Nissan will be the first auto maker to put over 10,000 electric cars on U.S. highways. About 20,000 have made deposits for Nissan LEAF and several cities are in major partnerships. The LEAF can be purchased starting at $32,780 or $349 per month. The Nissan LEAF is battery-electric with a 100 mile range per charge. LEAF Test drive. This 5-door, 5-seat, hatchback has the right size and range for many who drive under 100 miles daily, or for households with more than one car. Nissan LEAF Details
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid (PHV) will build on the million car success of Toyota hybrids. At first glance, the PHV looks like another Prius until you spot the J1772 plug for smart charging. Five hundred PHV are in fleet trails from cities to car sharing services. In 2011, U.S. dealer orders were planned, but with Toyota’s 8 million vehicle recall this is may be delayed. Toyota will initially control costs by only using a 5kWh battery for a 14 mile electric range. In late 2011, Toyota will expand its offerings to include a pure battery-electric FT-EV.
Mitsubishi will take orders next year for the 2012 U.S. version of the iMiEV, the best selling EV in Japan. Mitsubishi is currently suggesting a ballpark price in the low 30s. This fun-to-drive 5 door, 4 seat hatchback, will have a wheel base 5 inches wider for the U.S. market, but the micro-compact will still be able to get those precious city parking spaces that no other car can take except the smart. The more powerful U.S. version will have an electric range of 50 to 80 miles with a 16kWh lithium battery. iMiEV Test Drive
BYD has over $200 million invested by Warren Buffet. BYD is now selling its plug-in hybrid and E6 battery-electric car in China, but with little success. We expect the plug-in hybrid to be a freeway-speed electric car price leader in the U.S. in 2011. The E6 battery-electric is likely to be more expensive with enough batteries for a 250 electric range. These may take longer than expected to be selling in the U.S. due to tough safety, regulatory hurdles, and charging standards.