The study said that in order for these vehicles to be more cost effective in reducing the harmful emissions, there would need to be better breakthroughs with battery technology along with a price rise in oil prices and a power grid which is more efficient with the use of electricity. Without these changes, the study claimed that the expenses of the battery powered vehicles could not be justified.
Hybrids which use both battery power and fuel are said to be more efficient in both carbon exhaust savings and cost effectiveness. The Nissan Motor Corporation’s rechargeable electric vehicle the Leaf or General Motors’s Volt, are said to be more effective and also available at a lower cost.
The vehicles which use battery packs are said to be less efficient, not because they are necessarily bad, but rather because they do not provide sufficient benefits to justify their cost price. The engineering professor who was in charge of the study in Pittsburgh at the Carnegie Mellon University commented that the more ordinary hybrids are able to increase the economy of fuel enough, while also costing far less than the vehicles powered by battery packs. Specific models were not mentioned throughout the study.
In the year 2009, congress approved increased tax credits for those consumers who wished to buy electric vehicles. The tax credits went up to $7,500 in an attempt to encourage consumers to purchase these electric vehicles and thus reduce harmful emissions which are often identified as one of the main causes of global warming and climate change.
Both Nissan and General Motors have received loans towards the development of electric, rechargeable cars. The Leaf hatchback by Nissan goes around 70 miles with its battery pack and is sold at a price of $35,200 (without tax credits) and the General Motors battery pack vehicle, goes just 35 miles when it is fully charged. It is sold at a starting price of $39,145, without tax credits. The Toyota Prius goes around 50 miles on a full battery but it does not qualify for tax credits.
Toyota, which is currently the leading producer and seller of hybrid vehicles has said that its new plug in Prius will be able to travel at least 15 miles on a full battery, after which the gas engine will kick in and power the car. This vehicle is sold at $32,000 and is eligible to receive $2,500 in tax credits.
The problem, according to the study, is that the subsidies work in favour of the larger battery pack vehicles. But these battery packs are extremely pricey and heavy, they also are not used to their full potential if the battery potential is higher than what is useful for an ordinary every day journey to work or to the store.