Ford’s electric motors that power the hybrid vehicles have fared even better

The NHTSA investigation is expected to last months if not years so unless there is a sudden rash of EV fires, we can’t expect any major changes to be made to the industry but with more and more EVs planned to launch in the US over the next few years, we can expect that the NHTSA will devote a great deal of time to figuring out how to handle these vehicles after they have been damaged.

As of 2011, electric cars have been significantly more expensive than engine vehicles and even hybrid electric vehicles simply due to the additional cost of their lithium-ion battery pack. With the help of mass production of these kinds of lithium-ion batteries, battery prices are slowly coming down. As more locations make way for low cost electric car charging stations, these kinds of cars may become less expensive to drive.

“The success of the 2011 show proved that the battery industry is booming,” said Adam Moore, exhibition director. “Automotive OEM’s are demonstrating that the battery powered drivetrain is here for the long term; utility companies are touting that batteries are an effective solution for easing the natural intermittency of renewables; while portable device manufacturers are showcasing their ever-increasing power. Our exhibitors, delegates and visitors were amazed at the scale and value of the show; we see this as a reflection on the industry as a whole.”

While hybrids, plug-ins and electric vehicles are improving and developing rapidly, the improvements in the efficiency of gasoline engines are staggering. For example, the new Ford Escape essentially gets such a good efficiency rating with its two EcoStar four-cylinder engines, they are no long bothering with a hybrid version.

Almost daily on Torque News you will read about the aerodynamic improvements in this model or that, the weight reduction manufacturers globally are accomplishing, and even how 70 percent of the BMWs built in South Carolina are for export.

The simple fact is these changes have not been legislated, but rather the legislation, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), follows the course of world progress.

With V2G technology, EVs that are plugged in support grid functions as they recharge their batteries. EV owners get paid for the use of electricity obtained from their cars. Gas engines are achieving efficiency levels in an SUV it took hybrid technology to produce just 5 years ago.

Ford’s electric motors that power the hybrid vehicles have fared even better, having been 100% trouble-free, according to Gray. “With nearly 190,000 produced, we have zero motor failures.” General manager of Yellow Cab taxi company in San Francisco has Ford hybrids in his fleet, and was surprised at how they’re holding up. “They’re incredibly durable. We have these taxis on the street for about 21 hours a day; we take them off from about 3am to 6am.” “The guys drive about 10 to 12 hour shifts – at about one-third of their previous gas consumption.”

Providing a single national cars program through 2025 provides the certainty required for companies to invest in new technologies in the U.S. that will make it possible to build more efficient cars and trucks. This, in turn, will stimulate the creation of good-paying jobs across the U.S to design and build advanced vehicles and all their component parts.

The auto industry employs 700,000 people in manufacturing vehicles and vehicle parts and many thousands more providing materials like steel, rubber, plastic, and aluminum that go into the vehicles we drive. This represents the single largest manufacturing industry in the United States. Since July of 2009, the automotive sector has added approximately 113,000 jobs, its strongest period of job growth since the late 1990s, much of this growth coming from manufacturers of vehicle parts.

Ford will be using this development data to introduce five new ‘electrified’ vehicles in the United States by next year. Joining the Transit Connect Electric commercial van which arrived last year, Ford will be rolling out the Focus Electric this year, and the C-MAX hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid next year with the new lithium-ion battery packs.

There are 25 eBox vehicles in circulation in America and in Europe, including the one Hanks drives. Most belong to research operations at universities, utilities and car companies, but some are privately held. The cars cost $55,000 to convert from mainstream Scion xBs after they’re bought new from Toyota, according to a Wikipedia report. The prototype eBox was unveiled in Santa Monica, Calif., on Aug. 18, 2006. They have a top speed of 95 mph and go from 0-to-60 in 7 seconds.

Ford, who will eventually bring hybrid technology to the forthcoming C-Max, has in the past imported most of its batteries from South Korea-based Compact Power, Inc. Thanks to a ARRA grant, they now buy batteries from Johnson Controls Inc., an advanced battery manufacturer in Michigan awarded a $299 million grant, creating 3,000 jobs as a direct result.

Similarly when General Motors and Nissan were requesting battery bids for the plug-in hybrid Volt and all electric Leaf, suppliers like A123, a Massachusetts manufacturer of lithium ion batteries, lost out because they lacked proven production capacity. Over the last two years, A123 has demonstrated its manufacturing capabilities, producing a lithium battery with a longer lifespan than the competition.

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