GOOD

America's 100,000th Electric Car Just Sold: Are These Things Catching On?

With traditional cars, we’re stuck buying—and burning—gas.



Tesla, Elon Musk’s high-end electric car company, has had a very good quarter.
It made a profit for the first time in history, it's set to pay taxpayers back for its $465 million government loan (with $12 million interest), and it's got a very, very positive review from Consumer Reports (a 99 out of 100; its performance was “off the charts”).
And Tesla’s success might be part of a larger trend. The advocacy group Plug-In America just declared that the 100,000th plug-in electric car was sold in America this week.
Plug-In America didn’t count every electric car sale. Rather, the group determined this number by extrapolating from plug-in sales over the last few years. In 2011, fewer than 20,000 were sold. In 2012, that number jumped to more than 50,000. And at current rates, more than 100,000 will be sold in 2013 alone.


\n
The chart above, from UCLA’s School of Public Affairs, shows the data. PEV’s stands for “plug-in electric vehicles,” which includes both plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and all-electric plug-ins (BEVs).
The most popular plug-in cars are the Chevy Volt, the Nissan Leaf, and the Prius plug-in. GM, Ford, Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, Fiat, and, of course, Tesla, all have plug-in models as well.
So does this mean that electric cars are truly catching on? There are some positive signs. Barry Woods, the director of Plug-In America, claims that “in March in Portland's metro area, Nissan dealers collectively sold more 2013 LEAFs than any other model” and that purchasing is accelerating faster than the adoption of the Prius over the same time frame.

\n
This is no doubt helped by the fact that prices of EVs are coming down across the spectrum. In 2012, the cheapest version of the Nissan Leaf had a base price of $35,200. This year, the cheapest version (which is pretty stripped-down), has gone down to $28,800. The $109,000 Tesla Roadster was geared towards rich early adopters. It was never going to be a car for the masses. But the Model S, while still a luxury car, is more practical—and, at about $70,000, a little more affordable. Tesla plans to develop even more affordable EV models in the future.
Of course, the total number of electric vehicles sold in 2012 is on a different scale entirely: 15.6 million. So plug-in electric cars will still make up less than one percent of the total.
But the point is that electric cars do seem to be catching on, even though they’re still very new and arguably less convenient than gas-powered cars. That’s good news because we need to figure out a way to transport ourselves around without screwing up the planet’s climate with greenhouse gas emissions. With these cars, the more electricity we generate from renewable sources, the cleaner they get. With traditional cars, we’re stuck buying—and burning—gas.

Join us for our Fix Your Street Challenge on the last Saturday of May. Click here to say you'll Do It and be sure to share stories of transportation innovation all month.

\n
Image (cc) wikimedia\n
Articles
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics