Assembly lines in Japan and the United States produced more than 20,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in 2011, the best year ever. According to Pike Research report, “Plug-in Electric Vehicles,” sales of PEVs in the United States will climb steadily over the remainder of this decade. PEV sales in the United States will reach nearly 48,000 units in 2012, making the United States the country with the highest number of PEV sales.
Worldwide sales of PEVs are expected to surpass 1 million units in 2017, after 7 years in the market – about half the time it took hybrid electric vehicles to reach that level. Ford and Toyota are expected to lead the PEV market in terms of total vehicles sold in the U.S. from 2012 to 2020.
In related news:
Ford, Eaton, SunPower and Whirlpool have teamed up for the Electric Energy Initiative and to create the “MyEnergi Lifestyle.” The strategic collaboration – supported by research at the Georgia Tech – will demonstrate how a typical American family can significantly reduce its electricity bills and CO2 footprint by up to 60% by integrating time-sensitive and non-time-sensitive home appliance and plug-in vehicle technologies and renewable energy systems. Ford already features its “value-charging” system on its hybrids, using cloud-based information to track and access off-peak utility rates.
In 2010, federal legislators passed the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act introduced by Senator John Kerry (S 841). Given problems with the stealth nature of hybrids in battery mode (generally less than 18 mph), auto makers may soon have to add some sound, (some vroom) to potentially avoid as many as 2,800 pedestrian and bicyclist casualties a year. This is especially important to the vision-impaired community. The bill directs the Secretary of Transportation to study and establish motor vehicle safety standards that have means of alerting blind and other pedestrians of motor vehicle operations. And what may be an effective sound in Times Square may be quite different than a sound appropriate for a quiet rural community.
Honda’s upcoming Honda Accord hybrid gets 68 MPG through the use of a two-motor hybrid drive system. The first motor (124 kW/166 hp) is for traction and force. The second (105 kW) is for power generation only, to recharge its on-board batteries. This super-efficient model will initially be available through leases for businesses and municipalities in Japan. Its sale price is just over three million yen, or $34,000. Honda hopes to manufacture and sell 10,000/year.