• May 21st 2008 at 4:08PM
  • 20
Try to list all of the stories we've had recently about Nissan's work to bring electric cars to the masses. It's hard, because there have been a lot of them, covering the company's efforts in Japan, Israel and the U.S., to name just a few. We're not the only ones who've noticed what Nissan (and Renault) are up to; the non-profit group Plug In America (PIA) has issued a statement praising the company for the EV push. PIA president Linda Nicholes said in a statement that, "It's past time that people had the chance and the choice to get behind the wheel of an electric car. Nissan, through innovative leadership, will make that choice possible to people all over the world." PIA's laudatory release continues:
Nissan is the first manufacturer to say it will market all-electric vehicles worldwide. Its commitment to plug-in vehicles is sure to fan competition among rivals, ultimately reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

The full statement is available after the jump. Now Nissan just has to deliver on these promises and we'll all have sometime to praise.

Press Release:

As Gas Tops $4 a Gallon, Plug In America Commends Nissan For Plans to Sell Affordable All-Electric Car
U.S. Sales in Two Years; Worldwide Distribution by 2012

It's a breath of fresh- and cleaner-air.

Nissan Motor Company's plans to sell an affordable all-electric sedan in the U.S. and Japan in just two years is likewise a demonstration of leadership. Nissan also expects to sell a lineup of electric vehicles worldwide by 2012.

"We commend Nissan for surging ahead in the race to produce and market plug-in cars on a global scale," said Linda Nicholes, President of Plug In America (PIA). "It's past time that people had the chance and the choice to get behind the wheel of an electric car. Nissan, through innovative leadership, will make that choice possible to people all over the world."

An electric car prototype manufactured by Renault, Nissan's partner, was displayed in Tel Aviv earlier this month. Company president Carlos Ghosn said the automaker decided to accelerate development of battery-powered vehicles due to high gasoline prices and environmental concerns.

As oil prices soared past $130 per gallon today (May 21), gas averaging more than $4 per gallon at the pump hit 15 metropolitan areas across the country, AAA reported on Tuesday.

But, in more good news from Nissan, the company already looks toward rolling out a broad range of electric vehicles-from compact to minivan.

Other automakers including Mitsubishi Motors and Fuji Heavy Industries are testing versions of electric cars, and General Motors and Toyota are working on battery-powered vehicles that have small gasoline engines for recharging.

But Nissan is the first manufacturer to say it will market all-electric vehicles worldwide. Its commitment to plug-in vehicles is sure to fan competition among rivals, ultimately reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Plug In America, a national non-profit organization, advocates the use of plug-in vehicles powered by cleaner, cheaper, domestic electricity. Even using electricity from the national grid, which derives more than half of its power from coal, driving an electric car is far cleaner than driving a gasoline car, according to a study published last year by the Natural Resource Defense Council and the Electric Power Research Institute. For more information: www.pluginamerica.org.

Recent rallies and other activities organized by PIA board members, most of whom appear in the documentary, "Who Killed the Electric Car?" have been filmed for the movie's sequel, "Who Saved the Electric Car?" For information: http://www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com.

[Source: Plug In America]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Even if 8% of your driving is out of your range (is that 8% of trips or 8% of miles?), if you can't make it, that can be a Big Problem(tm). It requires rentals and/or backup cars, both of which are going to be deterrents to adoption, and would still use gasoline.

      Here's some numbers that shows that having 100,000 EVs should be enough to turn a profit on these things. That'd be one in 2500 vehicles. A relatively busy interstate may average 200,000 vehicles per day, while a sparse one may average 20,000. That's 80 and 8 EVs, respectively. If you assume half of the people on the busy stretches need to fast charge and 75% on the sparse stretches do, that's 40 and 6, respectively. With a typical 120-mile range EV on 20kWh of batteries and a profitability of 60kWh/day per charger, you could have a charger every 9 miles in the busy stretches and every 60 miles on the sparse stretches.

      Now, how realistic is a 60kWh/day profitability? Let's say that they want to sell fast charges, to begin with, at a rate per mile that'd compare to a typical, relatively efficient gasoline vehicle -- $0.08/mi (36mpg car, $3/gal). This would be $0.50/kWh. 60kWh/day would be $30/day, ~$11k per year. If you assume 3% inflation, that'd be about an 8% 20-year IRR. This assumes no depreciation, but also no incentives for providing backup power for the grid, no tax credits, and no fringe benefits for places that sell other goods and services, such as customer loyalty and green cred.

