Plug-in electric vehicles are set to touch new heights in 2012 and it is expected that these vehicles would gain popularity and used for commercial purposes as well. Automakers will launch new vehicles in 2012 in order to increase the options for consumers. Many auto magazines have predicted that 2012 will be the year of electric vehicles. Major automakers including Ford, Toyota and Honda are set to launch new, improved electric vehicles in 2012. Companies are hopeful that people would start adopting electric vehicles in 2012 due to improvement in charging process and use of improved batteries.
What to expect
1. Battery will supersede vehicle production
In 2011, lithium ion battery manufacturers in the US spent money and time to establish new factories in order to meet the expected surge in the demand of the electric and plug-in vehicles. The manufacturers were benefited by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by the American government in 2009, which provided funding to the battery manufacturers in order to help them increase their production, allowing them to compete with Japan, Korea, and China. Major manufactures like Saft, EnerDel, LG Chem etc. have already established their factories and they are now hoping that the sales of the electric vehicles would jump in 2012.
2. Small but powerful
Modern technology has allowed engineers to develop small but powerful engines that are fuel efficient as well. It is expected that in 2012 automakers would launch car powered by small, powerful and fuel efficient engines.
3. EVs will power home appliances
We know that the battery used in electric vehicles can be charged using normal power outlet and it is expected that in 2012 automakers would develop technology that would allow these vehicles and their charging equipment to interact with other home appliances. It will allow the automakers to balance their energy requirement.
The introduction of this technology will allow the engine to shut off automatically at traffic lights and restart automatically. This technology will make the electric vehicles more fuel efficient. This system was launched in the Mazda 3 and it is expected that in 2012, many other automakers will adopt this useful technology in their electric vehicles.
5. More voice-recognition
In 2012, the electric vehicles will make use of the functionalities to improve their performance. The system will use high-end smartphones for navigation and also allow the users to stream their favorite music, news and other related stuffs. Many automakers including Cadillac, Buick, Hyundai, Chevrolet and Toyota are already using several new systems to integrate the smartphone with the electric vehicles and in 2012, it is expected to get better.
What not to expect
It is assumed that the price of electric vehicle will come down in 2012, but many automakers have already raised prices. Nissan has increased the price of its hugely popular LEAF for 2012. Chevrolet has slashed the price of Volt by $1,000, but the car will lack several standard features. The price for 2012 Toyota Prius PHEV is $32,000, while the Honda Fit BEV is priced at $36,625.
2. Won't replace gasoline vehicles
The increasing fuel prices have led many to believe that the electric vehicles will replace the gasoline and diesel powered vehicles in future but it seems a distant dream even in 2012.
3. Availability of EVs
The availability of electric cars is limited with many automakers preferring to launch cars for a certain country and in some case for selected cities. This trend is likely to continue in 2012 as well.
4. Scant charging stations
The lack of sufficient charging stations has also affected electric vehicles from getting popular. In 2012, it is highly unlikely that automakers would be able to resolve this important issue.
5. Complete solution for range anxiety
The introduction of small and powerful batteries in 2012 will definitely prove beneficial for the electric vehicles, but the anxiety of people over the range of these vehicles will persist in 2012 as well despite some bold claims by scientists.
6. Electric cars will continue to pollute
We know that electric vehicles are completely emission free but this does not mean that they do not pollute. The pollution is caused at the power plant where these vehicles are manufactured. In 2012, it is unlikely that we will see any new technology to check this pollution.