Green technologies and eco-friendly concepts are changing the way that the world operates. From reducing emissions to controlling waste, the impacts are widespread. The sports car industry is no exception. From global initiatives to the newest power cells and concepts, green technologies are shaping the future of sports cars.
In a market traditionally dominated by powerful machines, the trends have always moved towards faster, better and sleeker. In many ways, current green technologies seem to directly conflict with many of these core tenets of sports car production. However, manufacturers are currently producing concepts and even rolling a few hybrid and eco-friendly sports cars to market. As technologies shift, these trends will likely be the biggest issues faced by the sports car industry.
Sport Performance versus Fuel Efficiency
When you think of sports cars, you think of fast acceleration, precision handling and sleek looks. Manufacturers have perfected the sports car in a gas-powered format in many ways. The downside to this perfection is often a lack of fuel efficiency. This was once simply an issue that was dealt with on the consumer level. If you wanted 40 miles-per-gallon, you did not buy a high-performance car.
With increasing regulations and a move towards green technologies across the globe, the public perception and expectations of sports cars is also changing. This creates a new set of challenges for eco-friendly sports car designs. The biggest of these challenges is creating the gas-powered sports car experience from a new power platform. Though electric cells and motors are certainly improving at a rapid rate, they still have far to go. These cars also lack small nuances, such as the growl of performance exhaust and a fine-tuned gasoline engine. If green sports cars gain acceptance, these trends will slowly change as the public is accustomed to the new platforms. Until then, it is just another item on the list of disadvantages that these manufacturers face.
Charge Times and Trip Meters
Though the ability to charge your vehicle at home adds a level of convenience to the green car experience, it is not without its limitations. One of the joys of sports cars is often the road trip. Hitting the open road, seeing destinations and discovering new places is all a part of the sports car experience. In today’s sports cars, if you get low on gas you simple find the nearest filling station. With many of the green cars and hybrids, things are not quite that simple. Combine this with a range of only a few hundred miles on the best of green sports cars and you have a trip that must be planned around charging stations.
Charging your vehicle is not as simple as pulling up and connecting just a few minutes either. Some charging stations require a minimum of half an hour to four hours complete a charge. During this time, drivers are forced to find something to do in the surrounding area. As charging station availability and technology improves, this will become less of a concern. Until then, manufacturers are spending their time and investments researching bigger, more powerful battery solutions to push the mileage envelope even further. However, these batteries and power sources do not come without their downsides.
The Rising Cost of Green Sports Cars
As with new technologies, those who buy these initial green sports cars are helping to offset research and development costs. However, the average usable life and initial cost of vehicles creates a rather noticeable difference in the pricing of these newer vehicles. Many of these vehicles are sporting price tags that rival many of the luxury sports competitors.
Though maintenance costs for these green cars are potentially lower and many areas of the world offer incentives and benefits for purchasing a new hybrid or eco-friendly vehicle, this is just a small fraction of the overall price. In most situations, green sports cars simply cannot compete in terms of value with the competition.
To truly gain widespread acceptance, companies investing in green sports car technologies will have to find ways to bring the average price point closer to that of traditional gas-powered options. Until costs for green vehicles and sports cars reach a level that is affordable for the average car enthusiast, gaining a share of the market will be slow due to sheer lack of exposure, experience and availability.
Redefining Sports Cars
The final difficulty facing many green sports car makers is the physical format of the cars. While some parts of the traditional sports car are a matter of aerodynamics or handling, there are many factors of vehicle design that are based around components. Many green vehicles eliminate or drastically reduce the size of many of these components.
A major example of this is the engine. Current green sports car designs feature one or two smaller electric motors located near the axles. These are powered by a bank of batteries under the floor of the car. This leaves a few challenges for designers as engine compartments, undercarriages and other items are simply no longer needed. However, if you deviate from the traditional design plan too far, you risk losing the familiarity and confidence of the consumer base. This balancing act will likely shape the coming waves of green sports cars for some time to come.
One element that has not been spoken about is the cost of repair and replacement on these sports cars. Given the rarity of the technology at hand, this can be astronomical so keep that in mind when daydreaming about a clean-powered sports car.
Stephan Jukic is a freelance writer who generally covers a variety of subjects relating to the latest changes in white hat SEO, mobile technology, marketing tech and digital security. He also loves to read and write about location-free business, portable business management and finance. When not busy writing or consulting on technology and digital security, he spends his days enjoying life’s adventures either in Canada or Mexico, where he spends part of the year. Connect with Stephan on LinkedIn.