Electric Vehicle Beats Honda after 12 years

A big advance in battery electric vehicle history was announced yesterday as BEVs got  to first and third place in Green Vehicle List, beating out Honda’s Civic running on natural gas. While BEVs still suffer from perceived “range anxiety” and lack of charging points, this is slowly changing with each passing year. 2012 is the first year where EVs really become available to the public, although that overstates the case at least in the UK, where the order list for 2012 Chevy Volts exceeds the provisional allocation for the UK. The Chevy Volt like its European stable mate the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera isn’t advertised yet and there is very little attempt to drum up sales for BEVs nor plug in hybrids.   The Mitsubishi i-MIEV also isn’t yet available. But all this is supposed to change as the year progresses.

Electric Car Tops Out Greenest Vehicle List
February 8, 2012
For the first time in the 12 year history of the Greenest Vehicle List, an electric vehicle has topped the list, based on the 14th annual comprehensive environmental rankings provided by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The Mitsubishi i-MIEV battery electric vehicle claimed the top spot from the Honda Civic Natural Gas which, up until this year, had held the top spot for 8 years running. The i-MIEV scored a high score of 58, the highest Green Score ever awarded since the ACEEE rankings were started back in 1998.

The Mitsubishi i-MIEV managed a combined city and highway fuel economy of 112 miles per gallon equivalent.

“Even taking into account the emissions generated from the electricity used to power the i-MIEV, it still handily outscores other vehicles on the market today,” said ACEEE lead vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan.

The remainder of the top 12 is made up of hybrids, which occupied half of all spots, as well as more conventional but highly efficient gasoline vehicles, which claimed three of the top spots.

From our RMB perspective, it’s all about trying to make an informed estimate about how much demand pressure for rare earth elements will come from the cross over to electric mobility as the decade unfolds. At one extreme are the sceptics who think that all electric vehicles are a joke, and that the public will never switch over to electric mobility. At the other are the niche EV automakers that see high priced and diminishing oil supplies driving the public to switch over en-mass towards the end of the decade. I’m about in the middle since I don’t think the present generation of EVs are attractive at current pricing. But current pricing is about to come down as manufacturers scale up production of EVs and batteries.

I’ll end with a new engine in development that promises to revolutionise the world of hybrid EVs. The new engine is lighter, cheaper to assemble, has more power and uses less petrol. I suspect it will go into the next generation of hybrid EVs, allowing for more battery installation. On the website they profile all the new competing ICE technology. The sceptics who think that the public will never switch are misreading technology change. Developments in graphene will also come into play as this decade progresses, but that is a subject for a different blog.

Libralato Engines. Link

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