Thursday, May 10, 2012

Electric Vehicles Have Current! Part 1

Had the pleasure to attend Consumer Day at EVS-26 this past weekend. It’s all about electric; vehicles, that is. While the main thrust of this event is actually a conference that’s several days in duration and aimed for those directly involved in the industry currently, time is set aside to gain consumer interest in the industry by allowing a peek at what’s in store for the future. 

Current products were in attendance and many vehicles were available for test driving as well.

From a consumer point of view, if you’re not a car enthusiast to begin with, the show may not hold a high level of interest. Being jazzed about technology and how things work is a plus too if you plan to attend an event such as this one. The razzle-dazzle of the bigger automotive shows, such as the ones in New York and Los Angeles, is lacking here.

Some highlights to share with you:

General Motors was on board with the Chevrolet Volt. Okay, that’s old news. But they also had a concept called the EN-V (electric networked vehicle). It’s a “bubbly” two-seater transportation vehicle. And surprise! Segway is involved with the development. 

The concept was originally introduced in Shanghai at the 2010 World Expo. Of course, this vehicle is equipped with futuristic features such as collision control (yes, in today’s world there is collision warning but the crash is still in your hands) as well as available programming that would enable the vehicle to find a parking space for you. Consumers dig time savers, convenience, and safety assuring that the passiveness of the future shines brightly with this concept.

The EN-V display included a large screen and plenty of cushy seating. I sunk into a couch and comfortably enjoyed the animated video, introducing you to a futuristic city where the EN-V demonstrated smooth capabilities as it drove along high in the sky roadways. Perhaps the most practical use was when an EN-V “train” silently cruised by. GM, do put this video on your website soon and spread the news further.

And here’s a vehicle that’s just launching now, starting in California (and online too). The brand is CODA

There have been quiet rumblings from them; they were at the last major automotive show I attended (late last year) with a colorful display of teal and yellow and two vehicles, tucked away in a corner of the show. Their display at EVS-26 was more compact, with just one vehicle. There were several employees on hand to answer questions and test drives were available on-site as well.

The vehicle is much larger than the EN-V, comfortably seating five passengers and sporting a full trunk. This is due in part to locating the batteries under the seats, allowing for a more even weight distribution. Pricing was attractive; even more so with incentives, and “real world” driving range is 90 to 120 miles. This outpaces the Nissan Leaf at 70 to 100 miles. And for peace-of-mind, CODA offers a limited warranty of 3 years/36,000 miles and a limited battery warranty of 8 years/100,000 miles. 

If I've whet your appetite for what the electric vehicle future holds, stay tuned for part two; there’s lots more to talk about!

In the 80's, The Polecats charged us with a song about circuits:

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Shannon Grissom said...

ENV so looks like R2d2 :O)

Gerry Wendel said...

Yeah it does! But they come in pink too...

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