In the market for a new set of wheels? Thinking about getting a GREEN CAR but don’t know what’s on the market? Well, look no further! Here’s the scoop on what we can be expecting in the line of green vehicles from Wired Magazine.
Think the gas assist in the Volt is a cheat? Don’t like the look of the Leaf and can’t afford a Tesla? Don’t worry. More choices are (silently) rolling over the horizon. Here’s a preview.
Fisker Automotive Karma
Henrik Fisker’s pricey luxury sedan takes EVs uptown. With 403 horsepower and more torque than a Ferrari (or a Bugatti Veyron, for that matter), the Karma will be as quick as it is gorgeous. With a setup similar to Chevery’s Volt, the battery will run for 50 miles before a gas-assist engine kicks in to keep the juice flowing.
Ford Focus Electric
The slick Euro-inspired Focus sedan mostly just swaps the engine and fuel tank of the gas model for a motor and lithium-ion battery with a range of 100 miles. Ford won’t say more, but if the excellent Fusion Hybrid and Transit Connect Electric delivery van are any indication, the Focus EV should be a real contender.
After teasing us for more than two years, Mitsubishi finally brings its electric kei car to America. Japan gets by on a paltry 64 horsepower and 80 to 100 riles of range, but Mitsubishi says the i-MiEV headed to the States will be “structurally different,” with an “enchanced” drivetrain – in other words, bigger and, hopefully,more powerful.
The Norwegian urban commuter comes to America by way of Indiana, where the US-spec model is being built. The two-seater is good for 100 miles per charge, but with a top speed of 70, it’s best suited to city life (hence the name). A few lucky cities will see the Think at the end of this year, but most of us will have to wait until 2011.
Watch out, Tesla. That’s an e-tron coming up in your mirror. If the production model is anything like the spectacular concept car – four motors, 313 horsepower, and supercar-like acceleration – the e-tron could overtake the Roadster as the definitive e-sports car.
Fiat 500 EV
Europe’s coolest retro ride goes electric with some help from Chrysler. How fast and how far it’ll go is anyone’s guess – to date the specs are a closely guarded secret.
Japan’s second-largest automaker still thinks hydrogen will win in the end, but in the meantime the company is jumping on the battery bandwagon with an electric “commuter vehicle” (read: small car). Honda isn’t revealing any specs, but says that prototypes are expected to hit California roads this year.
Smart Fortwo Electric Drive
Smart is already beta-teasting 250 prototypes built with Tesla batteries. It isn’t releasing any info about the car that will eventually reach showrooms, but it will likely feature a Daimler power train with better range than the prototypes and motor with more oomph. Good think – the prototypes are as slow as they are small.
Tesla Motors Model S
Having proven the viability and desirability of EVs with the Roadster, Tesla will make a move toward the mainstream with this gorgeous $50,000 sedan. Wired drove the prototype a few miles around Los Angeles and found the electric acceleration zippy and fun. The interior boast a 17-inch touchscreen on the center console, which displays stereo, climate, navigation, and battery information.
Toyota Rav4 EV
Toyota goes back to the future to reprise the iconic electric SUV it built in limited numbers from 1997 to 2003. EV advocates still sing its praises, and many of the original models continue to rack up miles. It was so good that Toyota could have brought it back as is, but the company is working with Tesla to develop an improved drivetrain.
2013 and BEYOND
Fisker Automotive Project NiNA
This one’s an utter mystery, because all Fisker will say is that the car will be about the size of a BMW 3 series. No one’s seen the vehicle, but that didn’t keep Uncle Sam from loaning the company $528.7 million to build it.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG “Gullwing” E-Cell
The key things to know about this electric supercare: 525 horsepower, zero to 60 in four seconds, and a huge 48-kilowatt-hour battery. Former Formula 1 star David Coulthard after driving a prototype: “You will not believe the performance.”
The Germans are late to the EV game, but VW is going all out with a prediction that it will sell 300,000 electric vehicles per year by 2018. First we’ll see either the adorable E-Up city car of an electric Gold. VW is so serious about cars with cords that it hired Tesla Motors cofounder Martin Eberhard to lead its battery lab.
and there you have. what we can expect in the next few years in the ways of electric vehicles.
bummed by how long the timeline is? wanna know more about the history of electric vehicles? check out this amazingly informative (and anger-inducing!!!) documentary called, “Who Killed the Electric Car?”
The answer will Surprise You.