More Traction for EVs

Gary S. Vasilash

Although there continues to be a question of whether electric vehicles (EVs) are going to become something other than a curiosity or novelty, a couple of recent data points ought to make some of the skeptics check their assumptions.

Last week Consumer Reports gave the Tesla Model S a rating of 99 out of 100.

Tesla Model S lineoff

(The car is both the Motor Trend 2013 Car of the Year and the Automobile 2013 Automobile of the Year.)

Not only is this the first all-electric vehicle to achieve such a rating, but the last time a car ranked so high was in 2007, when the Lexus LS 460L achieved 99 out of 100, as well.

Although the Tesla Model S has a base price of $89,650, Consumer Reports described it as “easily the most practical electric car that has been tested to date.”

This practicality is predicated largely on what its 85-kWh lithium ion battery pack does: facilitate a range of approximately 200 miles.

And Consumer Reports calculates that a full charge costs about $9 (with the national average for electricity being 11 cents per kWh), which is analogous to filling up a car with gasoline that costs $1.20 per gallon.

Speaking of charging and money, last week Bosch Automotive Service Solutions introduced the Power Max, which it claims is the first electric vehicle charging station that costs less than $450, or about half of the price of other units.

The Power Max provides 240-V charging capability, and is said to be compatible with all electric vehicles.

“We believe that for the foreseeable future most EV drivers will primarily charge at home. Because many of the incentives available to offset the costs of purchasing and installing residential Level 2 charging stations are expiring, we believe it’s critical to maintain the momentum towards Level 2 by offering high quality but lower cost charging solutions to our customers,” said Tanvir Arfi, president, Bosch Automotive Service Solutions.

Add it all up ($89,650, $1.20/gallon, $450 charger), and it all begins to make more sense—no pun intended.