 seconds

The Chevy Spark EV is a low-priced 100%-electric car that has gotten good reviews (compared to its gasoline cousin, that is) but is only available in a few markets. The Chevy Spark EV was the first car on the market that could use the SAE Combo Fast Charging system.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leafs Barcelona Spain

114 MPGe 5 seats
84 miles (135 km) 100% electric
$29,010 ($21,510) 10.2 seconds

The Nissan Leaf is seemingly the most competitive electric car on the market. It is the world’s best-selling electric car, and sales have only been increasing (thanks to falling prices and word of mouth). After test driving several EVs myself, I have to say that it would be hard to beat the Nissan Leaf for the money… unless you have enough money to dump on a higher-end EV, like the Tesla Model S, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric, or BMW i3. Read my full Nissan Leaf review here.

Ford Focus Electric


105 MPGe 5 seats
76 miles (122 km) 100% electric
$29,170 ($21,670) 10.1 seconds

The Ford Focus Electric is Ford’s only 100%-electric car has long been overpriced and simply unable to compete with competitors like the Nissan Leaf. It has long been priced considerably higher than the Nissan Leaf — which is also more widely available — but Ford finally knocked the price down by several thousand dollars in recent months… but with very little broadcasting of the price drop. Needless to say, it still isn’t selling nearly as well as the Leaf.

Toyota Prius Plug-in


95 MPGe on battery; 50 MPG on gas 5 seats
11 miles (18 km) Plug-in Hybrid
$29,990 ($27,490) 10.2 seconds

The Toyota Prius Plug-in was either the 2nd- or 3rd-best-selling electric car worldwide in 2013. Unfortunately, its electric range is just 11 miles, then the gas engine kicks in. The Prius PHEV is most likely aided by the strong, high-selling Prius brand. It mainly competes with the Chevy Volt, Ford C-Max Energi, and Ford Fusion Energi, but it has more seats than the Volt and is almost $10,000 cheaper than the Fusion Energi. So, its closest competitor is probably the Ford C-Max Energi. This seems to be a good place in the EV spectrum, as both cars have been doing quite well. Of course, the C-Max Energi has 10 more miles of electric range, almost double the Prius PHEV’s 11 miles. Either due to the increasing competition, people simply deciding they want more electric range, or Toyota cutting supply, sales of the Prius Plug-in fell off a lot toward the end of 2014.

Ford C-Max Energi

2013 Ford C-MAX

100 MPGe on battery; 43 MPG on gas 5 seats
21 miles (34 km) Plug-in Hybrid
$31,770 ($28,010) 8.5 seconds

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, it is cheaper than the Chevy Volt… until you factor in the federal tax credit. The C-Max Energi is also the most efficient plug-in hybrid electric car on the market. As a result of all of this, the car has sold quite well. Despite only being available in the US, the C-Max Energi was the 8th-best-selling electric car in the world in 2013.

Fiat 500e

fiat 500e

115 MPGe 4 seats
87 miles (140 km) 100% electric
$31,800 ($24,300) 8.7 seconds

The Fiat 500e has gotten great reviews. However, the head of Fiat apparently hates electric cars (I know, crazy) and is only producing the 500e in extremely limited quantities for a couple of states (basically, because it has to in order to sell cars in California). Hopefully the cute electric car will someday soon be available to a broader market. With its relatively low price, good reviews, and cool styling, it could give some of the top-selling electric cars on the market a run for their market.

Kia Soul EV

105 MPGe 5 seats
93 miles (150 km) 100% electric
$33,700 ($26,200) 11.8 seconds

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. With good specs and a decent price, the Soul EV could sell well… if Kia really tries to sell it. Also, hamsters love the thing.

Chevy Volt

2016 Volt

106 MPGe (battery); 43 MPG (gas) 5 seats
50 miles (80 km) Plug-in Hybrid
$33,170 ($25,670) 8.4 seconds

The Chevy Volt is one of the most widely acclaimed electric cars on the market. It is the top-selling electric car in the US to date. In 2013, it was the 2nd-best-selling electric car in the world. 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).

Ford Fusion Energi

ford fusion energi

100 MPGe 5 seats
21 miles (34 km) Plug-in Hybrid
$33,900 ($29,893) 7.9 seconds

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 the Chevy Volt, the Toyota Prius Plug-in, and its sister, the C-Max Energi. Importantly, for some people, it 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 passengers. (It has much more electric range than the Prius, and the same as the C-Max Energi — both of which seat 5.) And it is quite the looker.

