Electric vehicle owners pay $1.14 for the equivalent of a gallon of gas

$1.14 a gallon gas? That’s the equivalent cost for electric vehicles:

A new statistic — the eGallon — will now be calculated monthly by the Department of Energy to gauge the price paid by electric vehicle drivers to go the same distance that a driver of a conventional car will travel, on average, using a gallon of gas.

People who own electric vehicles may already know what they’re paying to fill up, but the agency introduced the new “eGallon” metric to help consumers who are thinking about buying electric vehicles.

Based on the 2012 model year, the department’s analysis concluded that consumers are paying $1.14 a gallon nationally to drive 28.2 miles, the average distance traveled by comparable 2012 non-electric small and medium-size cars.

That $1.14 per eGallon compares with $3.65, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

With leases on electric cars approaching those of gasoline-powered vehicles, electric vehicles are coming ever closer to being the practical option for most drivers. The case is even stronger when you look at the the energy density of next-generation batteries – when electric cars can drive 1000 miles in one go, no one will complain about charging times,

Electric cars becoming cheaper than gas-powered competition

Electric cars are getting as cheap as gasoline rivals :

Forced by state regulators to sell more zero-emission vehicles, automakers are tripping over each other to offer consumers rock-bottom lease deals. For the first time, electric vehicles are penciling out cheaper than their gas-powered counterparts.

Honda joined the price war this week by dropping the lease on its Fit EV from $389 to $259 a month. It threw in collision and vehicle theft coverage, maintenance, roadside assistance — even a charging station at your house. Factoring in a state rebate, a customer can drive off the lot with an all-in, three-year commitment of less than $7,000. That may make the Fit EV the cheapest $37,000 car in history.

Still, the Honda will have to compete with recently announced $199-a-month leases on the Nissan Leaf, the Fiat 500e and the Chevrolet Spark. Ford is offering its Focus EV for $284 a month.

$200-300 per month and charging costs almost nothing compared to filling up a traditional car at the pump?

Sign me up.

Tesla has enough Model S preorders for a year’s worth of production

Quartz:

CEO and founder Elon Musk repeatedly pointed out that they could close down all their stores and have enough orders, including reservations for 15,000 Model S cars, to sell off a year’s worth of production. The company opened eight more stores around the US at the end of last year, bringing the total to 32, and will open 15 to 20 more, including a store in Beijing, this year. That makes Musk confident that sales will continue to increase in the US and around the world.

I’m excited to see what happens at Tesla over the next few years.

Let’s switch from gasoline to natural gas

The Second Coming | Foreign Policy:

Compressed-natural-gas vehicles and electric vehicles — one-third of U.S. electricity is currently generated from natural gas — are slowly making their way into the marketplace. But battery-powered cars remain prohibitively expensive for most car buyers. A natural gas-derived liquid fuel called methanol (wood alcohol), however, is both substantially less expensive than gasoline on a per-mile basis and very cheap to enable on the vehicle side — roughly $100 extra per new car.

Essentially, all that is needed for a regular car to be a flexible-fuel car are a fuel sensor and a corrosion-resistant fuel line. In some provinces of China, where methanol is made primarily from coal, this alcohol is sold at numerous fuel stations. This logic is one thing even Iran and Israel can agree on: Both natural gas-rich countries have plans to begin selling methanol-based fuel at gas stations.

I believe that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is going to be a very incremental process. The infrastructure just isn’t there to switch from coal and natural gas to solar and wind and the myriad other renewable options in even a few years. Washington isn’t willing to spend the money to make it happen faster. If we can switch from gasoline to natural gas-based methanol in a few years and save drivers money at the pump and not have to subsidize anything, I’m willing to accept not reducing carbon as quickly as we’d like.

2014 Chevrolet SS: Four-doors, rear-wheel drive and V8 power

2014 Chevrolet SS: Four-doors, rear-wheel drive and V8 power:

Behind that grille resides the same 6.2L LS3 V8 that powered the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette. Chevrolet has yet to lock down the SS’ official performance figures, but says the LS3 should be good for 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque.

That power is sent to the SS’ rear-wheels via a six-speed transmission with a final drive ratio of 3.27. No manual transmission will be offered, but the SS does come standard with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Chevrolet says the SS will be capable of accelerating from 0-60 in about 5 seconds.

I like fast cars with room for four. While I’m not a fan of that front end, I do think that this is a good first step.

China and Beijing to offer $19,000 subsidy to buy electric cars

Chinese firm approved to buy U.S. electric car battery company | Marketplace.org:

“The central government gives electric car buyers a check worth $9,500. Last week, amidst a public outcry over hazardous air pollution, the city of Beijing matched that sum resulting in a whopping $19,000 subsidy for people who buy electric cars.”

That is a huge subsidy. Here in the United States, the government will give you a $7,500 tax subsidy for buying an electric car. Pollution in Beijing must be terrible.

Mercedes-Benz CLA Super Bowl ad

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPNr0_6MnDo]

Willem Dafoe was a perfect choice for this ad. Forbes has an article with some of the specs, for the car nerds out there:

I’ll be very interested in driving the turbocharged 2.o-liter in-line four cylinder engine mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and monitoring the transparency of the ECO stop/start function. The engine has 208 horses and 258 foot-pounds of torque to move the estimated 3,264 pounds of curb weight. Top speed is 149 MPH.

Not quite as impressive as my favorite sports sedan, the BMW 335i. But I won’t hold it against Mercedes for $15,000 in savings.