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Electric Cars Take Over: 17 Electric Cars You Must Know About


First Posted: 07-14-08 11:58 PM   |   Updated: 07-28-08 12:24 PM

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Electirc Cars

Tesla Roadster Electric Car photo

Electric Cars: You Want 'Em? We've Got 'Em!
Over the past 3 years, we've written about many electric cars here on
TreeHugger. We think it's time to look in the rearview mirror, so here's an overview. If you see anything you like, just follow the links to see the original articles.

Electric Roadster by Tesla Motors

The electric car that made a lot of people do a double-take (in a good way). Yes, it's expensive, and yes, it's only a two-seater, but it can make people want it like few other green cars, and someone has to pay the early-adopter 'tax'. Our first post about it was in two years ago. Since then, we've written about the opening of the first Tesla Motors store in California, about what happens to a Tesla battery pack at the end of its life, and recently about Tesla's hiring of a new VP of Engineering and Manufacturing. Update: The Tesla electric Roadster has just started shipping to customers.

Tesla Motors Logo photo

Model S by Tesla Motors

We don't really know much about Tesla's second car yet, so no picture. It used to be known as the 'Whitestar' but is now the 'Model S'. A 5-seat, 4-door sporty sedan in the vein of the BMW 5. Should sell for about $60,000 and manage 225 miles on a charge.


E6 Electric Car by China's BYD photo

E6 Electric Car by BYD

BYD is China's biggest battery maker, and that gives them an edge over most automakers when when it comes to electric cars (the battery's always the big challenge). The E6 electric car was introduced at the 2008 Beijing International Auto Show. We don't know yet when the company will start selling it, but its F6DM plug-in hybrid is scheduled for 2010 (probably to be followed by the F3DM plug-in hybrid). Range for the E6 should be 300 km (186 miles).


XS500 Electric Car by Miles photo

XS500 Electric Car by Miles

When we first wrote about the XS500 by Miles, it generated quite a bit of excitement because of its relatively low price tag for a highway-capable electric car: $30,000. We then got more information about the XS500 and confirmation that the target price was now "$30,000 to $35,000" for the 2009 XS500 in the US. The XS500 should have an all-electric range of about 120 miles.


Mitsubishi i MiEV Electric Car photo

i MiEV Electric Car by Mitsubishi

We've written a lot about the cute little i MiEV electric car by Mitsubishi. It seems relatively close to commercialization. Mitsubishi even announced that it was 1 year ahead of schedule, and it has plans to sell it globally. For more, you can see photos of the i MiEV at the New York Auto Show and three Japanese commercials.


Subaru R1e Electric Car in New York photo

R1e Electric Car by Subaru

The R1e by Subaru is kind of a cross between the i MiEV above and Toyota's iQ urban car (spy shots of the Toyota iQ here). For more, you can see photos of the Subaru R1e driving around New York City, and more info about the two R1e electric cars that will be tested by the New York power authority. Our guess is that the R1e won't be commercialized - it's probably a learning platform for Subaru - and the Subaru G4e electric car has more chances of making it to market.


Hybrid Technologies supercar image

Electric Supercar by Hybrid Technologies

This one is still a concept, and who knows if it will ever be sold, but we're told that a prototype should be on the road next Autumn. It was designed by Hybrid Technologies and doesn't seem to have a name yet. They have planned two version: All-electric, and plug-in hybrid. The latter will try to compete in the Automotive X Prize.


Electric Mini Cooper photo

Electric Minis by PML and BMW

This is actually two different electric cars. The first one is a normal Mini that was modified by PML (pictured above). They added electric motors in the wheels and it could apparently do 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds! The second version of the electric Mini has been announced by BMW, but unfortunately they're only going to sell them in California, and they're only going to make 500.


GM EV1 Electric Car photo

EV1 Electric Car by General Motors (RIP)

Next we have the now defunct EV1 electric car that was manufactured by General Motors between 1996 and 1999, and leased in California and Arizona. A good way to get more background info on it is to watch the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?. Some people have questioned how good it actually was, but even if it had big flaws, that's a little beside the point. It was a first, and should have opened the floodgates for more. Instead, the cars were crushed and even removed from museums.


Mercedes F700 Concept car photo

Electric Car by Mercedes (2010)

We don't yet know what this one will look like (pictured above is the F700 concept), but Mercedes has announced ambitious plans to eliminate fossil fuels from its car lineup by 2015, and that includes an electric car in 2010. We'll have to wait and see.


Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn photo

Electric Car by Nissan (2010-2012)

Similarly to Mercedes, Nissan has announced an electric car to be introduced in 2010 and mass-produced in 2012. We don't know yet what it will look like or what it will be called. Pictured above is Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in front of a test-car (not electric).


REVA Electric Car photo

REVA Electric Car

When we dig a bit deeper in the archives, we find the REVA electric car. It's not exactly going to set the mainstream car market afire, but it has the benefit over many other electric cars to be available now. In fact, you can probably see some driving around London.


ZENN Electric Car photo

ZENN Low Speed Electric Car by Feel Good Cars

According to the makers of the ZENN electric car, the name is actually an acronym for "Zero Emissions, No Noise". It is a "low speed neighborhood vehicle" with a top speed of 25 mph and a range of 40 miles.


George Clooney with Tango Electric Car photo

Tango Electric Car

Mostly known as "That small electric car that George Clooney drives!", the electric Tango is faster than you might think: With a 0 to 60 time of 4 seconds, it can smoke quite a few sports cars. Bonus: You can park 3-4 of them side by side in a regular parking spot.


Eliica 8 wheels Japanese electric car photo

Eliica Electric Car by KEIO University

A few years ago, this 8-wheel electric monster got segments on evening news all around the world. Even Japan's then prime minister went to have a look. The Eliica electric car is a true speed demon. In the right conditions, it can do 400kph (250mph), and 0 to 100km/h (0 to 60 mph) in 4 seconds. It is powered by li-ion batteries, and the only thing is can't do is go back to the future.


Wrightspeed X1 Electric Car photo

Wrightspeed X1 Electric Car

The fastest electric cars mentioned above can do 0 to 60 mph in about 4 seconds. That's fast, really fast! But that's not enough, apparently: The X1 can do 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds, leaving the competition in the dust. There's even a popular video of the electric car beating a Ferrari and a Porsche.


Converted Electric Saturn SP1 photo

Saturn SP1 Electric Car Conversion by Students of Napoleon High School

It's no the prettiest of most high-tech electric car featured here, but we've got to give some kudos to teachers and students of Napoleon High School in Jackson, Michigan. This 1995 Saturn SP1 was converted to run on electricity as part of a school project for the automotive-technology students. Now that's the kind of homework we wish we had in high-school!
Filed by Olivia Zaleski  |  Report Corrections