VW e-Golf

e golf

116 MPGe 5 seats
83 miles (134 km) 100% electric
$28,995 ($21,495) / €34,900 (Germany) 10.4 seconds

The Volkswagen e-Golf is VW’s second electric car, following close behind the VW e-Up! Clearly, it’s an electric version of VW’s extremely popular Golf model. The e-Golf is one of the closest competitors to the world-leading Nissan LEAF, so it could potentially see very big sales numbers. However, its significantly higher price is certainly keeping sales down a lot, so VW will have to change that if it actually wants to sell this car. Read our VW e-Golf review here.

Honda Accord PHEV

2014 Honda Accord PHEV

115 MPGe on battery; 46 MPG on gas 5 seats
13 miles (21 km) Plug-in Hybrid
$39,780 ($36,154) 7.7 seconds

Coming in a bit higher in price than the Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in, Ford C-Max Energi, and Ford Fusion Energi has certainly hurt the Honda Accord Plug-in‘s sales. However, limited availability has likely had an even stronger impact on those sales. Furthermore, having just 13 miles of electric range doesn’t particularly excite would-be electric car buyers. The good news is that the Accord Plug-in is very efficient when using the electric motor. But, yeah, this is a compliance car.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric

84 MPGe 5 seats
84 miles (135 km) 100% electric
$41,450 ($33,950) 7.9 seconds

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric is an extremely close competitor to the BMW i3, and is a first-offering from Mercedes in this department. It has Tesla interiors, 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 my friends recently bought the B-Class Electric and reviewed it for us here.

BMW i3

BMW i3 and me at Arc de Triompf in Barcelona, Spain.(This image is available for republishing and even modification under a CC BY-SA license, with the key requirement being that credit be given to Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica, and that those links not be removed.)

124 MPGe 4 seats
81 miles (130 km) 100% electric or REx
$42,400 ($34,900) 7.1 seconds

The BMW i3 is BMW’s first 100%-electric car built electric from the ground up. It is part of BMW’s “born electric” i series. It’s price puts it somewhat in the middle of the Nissan Leaf and the 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 a smooth & sweet drive. Compared to BMW’s overall sales, the i3 is selling very well, making it clear that BMW is one of the auto-manufacturing pioneers in the electric vehicle space. Read my full BMW i3 review here.

Tesla Model S

model s roadster

95 MPGe 5–7 seats
208 miles (335 km) | 253 (407) | 265 (426) | 270 (435) 100% awesome
$70,000 ($62,250) 3.2–5.9 seconds

The Tesla Model S is widely regarded as not just the best electric car on the market, but the best car of any type on the mass market (see here, here, here, here, and here for just a few examples). So, for many people, if they can afford a $70,000–$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/performance car, and it was the 2nd- or 3rd-best-selling electric car worldwide in 2013, despite its high price tag. All the while, it was production-limited rather than demand-limited.

Cadillac ELR


82 MPGe (battery) & 31 MPG (gas) 4 seats
37 miles (60 km) Plug-in Hybrid
$65,000 ($57,500) 7.8 seconds

The Cadillac ELR is a high-end, luxury, plug-in hybrid electric car that hit the market at the very end of 2013. In many respects, it is essentially a more luxurious Chevy Volt. It is pretty. Though, its high price was hard to justify compared to other options on the table, so you can now find the car for a price much below its MSRP… as in, cuts of nearly $30,000.

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid

Porsche Cayenne S E Hybrid

47 MPGe 5 seats
14 miles (23 km) Plug-in Hybrid
$77,200 ($71,864) 5.4 seconds

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.

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S E Hybrid

50 MPGe 4 seats
22 miles (35 km) Plug-in Hybrid
$96,100 ($91,328) 5.2 seconds

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 now accounts for nearly 10% of all Panamera sales.

BMW i8

bmw i8

76 MPGe 4 seats
15 miles (24 km) Plug-in Hybrid
$135,700 ($131,907) 4.4 seconds

The BMW i8 is BMW’s second i-series car. It’s one of the most expensive cars on the market — actually, the most expensive on the mass market today. It comes with a ton of style and great acceleration (0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds only trails the Tesla Model S P85D’s 3.2 seconds amongst electric cars). It’s hard not to covet this beauty.


Coming in 2015, Details to Follow

Tesla Model X


Tesla’s next model is the ridiculously cool and highly desired Model X, a crossover/SUV with similar performance and specs as the Model S. 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 especially special for combining excellent performance, great utility, and hot styling. Not many vehicles can do that. Its signature feature? Its falcon-wing doors.

