Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Round-Up Of 100% Electric Cars

Lithium-Powered Electric Car Now Available In U.K.

This month sees the launch of the Elettrica, the first production electric car on the UK market with the option of a lithium power supply. The car is said to provide almost twice the range of other small electric cars at 70 miles. Lithium-ion batteries are more commonly found in laptops and mobile phones. They offer higher performance, but have yet to become commonplace due to cooling and battery life problems.

The Elettrica is available from Future Vehicles, the exclusive distributor. Drivers in the U.K. will be exempt from the London congestion charge and from road tax, and will enjoy free parking in Westminster, the City and many other parts of London.

The car combines Italian styling and design, Japanese engineering and British electronics, and will be available in lead-battery and lighter, longer-lasting lithium-battery versions, the latter offering a maximum speed of 45 mph. the lead-acid battery offers a 40-mile range and a maximum 40 mph.

The Elettrica has an aluminium safety cage, disc brakes, front and rear impact bars and has undergone front and side crash-testing.

The Elettrica is priced at £9,950 for the lead-battery powered version and at £12,750 for the lithium powered version.Prices also include registration and delivery to any London address. Future Vehicles makes no mention of the lithium battery overheating problems which have affected some laptop computers, and reportedly delayed Toyota’s adoption of lithium ion batteries for its third-generation Prius hybrid car.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

This is an all-electric SUV by Phoenix Motorcars. It can recharge in 10 minutes, and it has a range of a 100 miles (or more) per charge. It can achieve speeds of 95 MPH while carrying five passengers and a full payload. The vehicle uses the innovative NanoSafe batteries by Altairnano. NanoSafe batteries are made with a non-toxic compound, lithium titanate. Right now, the vehicles are only available to fleet buyers. However, Phoenix Motorcars will also release a consumer version of its zero-emission, freeway-speed vehicle in early 2009 — potential buyers can put their name on a waiting list. The company is also working to release a battery pack that will provide a 250 mile range.

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