:thumb: Over the past year or so several events have conspired to create a new surge of interest in mainstream pure (not hybrid) EVs. Zap!s latest announcement of a $50k (USD) "Zap-X" four passenger SUV (though it may not become reality anytime soon) is just one more piece of high profile evidence that many many automakers now realize this must be the future!
Let me recap the recent worldwide and US events that have caused this belated and politically subverted epiphany:
1. With Bush on his way out of office, major US scientists (from even NASA) have finally come forward and verified that indeed global warming is creating the killer freak storms that have been increasing in frequency and severity over the past few years, not to mention flooding, increased UV rays, air pollution, etc... Snow in Bagdad! Come on, this is anything but normal! China recently experienced this in the form of a very deadly Winter itself.
2. The obscene profits of ExxonMobil Oil have awakened the US consumer's awareness of the market manipulations that are driving a US (and perhaps worldwide) recession. When producers in the Middle East and South America sell gasoline below $1 USD per gallon, well, you do the math...
3. In spite of the "Big 3s" protests that pure EVs don't make sense and won't sell (essentially refusing to produce them), by my research, over 100 smaller independent companies around the globe are gearing up to produce these EVs- mostly as neighborhood electrics. So far, major Japanese and European Automakers have backed this position and are not offering mainstream EVs. Ironically, GM recently publically stated that they would continue with their current marketing strategy- in the facing of the largest quarterly losses in US automotive history.
However, Zap!s latest announcement (a Lotus engineered SUV) confirms that, in fact, several recent technological advancements/refinements do make highway going mainstream EVs possible and practical- namely wheel hub motors and more advanced and powerful batteries. China has played a central role by already by producing (effectively lowering the costs of) the "nano" batteries that enable an effective EV driving range; this fact alone has brought EV production costs down far enough to ALMOST get MAINSTREAM EVs to market at costs competitive with traditional gas powered vehicles. If Zap! can offer a $50k luxury SUV in EV form, why can't Chinese automakers offer a $20-25k (or less) well-equipped family EV sedan (to compete with Accord and Camry) to beat the US, Japanese and Europeans to market?
The questions that I put to my fellow readers here are threefold:
1. Do you believe China can likewise develop their own (effectively designed) wheel hub motors to drive down costs even further (which is the second piece of the puzzle to definitely make EVs cost effective and producible for even less than gas powered cars)?
2. Do you think China should lead this current EV Revolution to gain the lion's share of the world's "Green" market right now (before the Olympics)?
3. Would you buy a Chinese manufactured EV if it was as stylish, powerful and similarly priced to its' gasoline counterpart (especially if it could go 200 or more miles on charge)?