Top 8 US Made Electric Vehicles of 2008
Taking a break from diesel power, electric vehicles are also on the rise. For a while the big developments have been overseas. Recently, there has been a surge of electric concepts from domestic manufacturers. Here are the top 8 in no particular order.
Originally introduced about 2 months ago, the Provoq is GM's newest edition to the E-Flex family of vehicles. It uses a combination of Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Lithium Ion Batteries to achieve a total range of 300 miles. It has all the extras you would expect from Cadillac and doesn't bring harmful emissions.
The Volt has been in and out of the spotlight for a long time now but the official release date is November 2010. Using "range extending capability," the Volt can achieve a maximum of 640 miles on one charge and 8 gallons of FlexFuel. To recharge the batteries, a turbocharged 1.0L 3-cylinder kicks in when needed.
Another fuel-cell / battery team, the EcoVoyager has a maximum range of 300miles. It uses a slightly more powerful, 268hp electric motor for about 40 miles. When the initial charge is drained, Hydrogen will help get you home.
The ZEO is a performance electric vehicle most likely pointed in your younger buyer's direction. It has a range of 250 miles per charge and will go from 0 to 60 in "less than 6 seconds." Wide fender flares rest above a set of 23" wheels and low-profile tires. Not bad.
As with other electric concepts from Chrysler, the Renegade uses the 40 mile lithium ion battery pack. Additional mileage comes from a Bluetec diesel powering a generator. The final number is 110mpg. Off-road will be a little less, but still.
Saturn's Flextreme is the "cousin" to the Volt. It uses the same battery pack for the initial part of the trip, but instead of the 1.0L Flexfuel motor, the Flextreme opts for a 1.3L 4-cylinder diesel. Saturn also decided to include 2 Segway Scooters. (Maybe in case you run out of gas?)
The Tango is an ultra-narrow 2-seater made by Commuter Car Corporation. It is narrow enough to run between lanes in heavy traffic and even park in the small spaces left between 2 cars when parallel parked. According to the Commuter Car website, they are also thin enough to fit 2 in a single lane, which would double freeway capacity.
Fisker Automotive Karma
The Karma is a high-performance electric vehicle set to hit the market in mid to late 2009. It can travel up to 50 miles on battery power alone and when the small 4-cylinder engine takes over, it can hit numbers in excess of 100mpg. There is also a duel running mode where both electric and gas power can be drawn upon to hit 60mph in 5.8 seconds.
I personally like the styling of the ZEO. Vote for your favorite.