Undoubtedly you’ve seen these things on the road by now. They’re not the fastest, or sexiest, or roomiest cars, but they are flying off the dealership lots in the U.S. Soaring gas prices coupled with a reasonable price between $11,000 and $18,000 have made these cars the popular choice for those who aren’t ready to take the plunge into the expensive hybrid market. Now Daimler plans to include the Smart Car in its new line of electric vehicles. This announcement came just weeks after Daimler bought batteries from Tesla in “a small deal that could potentially lead to a very big deal.” I’ll go on the record to say the Electric Smart car will be an incredible hit in the U.S. The Smart Car is the ideal size for an electric motor, not much larger than a golf cart. With the lower power requirement, the price of the electric version should not be bad at all. Mark my words, this will be big if it stays around $20,000.
As much as I love the Fisker/Tesla slap fight going on right now, I don’t care to talk about it. Hopefully, this will be the start of a long, healthy competition between the two companies, not just a sue fest. And with Fisker optimistically anticipating production of about 15,000 Karmas a year at $80,000, we could have a battle on our hands. Tesla only expects to produce 2,000 Roadsters a year with its higher price tag of $100,000. However, the Fisker Karma will not have quite the performance, 0-60 in 6 seconds, compared to the Roadster’s 3.9. Interestingly, the Karma will have two driving modes, “Stealth Drive” and “Sport Drive”. The former will provide “relaxed and efficient driving” while the latter will unleash the cars power according to the company site .
Here’s a sleek new electric sports car that you might not have heard about yet:
This British electric supercar will go 0-60 in 4.0 seconds and has over 700 brake horsepower according to the company’s site. It sounds like they will come out with a “standard” version as well that has a 0-60 of 5 seconds. The car is still early in development, but you can preorder it today at the company’s website. However, before you get too excited, the car will cost you nearly $300,000.
The new video circulating the internet of Jay Leno’s Tesla Roadster is exciting and intriguing for many reasons. See for yourself:
He really breaks down the car from a car guy’s perspective. And he notes many factors that may make electric automobiles the heir apparent to the gasoline combustion car. Net environmental advantage and price aside, Leno shows why the electric car is the more efficient, superior machine when compared to any combustion engine vehicle.
1) Because it has an electric motor, the car has peak torque from 0rpm to 13,000rpm. Therefore, you receive maximum performance with minimal energy waste.
2) No gears and no engine compression means that you don’t lose momentum when you let off the gas. So there is no wasteful high rpm when your car is struggling to go forward against the engine compression.
3) Jay Leno describes the sound. Which is almost none at all! Like him, I’d prefer a robust growl that you’d expect from a typical high end sports car; and I know a lot of other people that feel the same way. But when the motor got going it sounded a lot like an aggressive turbo spooling up, which is a fair consolation.
4) When they open up the car you really see how minimalistic an electric motor is. A small reservoir for battery coolant is all that is necessary other than the battery and the motor. No complicated, heavy exhaust system, no extensive engine cooling setup, no transmission as we know it, and no money gulping gas tank. With the amount of weight lost and simplicity gained by losing the traditional engine, surely the electric vehicle is the future of personal transportation. While bio diesel and hydrogen are viable alternatives to gasoline, I think we need to reconsider prolonging the already overextended life of the combustion engine.