Electric Cars: Mitsubishi (Now), Nissan 2010, BYD 2010, Toyota 2012, Honda by 2015

According to the director of EV [electric Vehicles] solutions at the California based company Aerovironment, full EVs currently in the development stages and expected to be ready for production within the next three years outnumber the plug-in hybrids and EREV [extended range electric vehicle] expected to reach the market within the same time frame.Aerovironment director Kristen Helsel said, “I though the majority would be plug-in, but by our numbers, 60% are full EVs vs. plug-ins.”

1. Mitsubishi i-MiEV available now

Mitsubishi Motors started leasing its all-electric vehicle, the i-MiEV, in June, 2009.

2. China’s BYD E6 – 2010
China’s BYD Co. the Chinese auto maker part-owned by Warren Buffett’s company, is finalizing plans for an all-electric battery car that would be sold in the U.S. next year [2010], ahead of the original schedule, Chairman Wang Chuanfu said.

He said BYD wants to build up its brand name in the U.S. by offering one of its most advanced cars, the five-seat e6, before eventually expanding its offerings.

Wang Chuanfu, the chairman of Chinese auto maker BYD, with one of the company’s cars at the automobile show in Detroit in January. Mr. Wang said the company plans to pick a specific region within the U.S. and initially market “a few hundred” e6s, priced at slightly more than $40,000, through a small number of dealers. “In the beginning, our target customers are going to be government agencies, utilities and maybe some celebrities,” Mr. Wang said. He added that BYD hopes to enter Europe with a similar strategy in 2011 or later.

BYD, which lists shares in Hong Kong, plans to sell up to 100 million new shares in mainland China ahead of a listing on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as early as next year. The offering, which still needs government approval, could raise up to $500 million based on current prices.

3. Honda 2015 (or before)
Honda Motor Co Ltd plans to develop an electric car to debut in the U.S. market by around 2015 as tighter environmental regulations push demand for zero-emission vehicles, the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday.

4. Toyota 2012
Toyota Motor Corp plans to launch an electric car by 2012

5. Volkswagen 2013
Volkswagen AG announced plans to launch electric cars for 2013. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, the Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen AG, said that VW would introduce its first electric car in 2013 and that it will be based on the same as the Up! New Small Family concept that was unveiled in 2007 (see the pics below). Dr Winterkorn estimating that electric vehicles would have a “global market share of 1 to 1.5% in 2020.”

According to Dr. Winterkorn, to become mainstream, electric cars need: batteries with better energy density and faster recharging times (leading to a longer range), lower price premiums (he says “a price increase of a maximum €2,000/US$2,800 more than today”), and infrastructure “including nationwide recharging stations, intelligent network, and uniform standards.”

But they say it could take decades for the vehicles to spread due to their high cost, limited driving range and long charging times with the current battery technology.

6. Nissan Leaf
Nissan Motor Co , Japan’s third biggest automaker, unveiled its electric car “Leaf” earlier this month with plans to begin selling it in the United States, Japan and Europe towards the end of 2010. The Leaf travels up to 90 miles an hour, goes 100 miles between recharges and carries a price tag of $25,000 to $33,000.

7. Tesla Motors
Tesla Sport is available for about $125,000

8. Ford Electric Van 2010 and Electric Car 2011
Ford says they will have a commercial BEV (battery electric Vehicle) van available in the US on 2010 followed by a small car in 2011. The car will be based on the Fusion and marketed in urban areas. They’re aiming for the car to have a 100 mile operating range and a production run of between 5,000 and 10,000 units.

Rapid Electric Vehicles (REV) offering $45,000 Ford fleet vehicle electric conversions.

9. BMW will have an electric version of the mini (summer 2009)

Mini USA Vice President, Jim McDowell, said that the company was still deciding whether to sell or lease the vehicles.

10. Aptera has an October, 2009 delvery date for its three wheeled electric vehicles

11. Hyundai introduced an all electric car for the South Korean market in 2009 and in NewZealand.

12. Fiat’s electric Fiat Palio Weekend in production in Brazil; estimated cost $70,000 (U.S.)

13. China’s Chery Automobile said on Thursday it has rolled out its first self-developed electric car, becoming the second home-grown car maker to tap potential demand for clean energy cars.

The model, known as S18, is capable of going as far as 150 kilometers on electricity when fully charged, with a maximum speed of 120 kilometres per hour, Chery said in a statement. Chery uses iron-phosphate-based lithium-ion batteries for S18, which can be fully charged in 4 to 6 hours and 80 percent charged in half an hour, it said.

Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV was released in limited numbers in Japan this year.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Innovations

1. Optimum packaging for EV

Based on the “i” minicar’s rear-midship layout platform, “i MiEV” replaces the conventional engine, transmission and fuel tank with a lithium-ion battery system, motor, inverter and other EV components.

The long wheelbase, a feature of rear-midship layout, provides space for high capacity lithium-ion batteries under the floor. It also enables the motor and inverter to be installed in the space that used to house the conventional engine and transmission. “i MiEV” ensures ample cabin space for passengers(4-occupant capacity) and reasonable luggage compartment space in the rear. The installation of batteries under the floor makes the “i MiEV” ’s center of gravity low, which provides a more stable driving dynamic.

2. High Capacity Lithium Ion Batteries

EV batteries must have high energy density, and the “i MiEV” utilizes high energy density lithium-ion batteries. A module consists of 4 cells, and 22 modules make one battery pack. Thanks to the structure of the modules, which allows them to be installed in either a vertical or transverse position, each high-capacity battery pack can fit under the floor. With these batteries installed, the target range is 160km (driving pattern: Japan 10-15 mode) for fleet monitoring test vehicles in 2008.

3. Small, Highly Efficient Motor

Highly efficient motor can be built smaller than gasoline engine, while still producing high torque at low revolutions. The “i MiEV” ’s small, light weight, highly efficient permanent magnet synchronous motor provides sportier, quieter driving and power superior to the gasoline “i” ’s turbo charged 660cc engine.

4. Three types of battery charging systems

“i MiEV” accepts three types of battery charging systems: The household charger system (100V,200V) for charging at home or a parking lot, and the quick-charger system for speedy charging. With the household charger system, “i MiEV” could be charged from either a 100V or 200V ordinary electric outlet via the household charger plug located on the right side of the vehicle. With the quick-charger system, “i MiEV” could be charged in short time via the quick-charger plug located on the left side of the vehicle.

Joint research with Power companies

For the diffusion of EVs, infrastructure development is as important as developing the car itself. Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has been conducting joint research with power companies using the “i MiEV” . The power companies will evaluate and analyze EVs’ practical applicability and quick-charge compatibility, which will help to develop vehicles and infrastructure for safe and convenient EV use.