Energy 101: Electric Vehicles

Energy Secretary Steven Chu is in Michigan at the North American International Auto Show today to promote the Obama administration's support for the domestic auto industry. To coincide with his visit to Detroit, the Department of Energy has also released a new video titled "Energy 101: Electric Vehicles."

At the show, General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) CEO Dan Akerson said that he is open to cutting Chevy Volt output to meet demand, which is struggling because of its higher price and the investigation into the Volt fires. Ford (NYSE: F  ) is highlighting its brand new 2013 Fusion, which could get up to 100 miles per gallon with the plug-in hybrid Energi version. The Fusion Hybrid won the North American Car of the Year award in 2010. The 2013 Fusion comes with a computer system to warn drivers when the car drifts out of its lane. One of the cars showcased in the video, Tesla's (Nasdaq: TSLA  ) Model S, the company touts as "the world's first premium electric sedan." Toyota (NYSE: TM  ) unveiled its new hybrid, the Prius C, which promises 53 miles per gallon for less than $20,000. The company also revealed its NS-4 plug-in hybrid, which should be available in the next few years.

While electric vehicles are the future, analysts at The Motley Fool are excited by technology that works today and has a ready source of cheap energy to fuel it, check out our free report on a small company converting existing fleets into clean-burning powerhouses. This stock could take off when the Nat Gas Act passes, so don't miss this opportunity to profit from clean energy today.

Dan Dzombak holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford Motor. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Tesla Motors, General Motors, and Ford Motor; and creating a synthetic long position in Ford Motor. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (3)

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  • Report this Comment On January 10, 2012, at 3:48 PM, pwalshwestport wrote:

    But what's the point of the electric car?

    - Electricity in the US mostly comes from coal, which has twice the carbon as oil.

    - The batteries add 400 to 500 pounds.

    - The range 35 to 50 miles.

    - It takes 8 to 12 hours to charge to recharge the batteries.

    - Etc.

    What's wrong with going to natural gas? It's much simpler.

    - The US has more natural gas than any country in the world

    - It's clean, so clean with cook with it inside our homes

    - It costs less than oil or coal

    - Any conventional engine can run on natural gas

    Natural is a much simpler cleaner low cost American supplied solution.

  • Report this Comment On January 10, 2012, at 3:58 PM, F2JP wrote:

    In the video, the Volt clearly rolled through a stop sign.

    Otherwise, good job.

  • Report this Comment On January 10, 2012, at 4:04 PM, JPWhiteHome wrote:


    Did you notice the efficiency rating on the LEAF's screen at 1min 24secs? 32.6 miles per kWh. That's hypermiling!!

    Theoretical range fully charged would be 782.4 miles.

    Must have been going downhill with a following wind.

  • Report this Comment On January 11, 2012, at 11:33 AM, Npard23 wrote:

    I agree with the commenters that Leaf and the Volt are not viable. However, Tesla's model S is and is a game changer for the electric car market. With a 300 mile range and a sub $60,000 price, TSLA is making a viable luxury quality electric car at a reasonable price point.

  • Report this Comment On January 13, 2012, at 1:39 PM, wiscal wrote:

    I have a Chevy Volt. Also have solar on my roof. Have installed a 240 volt charging system in my garage. Takes 3-4 hours for a charge if battery is all the way disharged. With energy credits decreased the cost of the car about 18 percent, solar about 50 percent and 240 volt charging system about 90 percent. Also have a time of usage electric meter. When solar generating electric at peak time I get a higher rate. When charging the car for most midnight to six am at a lower rate. I brought the car in April and have used 35 gal of gas so far and my milage is up to 146 MPG and rising. I used 5 gallons of gas to get the car home from the dealer or MPG would be much higher. As you can see most of my trips are short but sometimes I have to use a couple of cups of gas to get home. For the most part the monies spent generated income for our labor force. Suspect my energy cost pretty much frozen for next umpteenth plus years. Just don't see much logic to the negativity to solar and electric cars or natural gas for "all" fleet cars trucks etc. Natural gas? Next time?

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