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New web tool called eGallon hopes to spur interest in electric vehicles

The majority of car buyers around the country are staying away from electric vehicles. Many shoppers like the idea of not having to purchase gasoline and reducing pollution, but all modern electric vehicles have significant issues that are too major for the vast majority of shoppers to overcome. The main problems with the electric vehicles currently on the market include cost, short driving ranges, and long charging times among others.

Many areas in the United States also have little or no electric vehicle-charging infrastructure. The annual Electric Drive Transportation Association annual conference was held in Detroit this week and automakers used the conference to talk up their effort to improve charging times. During the conference, the U.S. Department of Energy also launched a new interactive tool on the internet to help illustrate cost savings between gas and electric vehicles.

The tool is called eGallon and makes it easier for consumers to compare the costs of driving each type vehicle. The web tool currently says that costs owners of electric vehicles pay about $1.14 in electricity to drive as far as 1 gallon of gasoline, which costs approximately $3.84 a gallon.

“Consumers can see gasoline prices posted at the corner gas station, but are left in the dark on the cost of fueling an electric vehicle. The eGallon will bring greater transparency to vehicle operating costs, and help drivers figure out how much they might save on fuel by choosing an electric vehicle. It also shows the low and steady price of fueling with electricity,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Not only can electric vehicles save consumers on fuel and reduce our dependence on oil, they also represent an opportunity for America to lead in a growing, global manufacturing industry.”

GM and BMW also announced during the conference that they have reached the milestone on the path to adopting a new automotive industry standard for DC fast charging. The two companies are working on a joint venture for fast charging systems that will work for both the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Spark electric vehicle. The system is being tested and could charge electric vehicles up to 80% of total capacity in only 20 min.

Source: Detroit News

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RE: Issues with price
By foxalopex on 6/12/2013 5:03:53 PM , Rating: 3
Being a Volt owner this sounds about right. It takes a long time to break even with an EV. That said thou, if you talk to an EV owner, it's nice not having to make the trips to the gas station or changing oil.

EVs are much nicer and easier to drive as well. They typically don't have a clunky transmission system and they normally have a lot of low end torque making the car glide as smooth as glass. This alone wins the heart of many EV drivers.

As for the environment, an EV is definitely better even when run by coal powered electrical plants. It makes our cities quieter and reduces the amount of local air pollution. The last fact alone would likely save hundreds of lives over time. It's something that I've noticed quite clearly as an EV owner. You don't smell exhaust anymore from your own car but everyone else seems to have have exhaust too. As cars age, some folks can't maintain the gas engine properly and they seem to get worse.

But I have to admit in many ways that last point will be ignored by many. Spending a little more to protect the local environment isn't something a lot of folks consider. Spending less to have everyone suffer the same fate or worse seems to be more akin to what we do.

RE: Issues with price
By Mint on 6/12/2013 5:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
The Volt has a much bigger price premium than cheaper EVs, but that should come down in the future.

The C-Max Energi has a much smaller price premium over the C-Max SEL ($5000 w/o credit, $1250 with). It has smaller electric range, but still should save $50/mo. That's 2 years payback with credit.

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