Consumers have shown a marked interest in green-friendly cars over the past few years, with hybrid sales on the rise. This interest has helped inspire automakers to create the next generation of electric cars. Expect to see increasingly efficient green cars, a wider range of plug-in hybrids, and more luxurious amenities in the year to come.
One of the areas where car industry professionals have really been focusing on, however, is finding a way to improve electric car batteries. For electric cars to truly become a top mainstream choice, they must offer a greater range, faster charging turnaround time, and longer life.
New Battery Technology
At the moment, lithium-ion technology is being used to create increasingly efficient batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles. You can expect to see a more widespread use of lithium-ion batteries in 2014, because in comparison to other battery types these are superior.
They charge more quickly, are lighter, and are energy-dense. Researchers are finding ways to expand and improve this technology, with the use of nanotechnology and air technology. This will help increase the batteries’ energy density and make them even more efficient.
The use of graphene is another technological breakthrough that we’ll see more of in 2014’s green cars. This is a thin material made of a super-thin layer of carbon atoms, which is useful for being electrically conducive, strong, and extremely lightweight.
This could make it even more useful for batteries than lithium-ion technology. Auto manufacturers are also exploring the use of computer software in green cars, to help monitor battery life and improve vehicle efficiency. Next year’s crop of green cars will be increasingly digital and reliant on these advanced technologies.
Green Cars to Watch For
Next year’s most anticipated green cars will be more efficient, lightweight, and luxurious. Many of them will use plug-in hybrid technology, such as the Audi A3 E-Tron. The new plug-in hybrid from Audi is considered to be one of the most exciting examples, capable of hitting speeds of 138 mph with 204 horsepower.
Another sporty green car that has been heavily hyped in this year’s auto shows is the 2014 Cadillac ELR. Using the best of today’s hybrid technology, it tops any green car comparison available online in terms of range, speed, and power. The ELR is notable for being able to travel for 300 miles using its hybrid engine, or 35 miles using solely electric power.
Although many of the best-selling hybrid cars have been small, compact city vehicles, the Ford B-Max is due to come out in 2014 and could potentially change all of this. This will be an ideal family-sized minivan, with all the efficiency of a hybrid. Set at an economical starting price with an attention to comfort and safety, the B-Max is definitely a car to watch next year.
With an improved range of safety and entertainment features and a greater variety of sizes to choose from, next year’s green cars will be increasingly diverse and interesting. Using the latest advances in lithium-ion battery technology and computer software, they will be more responsive and efficient at the same time. This should bring green vehicles even more into the spotlight in 2014.
About the Author
Rachel Macdonald is a freelance writer with an avid interest in the latest green car technology. She writes for Motoring (Au) website which provide its readers with fresh car news and reviews.