After GM unveiled the Chevrolet Volt, there were some other manufacturers that wanted to join (and compete) for the electric car market. BMW with the future Mini E, Tesla with the Roadster, Smart with the Smart ForTwo Electric and Nissan with the yet to be confirmed Mixim (currently only a concept car) will be the first electric cars competing for this new market, and I’m sure that not the last ones.
The impact of a growing market of electric cars will be beneficial for the environment. These cars will not contaminate with any kind of emissions and also will help to reduce the economic dependence that the United States have on oil, both foreign and domestic. According to the electric car impact study that is being developed by GM and other 30 companies, the Chevrolet Volt will require about 8 kilowatt-hours of energy to recharge its batteries, and that should be enough for getting about 40 miles on the road. So 8 kilowatt-hours of electricity that can be obtained by using renewable energies will save 2 to 3 gallons of gas. Also, the average price of the kilowatt-hour in the States is about ten cents, so recharging the Volt batteries would be under $1.
According to the Energy Information Administration, only 7% of the energy used in the USA comes from renewable sources, while 40% comes from Petroleum. If the car industry has learned from the errors of the past and the electric car becomes successful, this will probably a turning point for the use of renewable energies in America, and the progressive reduction of the oil dependence, which will make transportation more eco-friendly than it had never been before.