That sound you don’t hear is the rush to electric cars …

Interesting article in Business Week titled “Electric Cars Get Charged for Battle” … worth reading.

Here are a couple of points that caught my eye …

P.S. Is it just me, or has Business Week been swinging left since being bought by Bloomberg?

* * * * *

After 10 years as the world leader in hybrids, Toyota has never sold more than 187,000 Priuses in the U.S. in a year.

  • Prius sales peaked in 2007, just before the financial meltdown, and have dropped since then as fuel prices retreated.

Nissan manufactures its own batteries in a joint venture with NEC, and they account for roughly half the cost of the car,

78% of drivers go less than 40 miles daily; 95% drive fewer than 100 miles a day.

The best guess  is that 80 percent of charging will take place at home.

  • Charging an electric car with a standard 120-volt outlet can take up to 18 hours; 5 to 8 hours to charge one with a more powerful 240-volt outlet.
  • But, buying a 240-volt charger requires contacting a utility to see if the neighborhood transformer can handle the load, getting a contractor to install the 240-volt charger in your garage, and having the city inspect it.
  • It can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $3,000 and take a month or two.

There are 106,000 gas stations coast to coast in the U.S. … 13,000 public chargers are expected to be in the ground by the end of 2011;

  • Cracker Barrel restaurant chain recently announced that it would install chargers at 24 of its interstate locations
    Question: Think Cracker Barrel & electric cars attract the same demongraphics?* 

Nissan sorted potential launch markets according to three main criteria.

  • (1) places that had EV incentives left over from the late 1990s-early 2000s.
  • (2) places with a high density of hybrid customers. (Of the early Leaf buyers, almost half have owned Priuses.)
  • (3) states where the local utilities were willing to upgrade their grids if needed.

Wave One: Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Tennessee, Texas, and Hawaii.

Business Week, Electric Cars Get Charged for Battle, December 29, 2010
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_02/b4210048400234.htm

* Thanks to JMH for question

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