Friday, January 21, 2011

Good Electric Cars

Since Max did a pretty good job of railing on the Chevy Volt I figured I would point out a few electric cars that I think do a very good job of being electric cars. The primary cars I will be looking at are the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster, and the Fisker Karma,

The reason I picked each of these is they do something that the volt tried to do but failed at. Lets start with the Nissan:

Nissan Leaf: This is the only car on the list that I will ever come close to owning just because of the price and the mass-production of them. It is also the most practical of the three cars I'm looking at. It can seat 5 people and also has a decent trunk to store things in. It's range is 100 miles on a full charge which is pretty impressive for such a cheap electric and it really is all electric. No gas anywhere. So if you put a solar panel on your house you really could have completely green transportation.

Tesla Roadster: This car one-ups the Nissan with an astonishing 250 mile range! That is almost as much as my Jeep on a full tank of fuel. So most people could drive a few days without having to recharge, but they would likely charge overnight anyway. This car is the sportiest of the group with a blistering 0-60 in under 4 seconds. I would love to drive this one for fun but it really isn't the most practical car on the list. It does do a good job of pushing the limits of what an electric car can do, which I think is good for the industry.

Fisker Karma: This one is probably the odd one out of the group. It does have a gas engine but it is unlike any previous hybrids. The Karma has what I wish the volt has: effectively a generator in the car. The gas engine isn't connected to the drive-train and only powers the electric motors. This is cool because it saves a lot of weight on the drive train because power is carried from the front gas engine to the rear electric motors with a simple wire and no steel axles. It also can go 50 miles on all electric power before the gas engine kicks in, and when the gas engine does kick in it gets about 100mpg which is off the charts in case you didn't know. It can also seat four and looks good while it is doing it. Who knew an electric-hybrid could do so much?

Over all I think these are some pretty sweet cars that I would love to drive at some time or another. The Karma is probably at the top of my list because it is more practical than the Tesla and cooler than the Nissan. Also you don't have to worry about being stuck with no power, which is the unfortunate downside to an otherwise sweet technology.


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  3. The tesla can go 250 miles because it has a measly 1600 laptop batteries on board! If you have a regular 110 volt outlet is takes 34 hours to charge it! Thats so inconvenient! It also has a 53 kilowatt an hour battery pack! Which is hurting the environment more than a regular car!

  4. I do have to admit though the fisker karma seems like a pretty good investment, depending on how fast it can go.

  5. Alex I would argue that it actually isn't worse for the environment. The Karma I believe has a limited top speed of about 125 or 130 mph and a 0 to 60 in a little under 6 seconds. So it isn't crazy fast but for a 4 door it's pretty good.