Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Big news on the EV front with a new all-electric SUV from Toyota.
The Japanese automaker unveiled the production version of the 2012 Rav 4 EV at the EVS26 symposium in Los Angeles. It was jointly developed with electric car pioneer Tesla Motors who supplied the battery pack and drive system. Like other current EV’s, this Rav 4 has a range of about 100 miles, but with more versatility. Toyota expects a price of nearly $50,000 will likely limit sales to about 2,600 Rav4 EV’s over the next 3 years.
Rising gasoline prices are also renewing interest in another alt-fuel, compressed natural gas.
From taxis to refuse and delivery trucks, more and more fleets are converting to domestic natural gas. And some are even sharing their CNG fueling station with the public. The Honda Civic Natural Gas may be the only CNG passenger car available, but the new Indiana-built MV1 para-transport taxi has a CNG option as well. Add in CNG trucks and vans from GM and Ford, along with certified conversions, and CNG is finally entering the American automotive mainstream. At around $2 per gasoline gallon equivalent, CNG’s popularity at the pump will continue to grow.