In a world with steeply declining oil supplies, the transportation wave of the future (that is, if we can get them built before the oil runs out) will be electric cars that are charged by solar panels. This bio-fuel and hydrogen nonsense aside, there are a few innovative companies going the all-electric route, and I believe it will pay off for them as developers of the technology. These are 5 of my favorite electric car companies and car models that we will be driving around in the near future. A battery-powered car that is charged up for free from the sun? I am sold.
The Aptera, which I wrote about back in June. Even Google is getting involved with this one, as they just gave them about $1.5 million in funding. The Aptera is what space-age cars are supposed to look like and they will be priced right at $26,000. They seat 2 people, have the full array of safety gear, and actually use a hybrid electric/gasoline engine to get about 250 MPG, which should placate the few people worried about electric-only cars.
The Tango from Commuter Cars. A 3-wheeled, 2-person, 4-seconds to 60 mph electric car. Since most of us travel alone in our cars, why move around all that extra metal and the 3 extra seats of a regular car? The Tango currently gets 80 miles per charge, but it looks like they are working on bumping that up to 150 miles. They have three different models, ranging in price from $18,700 all the way up to $108,000.
Tesla Motor’s all-electric sports car. 3.9 seconds to 60 mph, mileage the equivalent of 256 MPG, 220 miles per charge, top speed of 125 miles per hour. Do I really need to say more? If successful, this company can easily replace all sports-cars that run on fuel, as the performance mirrors any high-end car. The problem? While the car is available, it is currently priced at $109,000. I am not saying it is not worth it, but for them to be successful, they are going to have to A. bring the price down and B. introduce lower-end models.
Phoenix Motorcars’ SUV. The SUV is a four-passenger, zero-emission, all-electric SUV that can travel at freeway speed. It travels over 100 miles on a single 10-minute charge, has all the bells and whistles – power windows, fog lights, auto-tinting windows, air-conditioning – and goes 0-60 in under 10 seconds. What more could you ask for in an electric car! They are supposed to be available in 2010.
The GEM e4 car from Global Electric Motorcars. With seating for 4 for up to 30 miles, this $10,000 car is perfect for those who live in small towns, close to anything and everything they need to get to. (like us!) 4-wheel disc brakes, front independent suspension, and rack-and-pinion steering should make this a comfortable little in-town car. I used to see these being used by the real estate agents back in California, and they all looked comfortable and secure. And at that price, you really cannot beat the “no-gasoline” lifestyle.
What do you guys think of these cars? Do you have any favorites that I might not know about? Let me know!