2018 Electric Vehicles – Tesla BMW Chevy Mercedes Toyota Buyers Guide

Best Electric Cars for 2018

The bst new electric cars of 2018 will have features and benefits you might never have expected, but be delighted with. They’re great in the winter, have the best driving mileage you can get, and best of all, the car heater heats up instantly!

Dispel all the myths about EVs, because they are all the rage for car enthusiasts.  All those Teslas that pass you on your commute are performing very well.  It’s not an illusion. Tesla isn’t the only EV manufacturer although Tesla’s are exceptional vehicles.

Please bookmark this page as it will be updated with new models as they are released. Sharing is good for your social health!




It wasn’t long ago that the electric automobile was just wishful thinking for commuters stuck in heavily congested traffic watching their money burn. Many of us can remember the choking commuter smog at its worst and pondered the implications for our long term health. The demand for the electric vehicle was born with that along with lower wages and the high priced gasoline that drained our bank accounts.




Perhaps electric vehicles won’t lower our auto insurance rates much for 2018, but the savings on fuel is something to consider (estimated 1/5th of gasoline cost). The matter is more prounounced for California drivers is more pronounced because of the state’s demanding emissions restrictions.

With more electric fueling stations,  better EVs, a much lower price of electricity, and less money leaving the country to Saudi Arabia, we’ll have more reason and cash to buy an electric car. There are 14 fully electric cars for you to consider below and 14 questions you need ask before buying.




What a fun topic electric vehicles, solar shingles, and home fuel cells are. There is so much potential for launching new types of businesses serving the alternative energy market such as solar power installation companies. You’re limited only by your spirit and imagination.

teslamodel3
Image courtesy of Tesla

The new Tesla Model 3 and Toyota Prius vehicles have dispelled our myths about acceleration, speed, and distance. The Tesla’s 200+ mile distance is eliminating many of the barriers to electric car adoption.

And future electric powered vehicles will offer more impressive cost savings, price, and performance for drivers from Miami, to Toronto to Los Angeles. The much awaited Tesla Model 3 has some outstanding features which you can hear in the video below.

Tesla will be producing their lithium ion batteries in Nevada at their Gigafactory location.

“Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. To achieve that goal, we must produce electric vehicles in sufficient volume to force change in the automobile industry. With a planned production rate of 500,000 cars per year in the latter half of this decade, Tesla alone will require today’s entire worldwide production of lithium ion batteries. The Tesla Gigafactory was born of necessity and will supply enough batteries to support our projected vehicle demand.” from the Tesla website.




No one has pursued the dream of the electric vehicle with more passion than Elon Musk. Now here’s a US start up entrepreneur that’s caught everyone’s imagination and his comments and business goals carry a lot of respect from drivers, scientists, investors and eco-conscious legislators.  Musk is making us believe in the electric power dream so many have had for decades.

Musk’s company just purchased Solar City, a solar shingle manufacturer headquartered in San Mateo CA, thus positioning Musk’s company firmly in 3 fast growing manufacturing sectors: electric automobiles, power storage, and solar power generation.

Much of the success of Musk’s growing empire may hinge on the development of batteries with massive storage capacity. Batteries have come a long way of recent and there’s no doubt the pace of research and development will continue. Money always launches creativity!




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What to Consider When Buying an Electric Vehicle

  1. Can you power up the EV at your workplace?
  2. how long does it take to power up the car batteries?
  3. does it have enough acceleration to get safely up to highway speed on a highway onramp?
  4. how much does the power actually cost per month compared to gasoline?
  5. how much more does the electric vehicle cost?
  6. how far can you drive till you need to recharge?
  7. should you buy a hybrid vehicle to extend the distance?
  8. will electric cars perform well in very cold climates in winter?
  9. how long will the batteries survive before needing to be replaced and what is the warrantee period?
  10. should I wait until Tesla has all the charging stations in place in my city?
  11. how long do electric car motors lasts?
  12. what rebates and incentives are available in my city or state?
  13. what will need to maintained and repaired on the vehicle through the years ahead?
  14. where will the charging stations be in all states?

That’s 10 key questions to ask before you buy your electric vehicle. Check out the top rated EV’s and how many miles they get on a charge. Tesla model EVs are well ahead in performance.

electric cars compare
Graphic Courtesy of HowtoGeek.com

Find the lowest insurance rates for an electric powered vehicle (EV) in your city: Los Angeles car insurance, Boston auto insurance, Phoenix car insurance, San Francisco car insurance, San Diego car insurance, Seattle car insurance, New York car insurance, Indianapolis car insurance, Detroit car insurance, Philadelphia auto insurance, Toronto automobile insurance, or Chicago car insurance.




Electric Car Purchase Incentives

The US federal government offers a generous $7500 rebate for electric car buyers. You can read more about incentives in your state here.

In Ontario, Canada, the provincial government launched an initiative to help those in Toronto and other Ontario cities to purchase electric vehicles. Ontario’s first Electric Vehicle Incentive Program was launched in 2010 but has recently been upgraded by the current regime. Here are the upgrades that were announced:

  • Increase the current incentive range for EVs from $5,000 – $8,500 to $6,000 – $10,000
  • Provide an opportunity to receive an additional $3,000 incentive for vehicles with larger battery capacities
  • Provide an additional $1,000 incentive for vehicles with five or more seats
  • Continue to provide incentives linked to battery capacity of more than 5 kilowatt-hours

Although these vehicles are priced a little higher, these incentives can really help make a difference.

