We’re just two days away from 2011, the year many industry experts are terming the year of the electric car, but 2010 hasn’t been a slow year for electric cars. We’ve seen new models launched, records broken and even the Pope show an interest in going electric.
But over the course of 2010 what stories have been getting the most attention from you, our readers?
The 2011 Nissan LEAF proves a popular topic, featuring in a half of our 10 most popular stories, with charging and battery technology coming a close second, featuring in 4 of our 10 most popular stories.
Interestingly, the 2010 Chevrolet Volt is not featured in the top 10 posts, scraping in at number 19, showing our readers are much more interested in pure electric cars than they are with range extended and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Without further ado, here’s our top 10 posts of 2010, in reverse order.
Originally penned in 2009, this post has remained popular throughout 2010, and for a good reason.
Delving into the very heart of the 2011 Nissan LEAF’s electronics, the article explains how the 24 Kilowatt-hour battery pack is constructed.
Written more than a year before the first Nissan LEAF production vehicles left the factory there isn’t a video to go with this post, but Nissan’s own production video released in October gives us a view of the battery pack being assembled.
50 Kw Leaf Charger
50 Kw Leaf Charger
Could the Fast Charge option on the 2011 Nissan LEAF provide drivers with an almost unlimited mileage electric car, or will the cost of fast charge stations and tight financial budgets dissuade local government and business from installing ultra-fast charging infrastructure?
That was the question asked by Eric Loveday in this article written in August 2009. Despite its age, the article has proven a popular choice throughout 2010 as more and more consumers try to research fast-charging before they buy their first electric car.
Proving that fast-charging is a key concern among would-be electric car owners, this article from July 2010 covers a break-through high-power charger developed in Japan.
According to the charger’s creators JFE Engineering, the unit is capable of charging a 2011 Mitsubishi i from empty to 50% full in just 3 minutes.
But some simple math told us that the level 3 charging station won’t be coming to your home any time soon; a unit capable of charging an electric car that quickly would need a 62.5 kilowatt power supply - more than the supply to many homes.
Before we knew for sure what the price of the 2011 Nissan LEAF would be, we heard many different claims about the pricing structure for this five-seat electric car.
In November 2009 when this article was written, Brian Carolin, Nissan’s Marketing executive for North America told us that he anticipated the LEAF to cost no more than a fully loaded 2011 Honda Civic and half its monthly fuel bill.
We’d guessed the LEAF would lease at around $440 a month - a little higher than the official lease figures released in 2010, making this article interesting from an historical perspective but of little use to a buyer today.
What it does show however, is the popularity of LEAF articles throughout the year at AllCarsElectric.
Golf Carts at Pebble Beach
As fun as the title of this post from December 2009 is we’d like to point out that the free vehicle in question is not really a car. It’s a golf-cart.
At the time, Oklahoma-based Drive Electric may have attracted a lot of press interest, but a lot less custom than they may have hoped.
Qualifying for a $6,496.53 tax rebate, the enterprising Drive Electric decided to sell its four-seat Zone Electric NEV-48 EX for exactly the same price.
On claiming back the rebate, any owners could then claim to have paid no money for their new electric vehicle.
We don’t know how many folks took up Drive Electric on the offer - but with no creature comforts and a top speed well under 35 mph we think most customers waited for something a little bit more practical.
To see our top five articles of 2010, head over to page two.
2011 Nissan Leaf, Nashville, October 2010
But in August 2009 we had to stand by while Popular Science took a very early demonstration LEAF for a test-drive at Nissan's Oppama facility in Japan. They reported great handling, brisk acceleration and a top speed of around 90mph - all the things we've come to discover about the LEAF ourselves.
At this point we'd like to remind you that you can chekc out all our 2011 Nissan LEAF coverage at our 2011 Nissan LEAF Ultimate Reference Guide.
While very few consumers are chosing to drive small, speed restricted electric cars or neightborhood electric vehicles these days we have to provide a tip-o-the-hat to the miniscule Indian electric vehicle which helped kick start the electric vehicle revolution in London, U.K.
G-Wiz charging in the U.K.
Although the REVA G-Wiz has suffered some bad press recently after an owner was killed in an accident where her car split in two, thousands of satisfied drivers world-wide have made this vehicle their first step toward zero tailpipe emissions motoring.
Written by guest writer Mike Boxwell, it details a little of the history of the car that mainstream automotive journalists love to hate.
When Tesla U.K. offered us the loan of a 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5 for a weekend we jumped at the chance to see if the current king of electric sportscars could handle temperatures below freezing point.
What we didn't bank on was the volume of readers telling us that our cold weather testing, ranging in temperature from 14 degrees Farenheit to 32 desgrees Farenheit, was not cold enough to prove our claim that electric cars can work well in cold weather.
Don't worry. We've listened and are planning some seriously cold weather testing for later this winter at a winter ski resort. In the meantime this article still remains number 3 in our top posts of the year.
DBM Energy Audi A2 Electric Car
Sometimes you have to take a story at face value, and that's exactly what we did in October when we heard about an entrepeneruing German company which had claimed a single-charge 375 Mile trip in a converted Audi A2.
Retaining its original seating, the A2 used by DBM Energy also had the claimed ability to recharge in just 6 minutes when charged from a suitable high-voltage direct-current source.
Since our article was written however, we've heard increasingly vocal claims that DBM's trip was nothing more than an elaborate hoax, including an article written by German newspaper Zeit after DBM's CEO refused independent testing of his record claim.
Regardless of the story's validity, we can't wait for the day when battery technology allows electric cars to outperform gasoline vehicles at every aspect, including range and refulling.
It's hardly surprising that GreenCarReport's Car To Buy 2011 features as our number one article of 2010. But our number one article of 2010 isn't a test-drive of the 2011 Nissan LEAF. Nor is it an article about the car's integrated CARWINGS system or iPhone app. It's an article about the most important thing to every consumer - price.
Dating from mid 2009, the article makes some interesting predictions about the 2011 Nissan LEAF pricing. Of course, we know now how much the LEAF really costs following announcements in March 2010. We're also seeing the first LEAFs to hit the road as lucky early adopters recieve their LEAFs admidst suitable pomp and circumstance.
NOTE: Alert readers may observe that the pageview counters in the articles are not consistent with our rankings. There are two reasons: First, the counters started at an arbitrary date when at least some of the articles had already accumulated views. Second, the rankings are for total views just during 2010, from January 1 through today.