Electric Car Availability Update
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"Where and when can I get one!"  That, is the big question, and we at EVcast.com have the answer.

First, let's make it clear that "available" is a very loose term.  To provide a more clear picture, let's introduce some more accurate categories for "available":

  • In Production - vehicles that are currently being built
  • Taking Orders - orders are being taken for future production and delivery
  • Geographic Limitation - sales of vehicles are limited geographically
  • Fleet Vehicles Only - available to business/government that meet certain criteria including multiple vehicle purchase for a single use
  • Limited Production - vehicles are being test marketed and the number available is limited to the extent that demand will most likely exceed supply
  • Publicly Available Now - vehicles can be ordered/purchased today and delivered within 30 days.

The following list is a comprehensive list of electric car manufactures/cars that meet the following criteria:

  • Available in the US (or planned for US delivery*).  There are many EV companies around the world that are and have been providing quality EVs to citizens of other countries for many years.  Unfortunately, many of these companies are not yet delivering their EVs to the US, nor publicly made any plans for it, so they are excluded from this list.
  • Beyond Concept.  There are numerous hobbyists who have created a concept car in the hopes to raise enough interest (and money) to take it to the next level.  This process takes several years, at best, and very few cars make it from concept to production, so we are not going to waste your time with those.
  • Faster than 25 mph.  Cars that are limited to 25 miles per hour are called "low speed vehicles" (LSV), or "neighborhood electric vehicles" (NEV).  These are great for a very small segment of the population, but too small meet the needs of the masses.
  • New Vehicles.  You can go on Ebay and find EVs.  This list is just for new EVs.

* Currently this list is only the cars available now (or within 60 days).  The list will soon be updated with EVs in production as well. 

A note on conversions:  There are many companies and machanics out there offering to convert existing cars to all electric.  We have only listed those we have found that offer this service nationally.

This list is not just a list gathered from public data on the Internet.  The information has been verified recently with a representative from the company listed.  Also, commentary and personal opinion is included with each listing.

Disclaimer: The commentaries are personal opinion based on research and facts and are not official statements or claims in any way.  The staff of EVcast are not affiliated with or endorsed by any EV company.  This list was put together with best intentions for the American consumer.

LIST UPDATED OCTOBER 31, 2008

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Xebra Sedan

This car may not look like much, but it will should get you where you want to go (assuming it is within range) and it is reasonably priced.  Since it has only 3 wheels, it does not need to be limited to 25 mph (it reportedly can go up to 40 mph).  It works and it is available today.

Model NameXebra Sedan
CompanyZAP
URLhttp://www.zapworld.com
TypeEV
Range25 miles (est)
Top Speed40 mph
Body4 door sedan
Passengers4
Wheels3
Batterieslead-acid
Charge Time8 hours
Price$11,800
Est. AvailabilityPublicly Available Now
Warnings / Commentary

ZAP has received much bad press in the past.  I did e-mail them, asking them for a response to some of the accusations.  After some time,  I did eventually hear back directly from the chairman, Gary Starr, who was kind enough to spend 15 minutes with me on the phone sharing ZAP's side of the story.  The company is real, with real people.

I did get to see this car when I was in San Jose, and it was a decent little EV -- what I would expect for my $11k.  The car is very well priced for an EV and does its job.  ZAP is one of the only companies with an affordable EV on the market.

 

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NmG

Now this is a cool car!  It is a high-quality personal transportation vehicle (meaning it does not make a good family truckster) made by a good company.  It is very fast (highway speeds) and durable.  Best of all, they are in production and you can get one in about 12 weeks of ordering. Update: they are now selling these with lithium-ion, and the price has been reduced!

Model NameNmG (no more gas)
CompanyMyers Motors
URLhttp://www.myersmotors.com
TypeEV
Rangeabout 60 miles
Top Speed75 mph
Body2 door cycle
Passengers1
Wheels3
Batterieslithium-ion
Charge Time4-6 hours
Price$29,995
Est. Availability

In Production, Taking Orders
currently a 12 week delivery

Warnings / Commentary

No warnings for this one.  The company looks as legit as can be.  They have a great website with all the info you would need, and when I called I was treated very well.  I have had conversations with Dana Myers, the owner, and I am confident that they are a reliable firm who produces a quality car.

My only "issue" with this car is the price (it used to be $36k and is now $30k).  For a single seater, $30,000 is a heck of a lot of money.  Considering this is one of the only EV solutions for Americans at this time, I am sure they are selling them and doing well.  However, with the cars on the horizon, this company is in trouble long-term unless they can make a drastic reduction in their price or add at least one more seat.

 

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Tesla Roadster

This is a car that will go down in history as "the car that changed the way the world sees EVs".  Prior to the Tesla, the marketplace was full of little "econobox" EVs that were cute and Earth-friendly, but not "sexy".  This car has opened the eyes of the world now realizing that EVs can have it all -- great looks, power, speed, luxury, and unlimited "mpg".

