Dollars & Sense: Hot electric sports cars; urge to splurge returns
The Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell is among the electric sports cars on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
January 12th, 2011
05:53 PM ET

Dollars & Sense: Hot electric sports cars; urge to splurge returns

A roundup of today's CNNMoney news:

Super-charged electric sports cars (video): From 0-60 in less than four seconds. Check out the 2011 Detroit auto show's hot, completely electric sports cars from Mercedes Benz, Venturi and Li-ion Motors.

Gen Y car shoppers want an iPhone on wheels: Young drivers crave Bluetooth phone connections, attachments for MP3 players and voice-to-text technology so they can interact with e-mails or text messages while driving. Meanwhile, Ford gets top loyalty marks among car buyers.

After holiday splurge, taste for spending returns: For nearly two years, consumers hunkered down and trained themselves to shop only for necessities. But that all seems to be changing as more and more shoppers loosen their purse strings.

How a housing slump will slow the jobs train: Some economists say one key to a jobs recovery is an improvement in housing. A disproportionate amount of job creation comes from new business start-ups, which are often financed by home equity loans.

Stocks rally to more than 2-year highs: Worries about Europe's debt problems spark buyers' interest early. A brighter outlook on the banking sector set off a broad rally. Check out the pros' top stock picks for 2011.

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Filed under: Business • Dollars & Sense • Economy • Technology
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Chris

    "Young drivers crave Bluetooth phone connections, attachments for MP3 players and voice-to-text technology so they can interact with e-mails or text messages while driving"

    Great, more distracted drivers to cut me off in traffic and swerve onto the shoulder of the highway randomly. Can't wait!

    January 12, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amazed

      Those "young" drivers are why car insurance rates are going up. They are causing so many more accidents, the percentage increase is mind boggling.

      January 13, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. ELH

    Two problems–price and range (for a full electric, hybrids don't count 'cause they still use petrol) I will stick with my hot-hatch VDub GTI (Stage II APR chipped). More squirt that I really need (although it's a blast to blow by 18-wheelers at 135) and I can go 400+miles on a tank.

    January 12, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. IMA Sarahpalinfanatic

    Um, am I in the right blog room? Anybody?

    January 12, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. IMA Sarahpalinfanatic

    Uh-OH, im in the wrong chat room again ! Any Sarah Palin fans in here ? HELLO ?

    January 12, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    not a fan of hers . . she may be a nice person idk but politically shes dumb as a post!

    January 13, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. capecod

    no Tesla Roadster?

    January 13, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ray

    I suppose its better than Pink! Still though, as much as I love electrics, I would not wanna be in/near one in a flood.

    January 13, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    ewww yea i hadnt thought of that ray, good point!

    January 13, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. chrissy

    so keith, do u feel better now that u vented on us meer mortals? ya know we didnt invent the dayum things but we're kinda stuck with em now.

    January 13, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Keith

    Wake up and smell the exhaust fumes America! Not only are these cars cool, they are the best health care plan that could possibly be. Sitting in traffic the length of the average big city stop light causes one to inhale more toxins than sitting in a smoke filled bar all night. Second hand or even first hand smoke takes decades to kill a person in a confined space, combustion engine exhaust can kill you in less than an hour. Gasoline and diesel should be taxed far more heavily than cigarettes based on the logic for the excessive cigarette taxes and NO, I don't smoke cigarettes.

    January 13, 2011 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Electric cars are rather fascinating, and we need alternatives to gasoline, to be sure. But when you plug the car in, its electricity most likely comes from COAL, which is one of the nastiest substances on Earth. And those big smokestacks are not going to stop belching any time soon. We need something totally clean. Unfortunately, not even hydrogen cars are completely clean, because the process to make hydrogen usable creates tons of pollution. Furthermore, how much pollution is created to manufacture one of these electric cars? How green is M-B's process? Venturi's? Manufacturing just one Prius creates more of a mess than my father driving his 1954 Packard every day for the rest of his life. Plus, financially, electric cars are not a good "people's car" solution. $33,000 for a Nissan LEAF? $41,000 for a Chevrolet Volt? Sure, you can go get a Wheego Whip for not a lot of coin, but that little trap is so small, it should come with a funeral wreath. And would you really buy an electric car knowing that in a few years you would have to spend $6,000 for a new battery, and then pay another $500 on top of that to get it installed? If manufacturers make it nearly impossible to replace an HID headlamp on your own, it's quite reasonable to assume these battery replacements won't be weekend DIY jobs. These are businesses, interested only in making money.

      January 13, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith O.

      I totally agree that hydrogen is the ideal energy solution but getting to the point where we run everything off of hydrogen is going to be a slow process. I also agree that profit is all the industry's look at in their manufacturing processes. However, I totally disagree that the process of creating electric cars today is too "messy" to be worth doing. It took this country over 50 years to admit that putting lead in gasoline was a bad idea and another decade to get society to totally adapt to unleaded gasoline. I use this example to show that manufacturers don't start out looking at clean ways to create things and once society gets addicted to something, it takes a long time for it to adapt to a cleaner solution even if it's just as good a product. People are very addicted to cars that "purr" with the sound of a big V8, just look at some of the comments above. They've never even seen an electric car yet they've already made up their mind that they are too quiet so they come up with all kinds of excuses not to want them. All that changes when the price of gas hits $4 a gallon, remember just 2 years ago when that was true? Everyone suddenly got interested in fuel efficiency and alternatives then the price went back down, people shrugged their shoulders and went back to business as usual. We're back up to $3 a gallon but people aren't too concerned because the increases were slow and commercials try to convince us that 28 miles per gallon is great gas mileage even though the same car was advertised at 38mpg when gas was a dollar more. Price wise, if you look at just the initial sticker price the Volt seems higher. But look at the total operating costs plus the sticker price over a five year period and the electric cars come out ahead. As far as pollution created in production of electric versus gas or diesel, the only difference is in the battery. If you look at the advances in just the past ten years in batteries and their production and take into account the resistance to adapting to them, I'd say that if we as a society wanted cleaner, better batteries then we'd have them in another ten years.

      January 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. hollyjames3

    Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive a lower than average number of miles a year. Low mileage discounts can also apply to drivers who car pool to work. "Clearance Auto Insurance" is the place you should be if you need auto insurance at the best price

    January 13, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. Gas Guzzler

    eiectric cars,natural gas running cars,hydrogen powered cars,solor powered vehicles. what the hell is going on!! "optima 99 octane" or nothing!! dang I miss Steeve McQueen...

    January 13, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. joe

    what came first the cell phone battery or the electric car..

    January 13, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Amazed

      The electric car. First one was in the late 1800s.

      January 13, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. richp

    These are so cool, let the next generation figure out what to do with all those batteries. Lets ignore fuel cells till the powers that be figure out how to keep people from making their own fuel and continue on down the same road

    January 13, 2011 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. 8lackie

    Funny how so many here sound like farmers talking about those new-fangled automobiles last century. Noise does not equal speed. Soon enough we'll all be driving electrics. Some will be golfcarts....some will not.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
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