I will tell you that electric motorcycles have come a long way in the last few years. Just within a couple of years you've seen mileage go for 20-30 miles to over 100 and speeds nearing 85mph. All that for about 13k. Of course to get Americans to buy it they'll have to put 150 decibel noise makers on it.
We bought a Chevy Volt back in April and have a reservation for a Tesla Model S. Thought the Volt was really awesome until we test drove a Tesla Model S in Chicago in late July. The Model S is just rediculously awesome--an exceptionally smooth, fast & quiet roller coaster ride with a lower center of gravity than any car on the road, extremely aerodynamic, huge storage space including a "frunk", and a 17" touchscreen controling everything. Am fairly certain that I will never buy another ICE or hybrid as long as I live.
A great deal of electricity is used to refine oil into gasoline, as such electric cars may not use much more electricity than gas cars. Gasoline and oil are also subsidized in the US, so that high price you pay at the pump should be higher, especially when military considerations are included in the price. Electric cars have far fewer moving parts than gasoline or hybrid cars, and should last much longer. The battery technology is evolving, and costs will coming down rapidly over the next 5-10 years. Tesla will be announcing their planned supercharger network on a webcast at 10pm CT tonight.
Supercharger | Tesla Motors
Florida gets more energy from the sun per year than points north, such as Iowa. .... just as the equator receives more heat from the sun on average than points farther away. Solar panels may not care about temperature, but the higher temps there are cause by the increased energy from the sun in those areas.
Should probably add, that the SW USA is even better due to the suns path, than Florida.
The key to solar in Iowa seems to be to use net metering with the electric company, so that you can produce enough electricity in the summer to help cover your electric use in the winter. The sun is up much longer in the summer in northern latitudes.
I work with solar installations all over North America and can attest that while there is a lot of activity in the SW, there is also a ridiculous amount of installations going in in the NE and Canada. The industry in the US is still very immature compared to Western Europe and Eastern Asia, but it is growing at exponential rates. Much of that is driven due to promises made by legislators, but the increasing costs being put on traditional fossil fuels and increases in efficiencies of solar panels will create cost parity between solar and fossil fuels by 2016 at their current rates of change.
If a volt would cover my 90 mile round trip through hilly Iowa country, I would seriously consider one for my next car. If I could convince my employer to set up a quick charge station for me at work, I would be even closer to purchasing an EV. The 25K I drive/year right now are not doing me a lot of good at these inflated fuel prices.
I wouldn't bet against Toyota.
I don't see any stats on here that consider high temperature solar collectors...opponents of electric seem to assume that solar collection strategies will remain static. Of course electric would be prohibitive considering the current PV panel technology, and putting those on every house would be a ridiculous strategy by itself.