Friday, June 12, 2009

UPDATE: Electric Cars - Five on Sale in 2009

Are you looking for an electric car
that you can buy this year?
here is the blog to read for the serious electric car guy/gal/person....
For all the excitement surrounding battery-powered automobiles, there are precious few actually available for purchase right now. While we could have made a top 50 list that included concepts or vehicles only available in other countries, we decided on a compilation that met a very strict set of criteria: none have a gas tank (sorry, Fisker Karma); all will be offered for sale (or lease) in 2009 in America (apologies to the Mitsubishi iMiEV); all can travel at highway speed (you're excused, ZAP! Xebra). Oh, and one last rule: none are conversions of another company's vehicle (so long, AC Propulsion eBox, Phoenix SUT and AMP Saturn Sky).

Now that we've set the ground rules, let's get started.

After a very public delay, the Aptera 2e should be delivered into the hands of customers this Fall. The composite-bodied craft has been designed to be as efficient as possible in order to squeeze 120 miles from its onboard batteries. The resulting fluid exterior form is both eye-catching and efficacious. The company's performance target calls for a sub-10 second 0 to 60 time and it is expected to be limited to a 95 mph top speed. The price for the front wheel drive three-wheeler is said to start in the mid-$20s.
FD: NOTE that it is not shipping yet. I like the fish look of the car.

The Tesla Roadster is probably the best-known electric car on the road today. It has a 3.9 second 0 to 60 time and a top speed of 125 mph. It has the longest range of any all-electric vehicle: 220 miles. The downside? Prices start at $109,000. A new "Sport" model will be added this year which promises even more quickness and improved handling
FD: HOWEVER there is now a law suit over the car's design.

This one-seater from Myers Motors is called an NMG which stands for "No More Gas."
For $29,995, you can get up to 45 miles of zippy performance and speeds of up to 76 mph. It offers six cubic feet of storage space, a bucket seat, power windows and an AM/FM CD player with an iPod plug. Today's NMG is powered by lithium batteries and driven by a DC motor. Myers Motors will be announcing a 2-seater sometime this Spring, and that vehicle should also be available this year.
FD: CUTE. But what a price for one seat!
The Tango by Commuter Cars is a bit of an odd duck, even by electric car standards. Famous for being owned by George Clooney, it seats two in tandem to retain the ability to "lane split" and encloses its passengers within a race car roll cage. It accelerates almost as fast as a Tesla Roadster and has a top speed somewhere North of 120 mph. Although it has taken the company a long time to produce a small handful of these vehicles, the $108,000 price tag guarantees the line ahead of newly-placed orders is short. Unfortunately, its range is also somewhat short at 60 miles with its current lead acid configuration. A lithium ion power pack could make it capable of a more meaningful 150 miles. FD: George Clooney, enough said.

While technically not for sale, 500 copies of the MINI E will be leased this year to selected applicants from New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles. For $850 a month they will get the retro-cute they know and love with up to 150 miles of range and an 8.5-second 0 to 60 time. What they don't get is a back seat as it has been given over to the battery pack.
Of course, they also don't get tail pipe emissions or engine noise which might make up for some of its shortcomings.

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