What Electric Cars Are Available Today in the U.S.?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

electric cars
There's a total of two electric cars available for sale in the U.S — the NmG from Myers Motors and the Xebra from Zap!. The NmG (No More Gas) Electric Vehicle is a part car, part motorcycle. It's highway-legal and can hit 70 mph and costs less than $25,000. The Zap! Xebra is a similar electric car, just introduced this summer. The price is under $10,000. Good for going around town with a 40-50 mile range, and quick enough at 40-50 mph.

Beyond those two cars, there are quite a few electric cars in the pipeline: the high-performance Tesla Roadster and the equally powerful Wrigtspeed X1. There are also a couple of commuter electric cars in the pipeline: the Tango and the Think car.

The Tango, is a novel EV offered by Spokane-based Commuter Cars Corp. The Tango seats two people -- one behind the other, like on a motorcycle -- and the super-slim, battery-driven vehicle that results is designed to slip in and out of traffic and parking spaces in ways conventional cars can't. Tango's most affordable model is priced at $18,700, but don't hold your breath: According to the company's Web site: "This car has not been designed yet as it will require a team of engineers, tens of millions of dollars, and at least 18 months to meet all of the safety requirements."

And then there's the Th!nk. This nifty little EV, developed by a Norwegian design team, was sold as the CityBee in Europe and the Citi in the U.S., before being purchased by Ford in 1999. Ford leased just over 1,000 of them throughout Europe and the U.S., comprising the world's largest EV fleet. But in 2004, much to the chagrin of environmentalists and others, Ford sold Th!nk to a European firm, which went bankrupt early this year. The company's remnants were purchased in March by a group of Norwegian investors that is looking to introduce the vehicle back into the U.S. market.