The global economic recession in the late 2000s led to increased calls for automakers to abandon fuel-inefficient SUVs, which were seen as a symbol of the excess that caused the recession, in favor of small cars, hybrid cars, and electric cars. The cost of charging the battery depends on the price paid per kWh of electricity - which varies with location. As of November 2012, a Nissan Leaf driving 500 miles (800 km) per week is estimated to cost US$600 per year in charging costs in Illinois, U.S., as compared to US$2,300 per year in fuel costs for an average new car using regular gasoline.
California electric automaker Tesla Motors began development in 2004 on the Tesla Roadster, which was first delivered to customers in 2008. As of March 2012, Tesla had sold more than 2,250 Roadsters in at least 31 countries. The Mitsubishi i MiEV was launched for fleet customers in Japan in July 2009, and for individual customers in April 2010, followed by sales to the public in Hong Kong in May 2010, and Australia in July 2010 via leasing. Retail customer deliveries of the Nissan Leaf in Japan and the United States began in December 2010, followed in 2011 by several European countries and Canada.
Vortexis Energy Solutions is developing an EV Charging Station that is Off Grid, providing fast charging at urban, suburban, and remote charging stations, and at greater than 50 kW, delivering over 80 miles (128.75 km) of range in 10–15 minutes. VORTEXIS chargers will also be at rest stops to allow for longer distance trips. We envision that they may also be used regularly by commuters in metropolitan areas, and for charging while parked for shorter or longer periods.