Current Electric Cars on the Market
Written by Bryan Johannsen
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 10:02
If you're looking to switch immediately to an electric car what are your current options on the market? It all depends on where you live and what your daily driving needs are. See what your current options for being an electric car early adopter are below.
If you live in a built up urban area or a campus then a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle may be an option for you. They are speed limited to 25mph so you may have to leave a little earlier for work or school but if you can stick to roads with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less and your round trip is around 30 miles then an NEV is an option for you. Click on the manufacturer or car name in the article below to learn more about them.
GEM (Global Electric Motorcars) has numerous NEV's currently on sale. Anywhere from 2 seats to 6 seats, some with small pickup beds and other utility features. These run the gamut from cruiser to grounds maintenance vehicle. A wide variety of options means you can kit out a GEM exactly how you need it. GEM cars run anywhere from $8,000 for a bare bones 2 seater to over $20,000 for a kitted out larger model.
ZENN Motor Company offers the ZENN Car, another neighborhood electric vehicle. The ZENN looks more like a traditional car because it's based on the French Microcar MC2. Doors are standard on the ZENN unlike the GEMs above where even doors are optional. A radio or air conditioning are optional features on the ZENN and like any electric car using power draining items like these will have an effect on the car's range. The ZENN comes in a bit more pricey at around $16,000 for the base model and $21,000 fully loaded.
Wheego Electric Cars brings us the Whip, another more traditional looking NEV. Aesthetically very similar to the Mercedes Smart Car, the Whip is a 2 seater, 3 door hatchback. One of our staff reviewers had a good time reviewing the Whip but of the cars mentioned so far it's the most expensive at $20,000 for the base model.
ZAP makes a few electric cars that have a tricycle configuration allowing them to be classed as a motorcycle but they are currently limited in most states to the same roads and laws as an NEV. In some states they aren't allowed to be driven at all because they are not limited to 25mph which breaks the NEV standard and state laws won't allow them to be classed as a motorcycle either. You may even be cited for not wearing a helmet if you get pulled over in one. The ZAP vehicles start at aroun $12,000.
If you don't live in an urban area or need to drive on roads with a speed limit over 35 mph your options right now are pretty limited. Money better be no object when it comes to driving electric because your options are....
Getting on the waiting list for a Tesla Roadster. This all electric supercar from Tesla Motors will make a hefty $110,000 hole in your wallet but you will be able to go from 0-60 in under 4 seconds and tear along at 125 miles per hour. You'll look good doing it too.
All in all your electric options are pretty limited right now but in the future, probably as soon as fall 2010 the options for going all electric will be much more wide ranging than they are now. We'll revisit this subject in the future to keep you informed on what's available to you in the electric car market.
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