Evolution, Not Revolution (Yet)It looks like the already good Nissan LEAF electric car will be getting significantly better in 2013. Reports from Japan indicate that driving range will be increased by around 25% by improving the efficiency of motors and the performance of the lithium-ion battery pack. Not bad for a year's work. Not exactly Moore's Law, but it doesn't have to be. While the computer industry - both software and hardware - can find new ways to use exponentially more computing power and do cool stuff with it, transportation doesn't quite work like that. Once electric cars reach a driving range that is good enough for most people and a price that is cheap enough for most people, they'll rapidly become more popular and begin to take over.
There are also reports of a new LEAF base model that would be cheaper, but have less range:
the report says Nissan is going to offer a second, cheaper model of the LEAF with less range for ¥2.5 million ($31, 700USD) after ¥300K subsidy. The LEAF currently sells at a starting price, before incentives of ¥3.7 million, or $47,500. A similar price reduction in North America, would price this new base Nissan LEAF at $26,600. (source)
That's great. The more choice, the better.