Eco-Friendly Electric Cars Coming Soon

Eco-friendly electric cars are coming soon. Just over the horizon is a host of electric vehicles that tout improved range and speed, and state-of-the-art battery technology. Here’s a list of the models that are hoping to make an appearance in 2009 or shortly thereafter.

| December 2008/January 2009

A century-old technology is about to re-emerge as a petroleum-free solution to our dependence on oil. While the price tags of eco-friendly electric cars will be high and availability will be spotty at first, the future of vehicular transportation looks bright.

Just when you thought there was no help on the horizon to ease your pain at the gas pump, a century-old technology is about to re-emerge as a petroleum-free solution that will be inexpensive to operate, literally for pennies a day.

A new and improved era of practical, reliable electric cars is about to begin. Although costs will be high and some models will initially appear in limited numbers and regions while the technology continues to evolve, nothing may be able to kill the electric car this time. Here’s some of what to watch for in 2009 and soon thereafter.

The Electric Everycar

One of the first full-functioning electric cars that is slated to appear in 2009 is the Miles XS500, a five-passenger, four-door sedan currently undergoing crash tests to meet U.S. safety standards. The Chinese-manufactured, battery-powered car will offer all the amenities and performance Americans expect from a conventional sedan, but with about 120 miles of all-electric range instead of 25-something miles per gallon. Beta tests of the vehicle will begin in summer 2009, with sales to come a few months later. Initial pricing is targeted at $35,000 to $40,000.

Electric Cars: Think About the Possibilities

Next will be the long-labored Th!nk A306 from Norway, a sprightly two-seater in the same vein as the Smart car. The current version is powered by a sodium-based battery that delivers a top speed of 63 mph and a range of 110 miles. The U.S. version, expected to arrive in late 2009, is rumored to be equipped with more powerful lithium-ion batteries that will likely boost its range and top speed. The price target is in the mid-$20,000s.

Big Battery Breakthrough From BYD

BYD is a Chinese cell phone battery maker-turned automaker. It has developed an electric car, the E6, and a plug-in hybrid akin to the in-progress Chevrolet Volt (more information about it below). BYD says its battery technology will be good for over 300,000 miles. Release of the E6 is expected sometime during the second half of 2009.

12/27/2008 11:43:59 AM

Beating the straw horse of electric cars not being as capable or versatile as gas guzzlers is wearing a bit thin. The Fisker KARMA develops over 400hp and over 900fp of torque. Your precious SUV doesn't do that. WAKE UP! The drivetrain of the KARMA is adaptable to the SUV style and will probably triple the mpg while delivering more power. The ONLY people who should be fighting the development of more EV and PHEV vehicles... is OPEC. THEY will suffer. (Ask me if I care about that...)

12/16/2008 3:24:41 PM

This whole deal is the probblem with the US, people who have never been out in the REAL WORLD. Get a grip, drill for oil, let AMERICANS drive what they want. OR let China, and such continue to take US dollars. Keep buying foreign. Thats a good solution. American cars are great. Unions are the probblem, eliminate them, starting with the teachers union. If they truly care they will not mind giving up a little. Thats what is wrong with the United States. I would love ot see a crash between a "Smart" car, and a say big old Tahoe. That would make the best advertisment. You saved gas, and a tree, now who will save your family?

12/14/2008 6:26:15 PM

Jim, You are right on the money with your statement. After seeing "Who Killed the Electric Car?", I read everything I could find about everything in that flick. Curious that Chevron bought Ovonics and then shelved it. The more you read the more dirt shows up on President Cheney and his puppet sidekick, W. Electric cars should be everywhere. I think under the new administration we will finally see some of the squashed technology come to fruition. I think the injustices of the Bush years should be exposed and they should serve time. Sorry, I know this is supposed to be about EVs, but Jim's note got me thinking about Ovonics, and I got sick thinking of Chevron. I feel most sad that Iris Ovshinsky passed away before hers and Stanley's work could become mainstream. The Ovshinsky's should be recognized as national heroes.

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