The electric car market is going to heat up in the next couple years. Which is a good thing — because I’m sick and tired of oil changes and all the other crap currently plaguing my combustible engine. I’m not under the illusion that I’ll have no issues with an electric vehicle (especially during NY winters), but I have more confidence that I’ll feel a lot less dependent on fuel and seriously giddy every time I drive by a gas station. But I digress…
News today from CNN Money of an electric car that goes 80mph, travels 120 miles at 60mph, and costs $30,000. It’s called the XS 500 from Miles Automotive and while that number may not be financially practical for most people, it represents a true price shift from current available models. How is it possible to market such a vehicle so soon? Two words: Cheap Labor. From the article,
“Both the low cost and the high range can be attributed to China, where low labor costs keep the price down and state-sponsored research into battery technology yielded what Rubin said was an advanced lithium ion power pack produced by Lishen Battery. Plug the car into a normal wall socket and, according to company literature, six hours later you’ve got a full charge.”
You can bet that the other big boys have their own electric vehicles ready in the wings. Both GM and Tesla Motors have announced plans to introduce vehicles into the “low-cost” autos segment. GM’s Volt is slated to begin mass production in 2010 — but if the thing falls below $30K, I’ll be shocked. Just as hybrids have evolved — and have started to drop in price, we can expect electric vehicles to make their impact over the next ten years as well. More choice in alternative transportation is a welcome change. Let’s hope consumers embrace the opportunity.