Jan 13, 2011 (From the CalCars-News archive)
2011 starts with many more announcements of plug-in cars, and an industry that's beginning a major transition globally. It's still too slow to have an impact soon enough on global climate and energy security crises, but it's what we need. Here's a rundown of the new PHEVs, a listing of top auto industry leaders supporting plug-ins, and a link to a new California organization and report.
Here are the new plug-in hybrids, most announced at the Detroit Auto Show:
- Ford's first PHEV using its C-Max "microvan" platform: the Energi, seating five adults and two children, with a total 500-mile range, to be built in Michigan in 2012.
- As the Chevy Volt was voted 2011 "North American Car of the Year" by 49 automotive journalists at the Detroit auto show, GM says it will more than double its first year production of the Volt from 10,000 to 25,000.
- GM announced 2012-2013 plans for a PHEV version of the Cadillac SRX crossover and a new multi-purpose vehicle -- something between a hatchback and a minivan.
- Toyota extended its Prius line to multiple vehicles; its Plug-In Prius coming in the first half of 2012 will be based on the current design.
- Honda, which says it will sell PHEVs in the U.S. and Japan in 2012, will be testing in Japan a PHEV based on its Inspire mid-sized sedan.
- Bright Automotive finally has the resources to move forward, hiring 200 engineers for its IDEA PHEV fleet vehicle.
- BYD says it will sell its S6DM PHEV crossover in the U.S. in 2012.
And we enjoyed Automotive News' observation that "We couldn't help but notice that electric drive is now pretty much synonymous with being at the forefront. The auto industry seems to agree on this one thing, at least." This accompanied its listing of the top 10 auto industry leaders supporting advanced technology vehicles:
- Akio Toyoda: Toyota's CEO shows an affinity for all types of electric-drive vehicles.
- Carlos Ghosn: Nissan-Renault CEO is devoted to dominating the battery-powered vehicle segment.
- Chung Mong-Koo: Hyundai's chairman is determined to make the automaker a technological leader.
- Elon Musk: Tesla's CEO has reached out to automakers to expand the use of its electric-drive components.
- Sergio Marchionne: Chrysler-Fiat CEO looks to revamp vehicles, improve fuel efficiency and launch electric autos.
- Ferdinand Piech: Volkswagen's chairman strives to turn VW into the world's largest automaker. VW-Audi have numerous plug-in vehicles in the works.
- Joel Ewanick: GM's CMO aims to expand the market for the automaker's plug-vehicles, which include the Volt and Opel Ampera.
- Ed Whitacre: GM's former CEO played an influential role in launching the Volt.
- Frank Stronach: Former head of Magna who is credited with creating the supplier's E-Car Systems division.
- Jeffrey Immelt: General Electric's CEO who recently announced the company's intent to purchase 25,000 plug-in vehicles.
Source: From Automotive News (subscription required) http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110103/OEM02/301039998/1179, reprinted by Autoblog Green http://green.autoblog.com/2011/01/09/pro-plug-in-vehicle-executives-changing-industry/
We recommend for your reading the Strategic Plan of California's Plug-In Collaborative,
"TAKING CHARGE: Establishing California Leadership in the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Marketplace" http://www.evcollaborative.org/strategic-plan