Earth Day 2011: Is an electric vehicle right for you?

Over the past year or so the fully electric vehicle has gained some traction in the market. At the top end you have the Tesla roadster and at the more accessible end you have the recently released Nissan Leaf. These represent the most advanced engineering efforts to make our modes of transportation as green as possible.

Even with gas prices continuing their ascent the big issues with an electric vehicle that remain are accessibility and adoption. As demand for these cars increases and battery technology improves some of the barriers to adoption, such as cost of ownership and concerns over vehicle range, should be abated. The big issue, as I see it, will continue to be plans to proliferate charging station networks so EV owners can readily recharge. Options like the ChargePoint Network have made strides in providing access to electricity for vehicle owners here in New York, but more progress will need to be made in order to make emission free vehicles the choice for city dwelling consumers.

Still, if you are curious about electric vehicle ownership and have a smart phone, there is a new app out to help you gain some insight as to whether or not one is right for you. The BMW EVolve app tracks your trips by recording the mileage, time and fictional range – kind of like a pedometer for your gas guzzler. After recording your driving habits over a period of time the app will give you a full breakdown on your driving habits and even tell you how much CO2 you would have avoided emitting into the atmosphere had you been driving an electric vehicle.

On the heels of the release of the EVolve app BMW also announced pricing for their previously introduced ActiveE 1 series sedan. They will be taking reservations this summer for the ActiveE, which will be available for lease for $499 per month over 24 months with $2,250 down. In light of some of the other full electric options this pricing seems quite reasonable considering you’ll be bypassing the pumps.

Here’s a video review that Autoblog recently put together to show how the app works:

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