Electric cars to watch in 2013

posted on February 14, 2013

Are you playing with the thought of acquiring a new car this year? Maybe a scootable, squeezable city hopper or must it be a comfortable long-range four-door saloon car? Whatever type you end up choosing, 2013 seems to be a more promising year for the electric car. Going electric, as disadvantageous as it will remain to be (see blog entry last week), appears to be experiencing a real push this year. This is mainly because in 2013, the auto industry will be putting more electric cars on the market than ever before. But which one to choose? In the following, blog.alphabet.com presents you some interesting models for 2013.

Electric cars: the highlights

Previously, they were most often thrown in the “quirky ideas” bin, but electric cars are more and more being engineered to satisfy commercial requirements. Take the Ford Focus Electric, for example, the electric version of the worldwide successful compact car Ford Focus. Everything being equal, one discovers the heavy batteries behind the plug-in instead of a fuel tank. These batteries save up to 23-kilowatt hours of electricity, which supposedly last for a quite surprising 160 kilometres of distance.[1] Up to now such a long distance usually meant long charging hours of around 8 to 10 hours. However, Ford claims that it only takes 3-4 hours for the Electric Ford to fill its batteries fully. If this can be confirmed by neutral sources in the future, the Ford Focus Electric could make a real contribution to commercial electric mobility. For 40.000 Euros the electric Focus is yours – still 20.000 Euros more expensive than its good old fuel brother.[2]

In comparison to 72.400 Euros, however, 40.000 Euros don’t seem to be that much. That’s the amount you need to pay for the most expensive electric car we present in this entry and it’s made by the renowned electric car manufacturer Tesla.

Tesla Model S in Silver, Copyright © 2013 Tesla Motors, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Model S will be on sale this spring and Tesla say they’ll reach more than 20.000 sales per year.[3] Despite the fact that it offers room for five people, the Model S is all about performance and speed. The first and only electric super car, the Model S reaches 100 km/h in only 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 200 km/h – remarkable for an electric vehicle. Furthermore, Tesla claims that their Model S can go for 400 kilometres on one battery charge. If, however, you’re on the look out for something a bit smaller and less expensive you should check out the Daimler Smart Electric Drive: or basically the electric Smart. 145 kilometres on one battery charge will be sufficient to do so and the battery charges fully within only one hour.[4] If you were to order yours now, however, you’d have to wait for a long time to drive it. There is a nine-month waiting list. But driving an electric vehicle doesn’t have to be so expensive. Those people who live in cities where car2go[5] is active can test the electric Smart as part of their car sharing scheme.[6]

Electric cars: one step further in 2013

These three cars could lay the path for making electric mobility more attractive. Although specialists and enthusiasts already proclaim the beginning of the electric age, a lot will still need to improve – which is also reflected in the cars we picked: all models are still too expensive. Despite the fact that automakers can produce them for less and less money, the costs of a new battery, for example, are tremendous. Tesla currently offers only four years of warranty on its batteries, which cost thousands of Euros. Better then, there is a ten-year warranty on the Smart’s batteries. Although 2013 seems to offer new and very exciting electric models. We will try to cover some more of them in the coming articles. What we can expect is no revolution but definitely another leap forwards.

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