Monday, July 14, 2008

BMW gets into electric cars - BMW launches electric car field trial They can be trusted to engineer something that works, even it if is likely to be a bit expensive.
MUNICH, Germany — With gasoline prices skyrocketing, the automotive industry gets going with electrically-driven vehicles. Now car maker BMW launches a field trial with hundreds of 'E-Minis'.
California has reintroduced its zero emissions vehicle requirement. This should jump-start the electric vehicle market. Not that the cost of a gallon of gas isn't pushing even harder.

On the economics of electric vehicles. Last year (? or the year before) I looked into what it would take to convert a vehicle to electric. Find a truck with a manual transmission and a blown engine, and it would cost about 3 grand to buy the parts and batteries and have the engine mount and clutch plate fabrication done. For long distance trips - which were few - I would rent a vehicle. (My 1993 SUV isn't in the best shape, I had been renting for long drives anyway, before this trip to the Midwest interrupted car shopping.) I may still have this done. Charging was the main issue for me because I don't have a garage, so in the end I decided not to go this route. But even with the cost of lead-acid batteries right now, this is definitely an attractive option for driving around town/short commuting.

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