What’s In Store For Electric Vehicles in 2013?

Needless to say, the future is nearly impossible to predict, but one thing does seem inevitable: the electric car is going to become more prevalent than fossil fuel-powered cars. As gas prices climb higher and higher, there are a lot of people hoping that the future is right around the corner.  However, the production and integration of electric cars into the automobile market has been a slow process.  There are many factors that have contributed to this: electric cars are still relatively expensive, the battery life is not that impressive, and the car consumer market has not been very hospitable to the electric car industry.  Despite these setbacks, the electric car continues to be regarded as the car of the future as every major automotive company, and many smaller, new and unknown automotive companies are also working on the car of the future.  Indeed, it is only a matter of time before gas stations are replaced with charging stations and tail pipes are replaced with electric plug sockets.

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However, it remains to be seen whether or not sales of electric cars will compete with or surpass sales of traditional automobiles in 2013.  While 2013 may mark a growth in sales, we may not see numbers electric car manufacturers are hoping for until 2014 or beyond.  There is some hope though.  The technology becomes more and more efficient by the year, and as the recession fades away and the economy starts to creep higher and higher, the age of the electric car may be upon us all sooner than expected.

The slow growth of electric car sales has been one of the major setbacks for the electric car industry. To this day, electric cars make up less than one percent of all car sales. This figure alone shows how far electric cars have to go, but 2013 has the largest slate of electric cars ready to hit the market ever. 2013 will see the largest influx of electric vehicles which will be cheaper, more efficient, more advanced and more aesthetically pleasing than many electric cars currently on the market. Every major car company on the globe has at least 2 or 3 new electric car models ready to be released in 2013.

One step forward for electric cars is the proliferation of electric charging stations throughout the country in 2013. One of the largest proliferators are retail businesses like Macy’s, Walgreen and Costco–all of which have plans to offer more electric charging stations at select retail locations around the country.

In 2012, Nissan released its newest, and most impressive, electric vehicle to date: The Nissan Leaf. The sales have not been very impressive so far, but the 2013 model already has many improvements which will increase the efficiency of the electric battery. The main improvement is a change in the heating system, which will save 25% of the battery life in the process, which will tack on an extra 25 miles on the battery life (the car currently drives about 100 miles on one battery charge.)

Another milestone for electric cars in 2013 is the release of the Chevrolet Spark EV, which is General Motors’ first fully-electric powered car. Nearly a decade ago, Chevy and General Motors were criticized for pulling the plug on electric car development, and in the process, setting back the clock of the electric car technology in the United States. But, it is better late than never, and the new Spark EV looks to be one the most exciting electric vehicles ever released. The car will be much more affordable than other new electric cars available in the United States and will be slightly more efficient than its counterparts.

As the Federal Government continues to fund electric vehicle development and people continue to come around and start buying the vehicles, the technology will only get better (and cheaper). While 2013 may not be the year that puts the electric car on the map once and for all, it will at least provide a significant push for its typically slow march towards progress.

Jonah Shelby is a car enthusiast that specializes in electric and concept cars. He currently writes for various publications like on how to save on insuring an electric vehicle.

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