General Motors / © 2009 General Motors
No. 1: Chevrolet Volt
The Chevy Volt has gotten glowing reviews from critics, but it hasn't caught on with the public just yet. According to Mother Nature Network, you should expect that to change as GM ramps up its capacity this year.
Toyota / Copyright 2011
No. 2: The 2012 Toyota Prius
Toyota's latest Prius will go 13 miles all on electricity before switching over to the Prius that we've all grown to love.
Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle
No. 3: Nissan Leaf
Nissan has sold 12,000 all-electric vehicles worldwide so far, and more customers might be lining up for the Leaf as it debuts on the East Coast. However, the price is going up to $38,000.
No. 4: Tesla Model S
To debut next year, the Tesla Model S is an all-electric sedan that's sure to spur interest in electric vehicles. The Mother Nature Network notes that the price tag of $49,990 might make it more affordable than the exotic Roadster model that costs more than $100K.
STAN HONDA / AFP/Getty Images
No. 5: Ford C-Max Energi
The Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid is set to debut in 2012, but it should be a game changer in market. Ford is hoping the C-Max Energi will get a range of about 500 miles.
Ford Motor Company / Wieck
No. 6: Ford Focus Electric
The all-new Ford Focus Electric is a zero-CO2-emissions, gasoline-free version of Ford's popular small car and is the flagship of the company's growing fleet of hybrid, plug-in hybrid.
Honda / 2009 American Honda Motor Co.,
No. 8: Honda Fit EV
The Hondra Fit is set to debut in 2012, but could it be as popular as the company's Honda Civic? Who knows, but it might.
No. 9: BMW i3
Much like the Tesla S and the Porsche 918, the BMW i3 isn't what you expect out of a electric vehicle. It's sleek and beautiful, but it comes with another big price tag -- $100,000.
No. 10: Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in
Where should we begin with this car? It's amazing, and it's a hybrid. However, the $845,000 price tag makes it a dream for most of us. Porsche is also only making 918 of these too so it will be tough to get.
Better Place LLC, a U.S. startup developing charging stations for electric vehicles, predicts the “tipping point” for electric car use will come as soon as 2015, Chairman Idan Ofer said today.
“The fact is that because we are making it convenient for customers and the moment people realize there is no disadvantage to owning an electric car” they will buy the models, Ofer said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Davos, Switzerland.
Better Place, based in Palo Alto, California, started putting its first cars on the road in Israel this week and expects to go public in the next two years, Chief Executive Officer Shai Agassi said on Jan. 24.
The company has raised $750 million since it was founded four years ago and is in partnership with Renault SA (RNO) to install electric-car charging systems in Israel (ILCO), Denmark and Australia. Cars are expected to start using the company network in Denmark within weeks and in Australia later this year.
Ofer’s family owns Israel Corp., which has a stake of about 30 percent in Better Place. Ofer said the company’s largest potential market is China, where Better Place opened a visitors’ center in the southern city of Guangzhou last month.
“That is no question that China will go electric,” Ofer said. “By 2015, their government policy is to have 1 million cars on the road. China is definitely the target. In fact, the main reason I invested in this company is because I was thinking China.”
Plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles have the potential to make up 9 percent of auto sales in 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That could rise to 22 percent of sales by 2030, or 4 million vehicles.
At the same time, their high price and low performance compared with conventional vehicles may be a hurdle to growth, U.K. market-research company Technavio said in an August 2011 report.
“The tipping point?” said Ofer. “I would say it’s 2015, 2016.”