Electric Cars Coming This Year

Plug-in Hybrid car and plug

In brief: 2011 was the precursor with the Volt and Leaf leading the way. 2012 promises to be the breakout year for electric vehicles as 8 other models come to market this year as 2012 or 2013 models.

The word

The Coda Sedan finally begins sales this year. This is one of the most understated vehicles to be designed and released as an electric, but the company has slowly been building infrastructure for itself and will likely hit it out of the ballpark with the aptly-named Sedan.

The Ford Focus Electric comes this year. Ford's strategy is going to be converting existing vehicles in its fleet to electric rather than design all new models as EVs. This saves time and puts proven designs on the road, starting wit the Focus Electric.

Honda is coming out with their Fit EV this year, which will be direct competition for the Leaf. It releases in California and Oregon this year followed by other cities next year.

Mitsubishi is finally coming to North America with its i-MiEV electric car. After a lot of wait and stuttered marketing attempts, the i-MiEV will begin sales this year.

Tesla is finally bringing the Model S to showrooms later this year and will begin delivery of pre-orders this fall. The company also plans to unveil the design for its next model, the Model X (an SUV) next month.

Toyota's RAV4 EV, designed in partnership with Tesla, will be released in limited numbers later this year for fleet sales. The first of them is being assembled right now and will head for Canada.

The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive is releasing to North America this year and will probably hit a brick wall. The company has utterly failed in all of its marketing efforts here, though it's doing fairly well in Europe and Asia.

The Wheego Whip Life will be released this year as well, aiming for the ultra-compact market and, frankly, not likely to sell well, though its design is much nicer to look at than either the Smart or Mitsubishi EVs.

And so ...

Of course, both the Leaf and the Volt will likely be seeing larger production numbers this year - especially the Leaf, as Nissan will be opening its new Tennessee plant this year.

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