Electric Cars – Silent killers?

Should electric cars and hybrids be required at slow speed to have extra noise added?  Most of the cars out there already have something in anticipation of this.  On the Nissan Leaf you can choose to turn it off…. for now.  This is a very interesting subject brought up by Jim Motavalli.   Beyond the fact of whether it’s really needed or not, it’s complicated to implement at it’s actually unclear if doing so may introduce other problems.  The law of unintended consequences in this case may indeed apply.

One of the best parts of electric cars are the quiet operation.  Talk to any potential buyer and this is one of the most mentioned pluses.  Legislation for mandating certain noises is something that has been brewing for a while and as noted by Jim he found is it’s more complex than just adding some noise.  Sounds can be different on a quiet street vs NYC, etc.  Something not noted in the article is at slow speeds an luxury ICE sedan car is nearly as quiet as an electric car unless your really revving up and after 12 mph tire noise is all the same anyway.  Yet, there is no proposed legislation for all those silent but deadly ICE cars :)

New 2013 Nissan Leaf now available at your local dealer!

What’s great about the new 2013 Nissan leaf is it’s manufactured here in the US at the Smryna, TN plant and has a host of improved features, like longer range, faster charging, leather seat options, etc.  Oh yeah, and it’s cheaper!  In California for example you could get a new one for under $20k. Driving electric costs so much less than gas and there is nearly zero regular maintenance. Go check it out @ Nissan.

70,000 Ev’s for Nissan just the beginning

Interesting quotes from Carlos Ghosn as reported in AutoBlog Green about the direction of Nissan, electric cars.  Carlos has been the only CEO to understand the development, sales cycle and psychology of a revolutionary new technology adoption.  Basically it takes time and marketing.  I think in some ways this Carlos Ghosn is even more courageous than Elon Musk at Tesla.  Think about it.  One the one hand Carlos Ghosn has to still provide value and make profit for his shareholders with existing gas technology.  At the same time he really and truly knows that Electric drive is the future and is willing to spend billions of Nissans money over then next decade to be the leader.   This understanding in our minds places, Nissan in a leading position when the inevitable inflection point happens for electric cars. Below is something I think he is correct on regarding charging infrastructure, but go read the whole article for more.

It’s not just a matter of buying a plug-in vehicle and loving it, Ghosn said. A robust local infrastructure combined with a suitable range are the big factors that play into how happy people are with their EVs, he said. Basically, if you have range (or charging everywhere), then you like your EV. If you worry all the time, you don’t.”

 

NYC to add thousands of Charging Stations, Bloomberg

This article @ Green Car Reports and reported elsewhere is an interesting model for charging station locations. Many in the electric vehicle world have envisioned some day the majority of parking spots having some form of charging available, but it’s hard to justify right now.   It might work ok for NYC if done properly as we imagine lots of folks drive and park in the city, but they are still many variables that eventually the market will figure out.  These include costs to charge if any, reservation of the parking spot with a charging station vs random parking as is done now and so on.  Eventually it’ll happen because already certain charging areas like Los Angeles Airport and other locales are already overwhelmed with EV’s.