Climate Change, Peak Oil, and the Movement Toward Electric Vehicles
Between the looming threat of global climate change and the approach/possible arrival at peak oil, electric vehicles have finally regained the cachet that was squashed by oil industry interests a century ago.
The reason for this recent rediscovery is because unlike fossil fuel powered transportation, the electricity that powers so-called “EVs” can come from a variety of sources–including renewable resources like solar, wind, and geothermal.
While increased need for electrical transmission suitable for charging electric vehicles requires significant infrastructural improvements, EVs nonetheless remain one of the most promising ways forward to a more sustainable, green future.
Toyota Enters the Electric Vehicle Race in Collaboration with EV-Pioneer Tesla
Car manufacturer Toyota has now entered the field with the recent announcement of a new collaboration with EV-pioneer Tesla. The companies will be working together on the development of an electric-powered version of Toyota’s Rav4 compact crossover.
Production is expected to begin in Canada in 2012. The production process will be streamlined by using the same facility that manufactures the original gas-powered Rav4. Toyota will be gutting the Rav4 design and paying Tesla $100 million to replace the combustion engine with an electric powertrain. Distribution and production numbers have yet to be released.
New Electric Rav4 Signals Direction Toward Sustainable Technology
Toyota’s entry into the electric vehicle market bodes well for the industry as a whole–and solidifies a new direction toward cleaner, more efficient technology. They will be joining Chevrolet, Honda, and Nissan as another major automobile manufacturer gone electric. Not only will it be producing the new Rav4 EV: Toyota subsidiary Scion will also be releasing its new electric model, the iQ EV in 2012 as well.[photocredit: Toyota; Kollewin]