Manufacturers have set their time and effort on a new idea for powertrains that is yet to hit the market with high acceptance. The electric vehicle (EV) market is not a new idea or one that has never been implemented, however, until recently, the technology to make this idea feasible for mass consumers has been absent.
Lithium-ion batteries are making it possible for automotive manufacturers to produce cars that run solely on electricity. This will be a huge advance for technology, vehicle manufacturing and the specialty-equipment industry. The greatest negative consumer sentiment that has been reported by an overwhelming majority of all demographics is the cost of gas prices. According to SEMA’s most recent survey, if gas prices reach $4.94, enthusiasts will begin to curb their specialty-equipment purchases. Furthermore, many consumers are worried about the future of the environment.
Electric vehicles (EVs) seem to be the future of cars, and it is happening now. Hybrid sales have been on the rise since their introduction, hitting a total of 1 million in sales earlier this month. Hybrids were accepted by the gas-conscious consumers able to afford the hybrid premium, an acceptance that may transfer over to electric vehicles. Electric vehicles should take consumers’ desire for gas-only alternatives even further, especially with the consumers’ want to be “green” and to save money through increased energy efficiency.
This is a non-all-inclusive list of EVs and extended range EVs that are designated to be manufactured:
- Tesla Motors Roadster: A high-performance, all-electric car with an acceleration of 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds and a 220-mile range.
- Nissan is promising EVs coming off of its production lines as early as 2010.
- The GM Volt is an extended-range, plug-in hybrid that runs for the first 40 miles purely on electric power. It has an extended range to about 600 miles.
As the technology that is being put into these vehicles is, in most cases, past the scope of backyard mechanics, performance shops will most likely produce and install parts to propel these vehicles faster. Custom accessories will see a good-size market from EVs as people customize their vehicle’s look and feel. The wheel and tire industry may have to be aware of the way their products affect EVs. Wheels will have to be lighter, and tires will need to produce less resistance to supplement the EV’s range.
Check out the original SEMA research reports and information located at www.sema.org/research.