The Times They Are a-Changin’

Call it range anxiety – call it what you want. Electric car drivers worry time and again that they won’t have enough juice to make those long trips. And so, as is too often the case, the question of pragmatism becomes a hurdle for greensters and those on the fence.

As they continue to push to sell more battery-powered cars, it’s a fear that automakers must overcome.

Due out late this year, Nissan’s all-electric Leaf can travel just 100 miles on a single charge. That’s perfect for a commuter but not the Jack Kerouac cross-country sojourner type.

One guy who once owned an electric car, Mr. Bob Shafron said:

“I think the Leaf is a beautifully designed vehicle, but 50 miles in one direction is just not enough…I think they are going to run into problems in markets like L.A., where things are spread out.”

The Monrovia-based maker of unmanned surveillance planes and quick-charge systems for electric vehicles and wind turbines, AeroVironment, secured a contract to install and provide home-charging systems for Nissan’s Leaf:

“When a customer goes to Nissan they will be able to schedule a home assessment with a licensed electrical contractor that will be part of our nationwide network”

said Steven Gitlin, AV’s vice president of marketing strategy.

Car Charging Group, Inc an owner and provider of electric vehicle charging stations with a mission to build a nationwide infrastructure, compliments California regulators who voted to make it easier for electric car charging companies to resell power in California at the California Public Utilities Commission Meeting held recently:

“For years, California has set the standard in green technology. It is great to see the state pave the way for electric vehicle charging companies and allow them to sell power in the state,” Car Charging Group CEO Michael D. Farkas said, “This opens up the gateway to bring revenue from EV charging stations and helps our company fulfill its mission. Furthermore, if other states follow in California’s footsteps, the national initiative would allow our company to price the cost of our services competitively benefiting property owners and consumers.”

Slightly more expensive and also hitting show room floors soon is GM’s $41,000 Volt. President Barack Obama was recently photographed driving in one.

Meanwhile, another fine example has been set by the Israeli company, Shai Agassi’s Better Place is opening a visitor center in a Tel Aviv suburb, situated in a renovated oil tank at the Pi Glilot fuel depot.
The center invites the public to hear about the Better Place vision (electric cars and charging stations, already setup in Jerusalem and parts of Europe), learn how the system will work, and test drive the cars.

Agassi had this to say:

“With the Better Place project, for the first time, we in Israel are providing a solution for one of the biggest global problems…By a happy coincidence, the Israeli government announced today that it was calling for a national plan to reduce Israel’s dependence on fossil fuels. I promise you that we had nothing to do with it, but we are happy about it because it shows where we’re going.”

Better Place Israel CEO Moshe Kaplinsky, a former deputy chief of the IDF General Staff, said that the company has signed agreements with 92 different Israeli companies who have agreed to convert a portion of their fleets to electric vehicles.

Motorola, Strauss and Netvision are among these companies.

The Times They Are a-Changin’

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