BMW X5 eDrive

BMW X5 eDrive

Perhaps the closest competitor to the Model X, the BMW X5 eDrive is a plug-in hybrid electric SUV that will have its fair share of performance (0 to 60 mph in an estimated 6.9 seconds), luxury, and high-tech features. It will be able to learn your driving habits and teach you how to drive more efficiently, it will be able to avoid crashes that some drivers would fail to escape from, and it will probably have a bit more “luxury” than the Model X. On the other hand, it won’t have the acceleration, seating capacity, or looks of th Model X. In order to compete, I’d think the X5 eDrive would have to be quite a bit more affordable than the Model X, which might be hard to pull off.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV


5 seats
30 miles (48 km) Plug-in Hybrid
NA 10 seconds

The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in is a hot plug-in hybrid electric SUV/crossover that has been selling very well in its home country of Japan and initial European markets. It was initially supposed to make it to the US market in 2013, but due to manufacturing delays, the target is now 2015. Despite just hitting the market in the second half of 2013, the Outlander PHEV was the 5th-best-selling electric car in the world in 2013. Furthermore, it arrived in Europe at the end of the year, and it ranked #3 there, only behind the Nissan Leaf & Renault Zoe. In 2014, the Outlander PHEV was the top-selling EV in Europe.

In the Netherlands, where Outlander PHEVs sells extremely well, prices range from €33,050 ($45,300) to €42,967 ($58,900) before VAT. In Norway, they range from 440,800 kroners ($72,600) to 465,800 kroners ($76,700). In its home country of Japan, the Outlander PHEV starts at 3,397,500 yen ($33,350) and goes up to 4,370,500 yen ($42,900) — 5 different options are available there. Clearly, there’s a ton of variation in price.

Volvo XC90 T8


The Volvo XC90 T8 is yet another plug-in hybrid electric SUV expected to hit the market in 2015. As we reported previously, “Volvo claims that the new T8 ‘Twin Engine’ setup is good for 25 miles (40 km) of pure electric driving, and delivers a total output of 400 HP with more than 470 lb-ft of torque while producing just 60 g/km of C02,” and Volvo claims that the 2015 Volvo XC90 T8 will offer the best performance and fuel economy in its class.

Audi Q7 Plug-in

Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 is another plug-in hybrid from Audi. This SUV/crossover will reportedly be able to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds — hard to beat in this class. The highly awaited luxury plug-in from Audi has a good shot of lifting Audi out of the doldrums of electric inactivity and toward the top of the list for EV enthusiasts. We’ll see.

Audi A3 e-Tron

Audi A3 e-Tron

The Audi A3 e-Tron is already on sale at over 100 German dealerships, but it is no this list because it is expected to make its US debut in 2015. There’s already a US webpage for it, and you can sign up for updates. It’s another plug-in hybrid electric car (this seems to be the theme in 2015, quite different from 2014). The electric-only range is estimated to be 18 miles (29 km), which is not spectacular, but is better than the Toyota Prius Plug-in. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in a 7.6 seconds. It has also landed a difficult 5 stars in Europe’s safety ratings. I think it’ll be hard for the Audi A3 e-Tron to compete with the Chevy Volt or Ford Energi models on value for the money, but some will prefer the e-Tron’s looks and the Audi brand, and the President of Audi of America, Scott Keogh, contends that this is not going to be a “compliance car.” We’ll see.

BMW 3 Series Plug-in

BMW 3 Series plug in

As it promised, BMW is continuing the electrification of its entire lineup. It recently announced a plug-in hybrid version of the BMW 3 Series, which we are hopeful will hit the market in 2015. As covered over on Planetsave: “The drive system of the new PHEV prototype possesses an output of around 245 hp (183 kW), and maximum torque of around 400 N·m (295 lb-ft). The prototype averages about 2 liters/100 km (117.5 mpg US) with regard to fuel consumption, and about 50 g/km with regard to CO2 emissions. When in all-electric mode, the prototype can reach speeds of up to 120 km/h (74.5 mph), and possesses a range of around 35 kilometers (22 miles).” Note, however, that the range is probably based on European testing, and will likely be closer to 15 miles in the US.

