A Round-Up Of 100% Electric Cars

tesla_electric_car.jpg

See our updated report on Electric Cars In 2011.

At MetaEfficient, I am a strong advocate of car-free living (see my review of the books How To Live Well Without Owning A Car and Car-Free Cities). However, clean, electric vehicles can be useful in some situations. If you recharge them using a renewable energy source such as solar power, they are completely emissions-free. The least expensive way to get an electric car is to convert your current car to an electric vehicle — see this article I wrote more info. Here’s a round-up of the pure electric cars that can be ordered today:

triac-electric-car.jpg

This week, the Green Vehicles company made the surprise announcement that the Triac, a three-wheeled electric car, is ready for sale. Green Vehicles will be offering this lithium-ion powered vehicle, that has a 120 mile range and has a top speed of 70 mph. The engine has a 20 kilowatt electric motor, and a regenerative braking system. It takes about 6 hours for the vehicle to recharge from a regular electrical socket. Green Vehicles just opened a new retail location in San Jose. This is an interesting one to watch!

Link: Green Vehicles

tesla-electric-car.jpg

You may have already heard of the 100% electric Tesla sportscar. This car boasts some impressive numbers: 220 miles on a charge, 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 secs, and the equivalent of 135 miles per gallon. The starting price is $109,000. The first models of the Tesla vehicle recently rolled off the production line. Due to demand, you’ll have to wait six months to put in a order for next year’s model. Some of the celebrities who’ve already bought one are: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Downey Jr., Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Dustin Hoffman and Kelsey Grammer.

Link: Tesla Motors

ZENN Electric Car

In Canada, the ZENN Motor Company produces an electric hatchback called the ZENN (Zero Emissions No Noise). This low-speed electric car (or NEV for “neighborhood electric vehicle”) goes 35 miles on a charge, and takes 4 hours to recharge. The ZENN is produced by taking a car without a powertrain (the Microcar from Europe) and installing a electric motor and batteries in it. Drivers get a very functional two seat hatchback that offers 13 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats. ZENNs are available for about $15000, from dealers in Canada and the U.S.

Link:  ZENN Motor Company

miles-electric-car.jpg

Miles Electric Vehicles offers a line of low-speed electric cars, with a range of about 40-60 miles between charges. The base model is the ZX40 — it’s propelled by a 4 kW DC electric motor, while the ZX40S has a more powerful 6.3 kW DC motor. For maximum performance, the Miles ZX40S Advanced Design offers a 7.5 kW AC induction motor. The tall four door wagon seats four and offers 41 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded. Standard features include front and rear defroster, windshield wipers, electric mirrors, and alloy wheels. They are available for $14,900-$18,900. 

Link: Miles Electric Vehicles

gem-electric-car.jpg

Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) is a Chrysler company, and has been selling electric car for a while now. The basic configuration is an open design, the cars can be fitted with canvas or hard doors. The GEM comes in many configurations to suit a wide range of applications. GEMs are available from $6,795 to $12,495.

dynasty-electric-vehicle-nev.jpg

Based in Canada, the Dynasty Electric Car Company produces a range of low-speed electric cars. Their iT Sedan hs an aluminum for the frame structure with an infusion molded fiberglass body and molded plastic bumpers. Electricity is stored in six lead acid batteries. The car recharges in less than 12 hours. Models range from $14,000 to $25,000. 

Link: Dynasty Electric Car Company

Comments

  1. treewrestler says

    Someone should offer a solar panel roof, and trade some distance for speed. Vehicle could recharge on its own. (while I am at work).

    • says

      You read my mind. The designs seem a bit anime-ish, something you’d see in one japanese cartoon. why cant they have the rough/built in the USA look to the body?

  2. Matt the Engineer says

    I think so. In order to get around tough US safety requirements (airbags, crash tests, etc.) and still go over 35mph they made it a 3-wheeler that qualifies as a motorcycle. I think this is the largest goofyness factor.

  3. Bill Myers says

    My wife and I have been driving a Dynasty Electric IT Sedan for almost 4 years now. We have now put over 6500 miles on this electric.

    We also own a Dodge 1500 truck that is a 11mpg gas hog. Firing up the V8 for runs the electric can do is nuts. We like driving the neighborhood streets and any posted at 35mph.This electric does 85% of all our traveling in town.

    We have got into the habit of pulling over and stopping to let faster traffic go by if three or more cars back up behind us on roads posted at 35mph. Works for us and it is very very cheap to operate.

    You have to get use to 25mph and should know how to maintain your electric car. There are not auto garages around to maintain these cars if the need arises. I do all the maintenance on ours when necessary. If a person can maintain a home then they can maintain an electric.

  4. roger says

    I test drove the zap truck in Oregon. It ran out of juice in about 1/2 hour on the hard hills with my brother in the car. They could be usefull in flat cities for very short trips… but not on hills. They are also built incredibly poorly. Such cheap interiors, i could easily tear pieces off the “truck” with my hands. Zap trucks are not a very practical solution.

  5. roger says

    I also test drove the dynasty made in BC. Very nice quality! Now if they can make them go faster than 45km/hr! They can, but then they wouldn’t clasify as an NEV.

  6. Mark says

    Thank You So Much for this site!!
    I am a used car dealer in Oklahoma and plan on becoming dealer for one or more of these cars.

    • Ben says

      Where at in OK … I’m a consumer looking for an inexpensive electric vehicle for driving around my military base (25 mph max).

  7. says

    i have just started to restore an electric moter cycle .i want to become apart of the electric comutity . can someone build a practical truck that recharges its self as you drive it . i would be willing to test it out in the removal buisness in australia .im not affraid of anything ,bring it on .the futer is not watt it use to be.?

  8. Jajcorz says

    Well, well… nice webpage and I like the idea of gas-free and more environment friendly cars. For now though I don’t see any decent picks here, except for very specific cases.

    Those cars are either very expensive (Tesla), very limited or/and overpriced. I mean seriously why a usual driver would want to buy a car that can only drive for 35 miles, can’t reach any decent speed, AND cost $15000?

    In my opinion an electric car should have a 100 mile reach (or at least 80), be able to go 50 mph and cost no more than $15000.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>