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Friday, February 8, 2008


I would like my next car to be electric.  I'd be ok with a plug-in hybrid, but only if it can take me to and from work on electricity alone and only use any fuel for longer trips.  So, here's a list of the current candidates that I'm aware of.  I don't plan on buying something for a few years (unless something horrible happens to my poor Honda) so they all have time to evolve.

KUOW's Weekday had a show on electric cars in the first hour (you can download the podcast.)  A woman named Barbara called in to and gave her number on the air that you can call for more info about a class she wants to offer in June to convert your car to electric.  I called her and got on her list.  She said the class would require a specific car and she would be sending me more info about the list of cars.

Miles Electric XS500 - can top 80 mph, 120+ on a single charge.  The CEO was on KUOW's Weekday this morning and said the price point they are targeting is in the $30k range and is planed to be shipped next year.

Phoenix Motorcars available late 2009, freeway speed -- top speed 95mph, range of 130 miles, but they are working on an expansion pack extending the range to 250 miles. 220V outlet (dryer outlet)

Seattle EVA club meets once a month.

Tesla Motors -- great promise here, but the only model available in limited quantities and is WAY out of my price range.  However, they intend to design more affordable models once the Roadster gets the ball rolling.  100% electric, 200 miles per charge.  The first production car (P1) was delivered just a couple weeks ago and this means they have passed all certification requirements and will be moving forward with full production.

Zap - 100% electric, 350 miles per charge, seating for 5!! 10 min recharge (probably not full charge.)  Priced at $60k, which is a little out of my range right now.  644 horsepower and speeds up to 155mph.

Zenn -- 35 miles on a single charge, uses standard 120 volt outlet and recharges 80% in 4 hours, complete charge in 8.  So, for this one to work for me, they need to increase the range OR I need to be able to plug it in at work. 100% electric -- 25mph top speed, not usable on highways

GEM -- no models that would do highway right now, but I'll keep an eye on them

Chevy Volt -- concept car right now, hybrid only goes 40 miles without fuel, so not quite what I want just yet

REVA -- 80kms on a single charge (found buried somewhere)

Other interesting alternative fuel vehicles:

Honda Civic GX NGV -- runs on natural gas.  Gets 220-240 miles on a full tank.  Takes up to 16 hours to refill at home refueling station.  We don't have natural gas going to our house, so right now this isn't an option.

I also keep hearing rumors about cars that run on water, but have yet to actually see much.  But, here's an interesting video about the technology.

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