Electric cars: ‘Plug-ins’ look for spark in 2012

Automakers in 2012 will launch 13 plug-in vehicles, running on electricity alone all or most of the time. This is the year that will tell whether the electric car market has a roaring liftoff or a slow-rolling start, analysts say.

It’s early yet, but 2012 is shaping up as a white-knuckle Year 2 for the makers of new “plug-in” vehicles, who have wagered billions that the appeal of new electric-drive technologies will surmount hurdles not only from a weak-as-a-kitten economy, but also from high sticker prices and a spate of unfavorable publicity.

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Fisker Karma to Weigh More Than 5,000 Pounds

The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid is a relative heavyweight at more than 5,000 pounds, said a board member and the chief executive of the company’s powertrain supplier.

“It’s a pretty heavy car,” said Jason Forcier, vice president of A123 Systems, Fisker Automotive’s battery supplier, and a Fisker board member. “But you have to look at all the technology, which includes a large gas engine, large electric motors and large batteries.”
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RX 450h Quietly Rides into 2011 with 295 Total System Horsepower

• RX 450h Achieves EPA-Estimated Rating of 30 MPG Combined
• Available EV Mode Uses Electric Motors Only For Short Distances
• Versatility With All-Wheel or Front-Wheel Drive

The 2011 RX 450h defines design, engineering and luxury innovation in the hybrid luxury crossover segment.  As Lexus’ best-selling hybrid model, the RX 450h smoothly moves into 2011 with several new exterior colors after the second generation was introduced in 2010.

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