During the last few decades, increased concern over the environmental impact of the petroleum-based transportation infrastructure has led to renewed interest in an electric transportation infrastructure. Electric vehicles differ from fossil fuel-powered vehicles in that the electricity they consume can be generated from a wide range of sources. A key advantage of electric or hybrid electric vehicles is regenerative braking and suspension; their ability to recover energy normally lost during braking as electricity to be restored to the on-board battery. In 2003, the first mass-produced hybrid gasoline-electric car, the Toyota Prius, was introduced worldwide, and the first battery electric car produced by a major auto company.
Other major auto companies have electric cars in development, and the USA and other nations are building pilot networks of charging stations to recharge them. So what about the rest of the world? The Russian automotive industry is not one that is totally familiar with the green changes towards electric vehicles and other models that have been sweeping other countries throughout Europe or the world. In fact, historically, there has never been much to say about the Russian automotive industry as a whole. Now, however, Russia is ready for her first hybrid car.
In a joint announcement between Russian automobile manufacturer YAROVIT Motors and financial company Onexim Group, the E-Mobile (or Yo) electric vehicle hybrid was unveiled to the world.
The vehicle is being seen by many as one way of working towards President Dmitry Medvedev’s plan to move Russia’s economy away from reliance on fossil and carbon based fuel sources. The E-Mobile is expected to see a full distribution sometime in 2012 after an investment of around $200 million is made towards the construction of a production and assembly plant for the new car.
While exact details are slim on the technical aspect of the E-Mobile electric vehicle hybrid some information was announced during the unveiling. The E-Mobile is intended as an electric and gasoline or natural gas hybrid that will allow the vehicle to extend its gas mileage to around sixty seven miles per gallon and it is said that it has a top speed of approximately eighty one miles per hour. In the announcement Prokhorov also said that the E-Mobile could have a potential range of around 680 miles. Currently, the E-Mobile is expected to cost around $14,500 once it hits the market in Russia.
In Ireland, Green Party minister for Energy, Eamon Ryan has announced a scheme to deploy 1,500 electrical recharging stations for use with EVs. The Government has set a target of 10% for all vehicles on Irish roads to be electric by 2020.
In October 2008 the then UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged £100 million in government money to support electric, hybrid and other more environmentally friendly car projects over a five-year period to help make Britain "the European capital for electric cars". In July 2010, the UK also announced it would honor a grant starting in January 2011 to give EV buyers a discount of 25%, of up to £5000 when buying an electric vehicle.
In June 2009, it is reported that consumers in Japan who purchase an electric vehicle like i-MiEV from Mitsubishi can receive subsidies that reduce cost of the vehicle to 3.209 million yen(about $33,000), down 30% from the original price of 4.59 million yen ($47,560). Electric cars, as well as hybrids, are also exempt from taxes for three years in Japan.
So the rest of the world is trying to persuade consumers to go electric by direct financial incentives or by infusing capital into the local automotive industry.
By. Andy Soos