Aided by an increasing number of affordable vehicles on the market, and improvements to charging infrastructure, electric vehicles are predicted to reach nearly 4 million by 2020 according to Pike Research.
Hybrid electric vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, which use a traditional petrol or diesel engine alongside an electric motor, have been on general sale throughout the world for over a decade. As cheaper mass-produced plug-in electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, plus plug-in electric hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt (that use a petrol or diesel engine to charge the electric battery) have started to come to the global market since 2010, interest in North America, the Asia Pacific region and western Europe is quickly growing.
The latest figures from the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), published last month, projected that sales of plug-in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales in the U.S. more than doubled in 2012, hitting 44,888 compared with 17,735 in 2011 (this includes business fleet as well as individual consumer sales).
As consumer demand begins to build for hybrid vehicles, companies have begun to offer efficiency solutions. Echo Automotive Inc. is an upstart company offering an aftermarket hybrid conversion process for gas and diesel fleet vehicles. The EchoDrive(TM) technology can reduce fuel usage in existing fleet vehicles by up to 50 percent. The EchoDrive platform enables existing vehicles to leverage grid power at a fraction of the cost of fossil fuels. By bolting on to existing power trains, EchoDrive(TM) virtually eliminates the operational and financial risk of other solutions and new vehicles. During driving, EchoDrive applies that stored energy via the electric motor to assists the power train when the internal combustion engine is most inefficient, significantly reducing the workload of the engine and the use of fossil fuels. For more information visit www.echoautomotive.com.
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