      So, I think, pessimistically, 100k EVs sold in the country would be the point where you could get nationwide profitability for charging along interstates. In many parts of the country, 10k EVs should be good enough.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Great for the relatively few enclosed multi-story parking structures. What about the tens of millions of open-air parking spaces at strip malls, big-box stores, workplaces and housing complexes?

      Most big city dwellers have no assigned, enclosed off-steet parking whatsoever. It's catch-as-catch-can. Ask someone in Boston or New York about their parking garage and watch them fall to the ground laughing.

      There's a new paradigm on its way that leaves a hefty percentage of people out without a concerted effort to provide outlets and charging stations.

      I think we're still going to need a model similar to that of the century-old service station to accomodate a mass shift to EVs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Of course they need to be built out, but then again it's not a big deal to run a string of plug inside a parking garage. Meters is not that big either, but a glorified kill-a-watt and credit card processor. I bet you could do it for under $750 per plug to add 20 plugs to a parking garage that cost a few million to build.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "would only be necessary for around 8% of the trips."

      You're almost into work and realize you have a stain on your shirt. Suddenly, a 30 mile drive turns into 90 miles.

      Get the picture?
      • 7 Years Ago
      1) You do not have to own an EV or be wealthy to become a member of Plug In America. (We'd be a very small group indeed if that was the case.) Thousands of people around the world receive Plug In America's e-newsletter, and our numbers are growing quickly, which gives us more clout in advocating for plug-in vehicles.

      2) We did post notice about the March 2008 rally in Sacramento as soon as it was available, and drew a large and spirited crowd and lots of media. Thanks to all of you who came!

      3) There are lots of ways that people can volunteer to help Plug In America advocate for vehicles that run on cleaner, cheaper, domestic electricity to decrease our nation's dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. If you'd rather be involved in another plug-in group, that's fine too!

      4) Check us out for yourselves and see what we're about at www.pluginamerica.org.
      • 7 Years Ago
      * I think the only infrastructure they really need is parking garages electrical outlets. *

      We're going to need a whole lot more than that. Only a miniscule fraction of drivers use or have access to municipal parking garages.

      It will take a nationwide effort to build outdoor metered outlets in every new home or condo/apartment complex, as well as businesses, airports, schools, retail stores, etc. Then, the task of retrofitting every older parking lot and structure.

      I'm really tired of hearing about this 40-mile trip with a plug at each end. I don't have a plug at my end (and probably never will), and have never traveled to any location that had an accessible plug at their end. What fantasy world do you live in?

      Yes, we do need retail charging stations. Not everyone is going to run out and buy a tract-home in suburbia with a 3-car garage so they can plug in a car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      James (#3)

      We don't NEED a 400 mile range given that 78% of us drive less than 40 miles each day and 92% of all One-Way trips are less than 40 miles with a plug at each end of the trip. Most people would recharge every night while they slept instead of visiting a gas station once per week.


      Rapid charging or alternative transportation such as rental cars, loaner cars, 2nd car or mass transportation (any combination of these) would only be necessary for around 8% of the trips.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That gasoline could be VERY expensive. Was just reading about $12-15/gallon.


      The market will have to sort it out and while the first EVs will have eager buyers, it could be many years for others who have to wait for charging infrastructure.

      I'd love my next car to be electric and I'll need one within 2 years. It'll probably be gas-powered, though, much to my disappointment.

      There's a reaason Project Better Place is installing 500,000 charging points in Israel, with the land area of CT and DE combined with just 7.3 million residents.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The wire, conduits, outlet boxes and meters don't cost that much, the biggest cost is the labor to install it. About the only hangup for EV charging outlets at apartments and parking garages would be the need for either:
      1. A locking cover on individual outlets so only those with a key could use it, or
      2. Some sort of vending meter to properly charge for the charge.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'll vote with my wallet for the FIRST 4 passenger electric car under $25K that can cruise at 75-mph for 100 miles and includes Heat, AC and Electric windows as long as it does not resemble an insect.
      • 7 Years Ago
      PIA is a joke. They won't even have an active member-volunteer program. So if you want to help you have to basically own an EV yet they are adovocating for EVs, ironic? It's an exclusive elitest club. I know my time is better spent somewhere else. You have to own an EV or you have to have wealth or power to be in their so called "group". In fact I met the president and she was pretty much a white supremacist. And they don't even know how to adovocate for an issue to the public. They won't even tap into the large public by going to different demographs.
      When they had the protest in Sacramento California they didn't even post it on their website for people to show up. Ridiculous.
      Project Better Place will get through to the government without PIA. They got an entire country to back them up, they don't need a half-hearted advocacy group that essentially does nothing in the end.

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