Sunday, January 9, 2011

The future success of the electric car is in our blood now

Electric cars are here, and likely here to stay in 2011. Competing directly with the 100% electric Nissan Leaf, the Ford Focus Electric will be hitting the market in late 2011: a 100% electric car with a 100 mile driving range that charges twice as fast as the Nissan Leaf with liquid heated and cooled batteries to allow it to drive in a greater range of temperatures than the Leaf.

Tesla, the exciting electric car start-up in California, latched on to an established auto brand and is teaming up with Toyota to beef up and bring to market the RAV4 electric SUV by 2012...a beautiful car.

And of course there's the Chevy Volt which takes a strategy closer to the Prius strategy: a plug in electric car with a 50 mile battery-only range, which can then be charged while driving with an on-board gas powered generator.

It's a new world out there and electric cars are hitting general markets this year, and the US government is backing the transition at the infrastructure level.

A company received received a grant to install 20 charging stations in Muskegon alone in anticipation of the emergence of electric cars. 350 in Michigan...and it's happening across America.

Think of them as the 21st century version of the gas station. Only instead of sticking a gas pump into a vehicle, customers will use a cord to plug their vehicles into electric charging stations.

To prepare for the onslaught of electric cars — the General Motors Chevy Volt will be available here around springtime — Muskegon County is planning to install 20 electric charging stations at various locations.


[ChargePoint America] received a $35 million “stimulus” grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to introduce the charging stations in nine regions across the country, including southern Michigan.

Michigan also received $1 billion out of $2 billion dollars in federal grants designed to lure advanced battery manufacturing to the US and to Michigan. Muskegon's new advanced battery manufacturing facility will employ up to 750 people, and the facility in Holland,Michigan just 20 miles south of here is set to employ 40 people.

The future and success of the electric car is getting into our blood. It's something that will put food on our tables, and give us a sense of pride and ownership.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

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