It looks like 2012 will be the year of peak oil, which will greatly affect our economy, way of life, transportation system, businesses, and most impactful, the car industry. Peak oil means that we need to not only develop alternative s to gas, but we must make them become the norm as soon as possible. Hybrids and electric cars have recently gained some momentum in the car industry and manufacturing process but we are still no where ready to make the switch entirely.
Many car manufacturers have tried to attract the upper class in producing higher end, luxury electric and hybrid cars. One of the complaints these customers had was that hybrids and electric vehicles didn’t have all the luxury features that they wanted. The biggest room for improvement in manufacturing luxury electric cars is the horsepower and electric-batter-mileage of these cars. No one wants to sacrifice high power for less battery charge life. Currently, people are willing to pay top dollar, around 80 to 90 grand for a high performance, averaging around 50 mpg hybrid electric vehicle that is capable of reaching top speeds of 150kph.
Performance of luxury electric cars are expected to be high, but also come with a hefty price tag. As technology advances, maybe the price for these luxury electric vehicles will go down and be more affordable. A new feature we are likely to see greatly expand within the next few years and become more economical are turbo-charged petrol engines, which is installed to extend the range and longevity of the lithium-ion battery in electric/ hybrid cars. Whenever your battery is running low, the petrol engine kicks in and works by powering the car’s two electric motors in the rear wheels. Whenever the driver switches the vehicle into “sport” mode, the petrol engine significantly boosts acceleration, with speeds up to 200kph, almost double the speed range.
Another thing we foresee in the future of high end luxury hybrid vehicles is something called regenerative braking. Electric motors have the ability to provide full torque at the first touch of the accelerator pedal. This leaves the other paddle to modulate the effects of regenerative braking, which means that while the accelerator pedal is not being pressed to generate the electricity, it feeds this energy not being used back into the batter. When going downhill, the effects of regenerative braking is similar to engine braking.
With so many new electric or hybrids pouring into the market in the near future, and considering the high price tags that come with these cars, it may be a good idea to hold off until things get perfected, and prices slightly decrease. There is still much room for improvement in electric and hybrid technology. With that said, we suggest leasing one before you set out to buy one. Car loans are a great opportunity to try out some hybrids that still have much room for improving while a more concrete, developed and perfected model comes out. It will save you gas money in the meantime, while letting you scope out other hybrids/ electrics while not completely being committed to one for another decade. Comparing car loan rates will give you an even better deal and allow the lease to be more economical. In fact, leasing a luxury electric vehicle is the best way to save you money in the long run until you can buy one in total confidence as the future of luxury electric cars become much brighter.
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