In the world of EVs, the quicker you can charge your vehicle when on the go, the better. That's one stark difference between the electric cars and their gas counterparts--while you're saving money from not having to visit the pump, you're certainly losing out on time. Well, that's about to change, as several EV manufacturers have agreed on a new 20-minute fast-charging standard that'll take you from empty to full within 20 minutes. It's called DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging System, and the folks over at Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, GM, Porsche, and Volkswagen has all agreed that this is the future.
Oh, and to be clear, this really is the future. As in, don't expect to see vehicles that support the stndard for another year or so. Heck, over in Europe, the ACEA isn't even guaranteeing that you'll see charging stations adopting the standard over there until 2017. Hopefully things pick up a little quicker than that here in the US.
Fisker has issued a recall for the battery pack fitted in the Karma. The issue lies within the battery pack cell, produced by A123 Systems, which could result in “battery underperformance and decreased durability.” This has been identified as a plausible cause of Consumer Report’s Fisker Karma malfunction.
Fisker says that the issue could affect about 670 Karmas, and only a “handful” of Karmas actually manifest the issue. Roger Ormisher, Fisker’s director of global communications, told Wired that it would be installing new packs into affected Karmas as soon as a fault-free pack can be produced. The recall is setting Fisker back by $55 million, and the replacement will be free for customers.
Fisker is also extending warranties to consumers in the United States and Europe. In the States, the warranty is extended by 10 months/10,000 miles on top of the existing 50 month/50,000 mile warranty. European owner will also experience the same extension from 48 months/100,000 km to 60 months/100,000 km.
Fisker will be notifying affected customers with updates to their vehicles in the days to come.
Read More | Wired
The biggest turn off in buying an electric vehicle for most is the sticker price. Some, like the Fisker Karma, hover at six figures, and other like the Tesla cars range from $50,000 onward to $100,000, which is priced well above most pocketbooks. That leaves room for only a few EVs to choose from in the $30,000 neighborhood, primarily the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi I. If these two don’t float your boat, there is a new contender entering the market outta California.
The company is called Coda Automotive, and it's set to roll out a new 5-passenger EV. The company is based out of Los Angeles, California, and its EV plant is in Benicia. The car is priced reasonably at $35,200.
Buyers will have the option of choosing five exterior colors, two wheel designs, and those lucky enough to be within the first 500 customers will get cars that feature limited-edition accents, signifying they’re on of the first Coda vehicles to hit the road.
Read More | CNet
The Fisker Karma was one the electric cars we hoped would have led the pack in design. Instead, it seems to be an example of what not to do. The guys over at Consumer Reports bought the EV for testing and they weren't able to get very far.
The Karma only made it 2,000 miles before breaking down. With a little more research, they found out that other owners had similar, if not more horrific experiences. There have been reports of differentials going out at 1,000 miles, cars stalling out while doing 35 MPH, and trouble with shifting. Obviously, these are issues a new car should not have, let alone a car that cost over six figures.
But, hey, these are our words--if you wanna get the story from the horse's mouth, check out the video above!
GM went on the record opposing Governor Christine Gregoire on Senate Bill 5251. For those of you not familiar with the bill, it would impose a $100 annual tax on electric vehicle owners to make up for lost revenue not paid in gas taxes.
GM’s Regional Director Howard Lenox, Jr. wrote "A fee which singles out electric vehicles will be a disincentive to the growth of the electric vehicle market in Washington State. As a practical matter, there are so few vehicles on Washington's roads today that their impact in replacing fuel tax revenues will, for now, be negligible."
Now, we understand where the Lenox is coming from, but has he sat through 405 traffic in the morning? Seattle area traffic is some of the worst in the nation. The bill is supposed to generate $1.9 million dollars in lost revenue by 2017. However, it's still subject to approval by Washington state voters. It’s reported that Arizona, Oregon, and Kansas are among other states to pass similar bills.
How about you? Would you oppose or support Senate Bill 5251? Leave your answers in the comments letting us know!
AAA has announced their Mobile Electric Vehicle Charging vehicle, which aims to help you out if you're an owner of something like the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt and you run out of power when driving. The mobile EV charger will provide 15 minutes of charge time, which should be enough for 3-15 miles of drive time to allow the user to get to a charging station to fill up, so to speak. They'll be launching these as a pilot trial in six markets, including Portland, Seattle, San Francisco Bay area, Los ANgeles, Tampa Bay, and Knoxville. The rollout will begin in the summer and continue into the fall.
Read More | AAA