Car and Driver Magazine Review of Electric Cars

You can check out Car and Driver’s review of electric cars online. They have reviewed the top 12 EVs which include:

  1. Tesla Model 3 – $35k – Driving distance city: 200 miles
  2. Kia Soul EV – $33k to $37k – Driving distance city: 120 miles
  3. Volkswagen e-Golf — $30k to $36k – Driving distance city: 126 miles
  4. Chevrolet Bolt eV — $37k to $41k – Driving distance city: 128 miles
  5. Fiat 500e – $33k – Driving distance city: 122 miles
  6. Ford Focus Electric – $30k – Driving distance city: 110 miles
  7. Honda Clarity – $60k (powered by hydrogen) – Driving distance city: N/A
  8. Hyundai Tuscon Fuel Cell – $51k – Driving range city: N/A
  9. Mitsubishi iMiEV – $24k – Driving range city:  – 126 miles
  10. Nissan Leaf – $30k to $37k – Driving range city: 124 miles
  11. Smart 42 Electric Drive – $25k – Distance city: 122 miles
  12. Toyota Mirai – $59k – Distance city: 67 miles
  13. BMW i3 – $43 to $47 – Driving distance city: 127 miles
  14. Mercedes Benz B Class Electric Drive – $43k Driving distance city: 85 miles

Who won the battle of the electric cars? The Chevy Bolt EV.

The Chevy Bolt EV’s provided the acceleration and driving experience that Car and Driver believes consumers want most.  They found it’s battery powers a 200-hp electric motor for 96 MPGe and a 75-mph highway range of 190 miles.  Wow, that is impressive and it makes anyone thinking about cross country drives thinking they can do it in an EV.  It rides well over rough roads and acceleration an acceleration of 60 mph in 6.5 seconds is noteworthy.  Top speed is 93 mph.  The price is about $37,000 for a 4 door model. In the US is there is a $7500 tax credit available.




How does that compare to the expensive Tesla Model 3?

 




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Residential Solar Power Systems – What you Should Know

Are Solar Roofing Installations a Powerful Selling Feature?

We know how expensive hydro is becoming for the average homeowner. Power generating companies are in big debt and will have to keep raising prices to their diminishing user base chasing more homeowners offgrid.

And power companies are highly polluting which does not jive well with the mandates of the carbon credit regulators. It looks like solar will be prominent.

dowpowerhouseshingles
Dow Powerhouse Shingles are said to be a wise replacement system on a new roof installation, but many homeowners are really liking them for their aesthetics. — from pv-magazine.com. Pic courtesy of pv-magazine.com.

Yet we wonder if buying a $7000 to $30000 solar power generating system for a home is really worth it. Apparently, the savings range from $400 to $700 a month, or around $6k a year.  Right away you’d say no, however the prices of solar systems are falling and there might be other benefits to consider including higher selling prices.




I was speaking with Seattle entrepreneur Andrew Schumake who installs these solar systems.  He comments that the incentives created by the Obama administration in the US were very generous and how manufacturers and installation providers are clamoring to supply this burgeoning market in the US, and also in Canada.

It makes you wonder what the actual impact of all these new products is on the US housing market? Andrew warns though that some companies make shoddy products so homeowners should be careful and wise.

 

If you’re a builder or commercial real estate developer, you may want to check out the incentives offered by the Madison Energy Group of Phoenix, who Andrew works with.

As a realtor or property investor, or a homeowner with a big mortgage loan to pay, you may be wondering how much these systems raise the value of a property if at all.  The issue isn’t just a matter of electrical power savings, it’s also a matter of aesthetics and whether solar is a feature sought in particular neighborhoods.

Solar Shingles in Hot Demand

And new systems that use solar shingles are in hot demand. Most systems that we see on homes are solar panels which are mounted on top of the the roof. That can complicate roofing issues and fixes if a problem in the roof occurs. With solar shingles, you have a solution that is part of the roof so the old ceramic or tar paper asphalt shingles aren’t needed. And as you can see in this video below, the new solar shingles actually look pretty good.

The systems produced today are cheaper, better designed and should last longer. So the results from this Berkeley study from 2013 should be more positive today in 2016 and into 2017.

This woman in Florida is ecstatic about her new solar power installation.

Dow is a big maker of the new solar power shingles for residential roofs.  If your prospects are going to reroof their house, should they go with solar shingles and save on the costs of the conventional roofing?  There are a government incentives could make this a sensible purchase. Here’s a video that discusses that issue:

certainteed-solar-brochureBut could a new solar shingle roof help to get a home sold faster at a higher price? Studies seem to show that this is so. You might be familiar with Certainteed, the roofing products manufacturer. They provide a solar product brochure that might give more insight into the advisability of recommending a solar roof as a home value raising strategy.

The number of homeowners “going solar” has increased by an average of every year for the last 10 years. About half a million homeowners in the U.S. have determined that solar makes sense.” from the brochure.




What is your experience with solar energy installations in the homes you’ve been buying and selling? Are buyers enamored with the systems or are they mentioning wishes and disappointments? I’d like to know. Please leave your comments below.

 

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