General Motors has announced a starting price of $41,000 for the Chevrolet Volt, the company’s first move into the nascent market for electric vehicles. Buyers may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The Volt is advertised to offer “up to 40 miles” of driving on an electric charge with a range extension feature that uses a gasoline generator to provide additional electric power for up to 300 more miles. Read this article for more information.
BYD has announced the availability of its F3DM dual-mode electric vehicle to individual buyers in China starting on March 29. The first sales location will be in Shenzhen. The city plans to have 24,000 dual mode hybrids on the road by 2012 increasing to 100,000 vehicles by 2015. BYD introduced the dual mode hybrid at the end of 2008 but up to this point has only offered the vehicle to governments, banks, and other institutions. Read this article for more details.
BYD is likely to select the Los Angeles market as its entry point for the all-electric e6 model according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. The selection of Southern California for the product introduction makes a great deal of sense given the high density of the region, concerns about air pollution, and the possibility that the car will be adopted by Hollywood celebrities. Read this article for more details.
For anyone interested in the emerging market for electric vehicles, The Economist has published a leader and in depth article on the subject. These are “must read” articles and I highly recommend taking the time to review them in detail. This article provides a few brief excerpts and some opinion.
Shai Agassi, the founder of Better Place, has come up with a strategy for building infrastructure that he believes will solve the problem of range. Mr. Agassi’s strategy is one that has been discussed here in the past. Better Place plans a two pronged approach that will place recharging stations near parking spots as well as provide “battery exchange” stations where drivers can quickly obtain a fully charged battery when on a longer road trip. Read this article for more details.