Although Americans have been slow to give up their love affair with big, brawny gas guzzlers, there have been great strides toward the adoption of more environmentally friendly vehicles. As electric car technology has evolved and the “normalcy” of the resulting models is being recognized, more consumers are taking a long, serious look at these alternative energy alternatives.
While there are too many electric car offerings to cover in the scope of this article, following are some of the top selling models being purchased in the US:
1. Chevrolet Volt. The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid vehicle produced by General Motors under the Chevrolet brand name. Introduced in mid-December 2010, this incredibly fuel-efficient car operates as a pure battery electric automobile until its capacity falls below a specific threshold, then switches over to an internal combustion engine to extend its range back to another charging. The Volt also uses regenerative braking to contribute to on-board electricity generation.
2. Toyota Prius. Though the Toyota Prius has a solid reputation for high traditional fuel efficiency, it is also being offered in and increasingly accepted as a plug-in electric alternative. This mid-size hybrid electric vehicle is actually a third generation model using lithium-ion batteries to achieve higher speeds and more range than its predecessors. In its all-electric mode, this revolutionary trend setter can achieve an amazing 95 mpg.
3. Nissan Leaf. The Nissan Leaf (which stands for Leading, Environmentally Friendly, Affordable Family car) is a sport electric hatchback that was introduced in December 2010. It has a range of a little over 100 miles on a single charge, realizing an amazing 99 miles per gallon to do so.
Though it has experienced limited availability in the US, 2012 marked the beginning of full production, and should prove to be a good year for car buyers looking to take one of these amazing little cars home.
4. Ford Focus Electric. Ford started making a 5-door electric hatchback version of their popular passenger vehicle last year, and is now in full production on this alternative-energy automobile. Originally only available in California, New York and New Jersey, it is now being rolled out and made available in additional markets with each new business quarter. Car buyers are sure to be please with its equivalent 105 miles per gallon.
It will be interesting to see what incentives the car industry and the government comes up with to increase its audience for these electric vehicles over the next few years, and even more interesting to see how the American car buying public will respond.