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Auto Manufacturers Designing More Plug-in Vehicles

Posted on Sunday, November 18th, 2012 at 10:16 pm by Solar Energy USA
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The Los Angeles Auto Show is coming up, and this 2012 showcase will feature a number of plug-in all-electric and hybrid electric vehicles, cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, that are beginning to make a presence in mainstream American culture. As a result, most major automotive manufacturers are planning to release some form of plug-in vehicle into the American market in coming years.

Below are a number of snapshots on plug-in vehicles in development and already available.

BMW i8 snapshot: bmw-i8-electric-plug-in-car

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

20 mile all-electric range, full range 300+ miles

356 HP

0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds

Top speed of 155 MPH

Price rumored to be $100k+

2014 production date

bmw-i3-electric-plug-in-car BMW i3 snapshot:

Plug-in all-electric vehicle

80-100 mile range

0 to 60 in 7.9 seconds

Price rumored to be under $50k

2013 production date

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Chevy Spark EV snapshot: chevy-spark-electric-plug-in-car

Plug-in all-electric vehicle

80-100 mile range

Up to 130 HP

0-60 in less than 8 seconds

Fast charge capabilities

Price rumored to be $30k

2013 production date

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2013 Fiat 500e Fiat 500e snapshot:

Plug-in all-electric vehicle

Approximately 100 mile range

100 HP

Rumored $32k

2013 production

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Tesla Model X snapshot: tesla-model-x-plug-in-electric-vehicle

Plug-in all-electric vehicle

210-270 mile range

0-60 in 4.4 seconds

300 HP

“Falcon wings”

$57k base price

2014 production

tesla-model-s-plug-in-electric-vehicle2 Tesla Model S snapshot:

Plug-in all-electric vehicle

160-300 mile range

0-60 in 4.4 seconds (Signature Performance model)

130 MPH top speed

Up to 416 HP

Motor Trend 2013 Car of the Year, Automobile Magazine 2013 Car of the Year

Starting at $50k

2012 production (limited availability)

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Smart ForTwo ED snapshot: smart-fortwo-plug-in-electric-car

Plug-in all-electric vehicle

87 mile range

0-60 in 11.5 seconds

Top speed 78 MPH

74 HP

Starting at $25k

2013 production

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Mitsubishi iMIEV snapshot:

Plug-in all-electric vehicle

80-100 mile range

Top speed 80 MPH

63 HP

Starting at $29k

2012 production

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Ford Focus Electric snapshot: ford-focus-electric-plug-in-electric-vehicle

Plug-in all-electric vehicle

76 mile range

0-60 in 9.6 seconds

Top speed 84 MPH

143 HP

Starting at $39k

2012 production

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toyota-prius-plug-in-hybrid-electric-vehicle Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid snapshot:

Plug-in hybrid electric car

0-60 in 10.5 seconds

Top speed 112 MPH

80 HP

Up to 15 mile electric range, 540 miles total range

Starting at $32k

2012 production

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You may be asking yourself what electric cars have to do with solar power

The answer is related to energy independence, just like installing solar panels on a home or business. Plug-in electric vehicles can be recharged via household power outlets that push power from the local utility grid, eliminating the need and cost of refueling with gasoline. They can also be recharged with solar power that is generated from a rooftop solar array. Financial savings driving an electric vehicle speak for themselves, but refueling with solar power is even more dramatic.

Another benefit of plug-in electric vehicles is that they can be used as emergency generators in the event of a power grid failure. The energy stored in their battery packs can be used to power household lights, refrigeration, and other electrical devices needed to provide safety and comfort in a power outage emergency scenario.

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