VW Passat GTE Plug-in


The VW Passat GTE Plug-in, unveiled in 2014, is expected to go from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds, which is respectable for an average-priced car. Of course, being electric, that will feel much faster than a gasoline car with the same time. It will also have a very high top speed of 136 mph (219 km/h). It’s all-electric range will also be very good for a plug-in hybrid: 31 miles / 50 km (though, that figure may be for Europe, and the US one would be quite a bit lower than the Europe one). Sporty, sleek, and with decent specs, if the price is right, this one could sell. Unfortunately, the VW Passat GTE Plug-in is just set for release in Europe at the moment, probably in 2015.

Rimac Concept_One

rimac racecar

The Rimac Concept_One is 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, and I’m hopeful it will get produced in 2015. As of now, 88 initial cars are planned for production in 2015. 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.” Rimac Automobili is a Croatian company, and it recently landed a good bit more investment in order to produce the initial 88 cars.

For a bunch of videos on many of these EVs, check out: 28 Electrified Vehicles, 47 Electrified Vehicle Videos (Commercials, Reviews, Etc.)

More on current electric vehicles, from the EPA.
More on new & upcoming EVs, from the EPA.

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

EV Battery Costs

The initial price tag of EVs and PHEVs is higher than that of similarly sized and equipped gasoline-powered cars, mostly because their batteries are expensive. How expensive? That’s hard to know, because car manufacturers generally won’t say what they are paying for their batteries. Here are some of the best answers we’ve got for now:

Here’s some more info from that 2012 BNEF report:

“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.”

Furthermore, 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.”

Also worth noting is the prediction from the CEO and co-founder of EV leader Tesla Motors that the cost of EV batteries will drop below $200 per kWh in the “not-too-distant future” (stated back in February 2012).

UCS Study on Environmental Benefits & Fuel Savings of EVs

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

Clearly, as we move more an 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?

The solar estimate solar calculator shows how much solar panels cost per kw, solar system prices, solar rebates and incentives and the best rated solar companies in each county

  • 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.

  • Zachary Shahan

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

    And on the other stuff as well. See:

    • BarKingFish

      I agree

  • 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.

    • Zachary Shahan

      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

  • edrapecor
  • 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?

    • Zachary Shahan

      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.

    • Zachary Shahan

      yeah 😀

  • Acalculator

    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.

    • Zachary Shahan
  • Epicurus

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

    • Zachary Shahan

      Will do.

  • Batterybhai

    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.

    • Zachary Shahan

      Whoops, thanks.

    • Zachary Shahan

      Hmm, actually, not sure when it said 5, but I don’t have a # there right now.

  • 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?

    • Zachary Shahan

      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.

      • Zachary Shahan

        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



    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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    post. I simply came across your blog and desired to say that I have really
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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!

    • Zachary Shahan

      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.

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  • k4kenneth

    Iposted a video of Tom Hanks driving his electric car on my blog

  • Grace Putz

    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.

    • Zachary Shahan

      Thanks 😀

  • 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

    • Zachary Shahan

      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. thanks, Jesse

  • John Brian Shannon

    You could add the Mercedes Electric Drive.

    In Electric Blue, please!

    • Zachary Shahan


  • 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

    • Zachary Shahan

      Thanks. I don’t include NEVs here.

  • 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.

    • Zachary Shahan

      Renault cut this model, unfortunately.

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  • John Sarter

    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!

    • Zachary Shahan

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

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  • justin bieber

    very nice

    • Zachary Shahan

      Thanks, Justin! :) (blush) 😀

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  • Robert Flanary

    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.

    • Zachary Shahan

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

  • Svemir Vranko

    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 $

    • Zachary Shahan

      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. 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.

        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. And

        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. 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.

          • Zachary Shahan

            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.

          • Zachary Shahan

            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.

    • Zachary Shahan

      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.

        • Zachary Shahan

          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:

          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.

    • Robert Flanary

      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

    • Zachary Shahan

      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.

    • Zachary Shahan

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

    • Zachary Shahan

      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.

    • Zachary Shahan

      will try to clean things up soon. thnx

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  • Johaar

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

    • Zachary Shahan

      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. 

    • Zachary Shahan

      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.

        • Zachary Shahan

          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.

        • František Kubiš

          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.. :-(

        • aligatorhardt

          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.

      • František Kubiš
        • Zachary Shahan


      • Guy Marsden

        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… 

      • Zachary Shahan

        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

    • John Sarter

      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

    • Zachary Shahan

      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! :)

  • Fran Sullivan-Fahs

    Way to put the info out there!

    • Zachary Shahan


      • 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 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.

        • Zachary Shahan

          gross oversight. will add.

          • Zachary Shahan

            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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