Model NameTesla Roadster
CompanyTesla Motors
URLhttp://www.teslamotors.com
TypeEV
Range230 miles ?
Top Speed125 mph
Body2 door spyder
Passengers2
Wheels4
Batterieslithium-ion
Charge Time8 hours
Price$109,000
Est. AvailabilityIn Production, Taking Orders
currently a 12 month wait for delivery
Warnings / Commentary

Tesla is a new company with what appears to be solid leaders and management team.  They are well-funded (key investor is Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal) and appear to be doing very well.  But with any new company, there is risk.

If you want a Tesla, you need to put up $60,000 -- right away... even though you will not get your vehicle for 12 months (you can serve a sentence for a misdemeanor in that time).  Before putting a deposit down on any car, make sure you check with your lawyer on the conditions of getting that deposit back (like if the company goes bankrupt, etc.)

If you don't mind the wait, and you can handle the risk, you can be one of the first Americans to be driving one of the first highway-capable, all electric vehicles on US roads.

I have driven the Tesla and immediately fell in love with it.  As of July 2008, I put down my deposit and I am on the waiting list.  Expected delivery as of now: July 2009.

 

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BugE

More of a  motorcycle than a car, but not much different from the NmG -- except about $20k cheaper!  This comes in a "kit" form, where there is some assembly required. This is one sweet ride!

Model NameBugE
CompanyBlue Sky Design
URLhttp://www.bugev.net
TypeEV
Range30 miles @ 30 mph
Top Speed50 mph
Body1 hatch
Passengers1
Wheels3
Batterieslead-acid
Charge Time6 hours
Price$6000 (est)
Est. AvailabilityPublicly Available Now
about 2 week delivery
Warnings / Commentary

I spoke with the owner/founder, Mark Murphy, for about 20 minutes about this product.  It is a small operation led by a creative designer with what appears to be a solid product.  I did ask for more details and I have not heard back from him or anyone there for months now. Communication with this company could be a problem.

Being a kit, this "car" is not for everyone.  You do need some ability to assemble it, you do need to get some parts from our local retailers to complete the assembly, and you do need a motorcycle license, which means you MAY need to wear a helmet, depending on local laws (check with your DMV).

This could be a great solution for those looking to spend under $10k for a single-seater that goes up to 50 mph.

 

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Triac

For the price, power, speed, safety, quality and just plain overall value, the Triac wins the prize.  Fly around at 80 mph for about 100 miles or so on lithium-ion batteries, cruise the highway with your significant other in the second seat, and enjoy your carbon-free ride.

Model NameTriac
CompanyGreen Vehicles
URLhttp://www.greenvehicles.com/
TypeEV
Range100 miles @ 45mph
Top Speed80 mph
Body2 door
Passengers2
Wheels3
Batterieslithium-ion
Charge Time6 hours
Price$20,000 (est)
Est. AvailabilityIn Production, Taking Orders
September / October 2008 delivery currently
Warnings / Commentary

I have been communicating with the owner/founder, Ehab Youssef.  He confirmed that this car is very real, and the first production vehicles will be delivered to dealers and those who pre-ordered, in September.

Check out EVcast # 23 where we interviewed the founder.  This could be the solution America has been looking for!

 

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Vectrix

This is partly a scooter, partly a motorcycle, but all fun!  This is a high-quality vehicle that may meet the needs of some, but like any motorcycle, is not really a substitution for a car.  You do need a motorcycle license to operate this puppy.  Oh yea, it will also run you about $9k.

Model NameVectrix
CompanyVectrix
URLhttp://www.vectrix.com
TypeEV
Range20-60 miles
Top Speed62 mph
Bodymotorcycle
Passengers2
Wheels2
BatteriesNiMH
Charge Time3-5 hours
Price$8795
Est. AvailabilityPublicly Available Now
drive one home from your local dealer
Warnings / Commentary

I wanted to include this vehicle because it is not only available today, but it is a very well-built machine backed by a very solid company.

Motorcycles / scooters are not for everybody, and they don't meet the needs of the vast majority of drivers.  However, this may be a great extra vehicle to have around to cut down on your gas guzzling, especially if you live in a part of the country where it is mostly dry and warm.

This company has been around for over a decade and continue to provide vehicles that help reduce our overall emissions.

As of July 2008, I am a proud owner of the Vectrix!  I have been crusin' around on it for several weeks now and I absolutely love it.  I can see why drivers of EVs have such a hard time going back to gas.

If you are considering a motorcycle or scooter, definitely consider this EV. 

 

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Hybrid Technologies

Here is a South Carolina company that is purchasing s selection of new cars from mainstream vendors and converting them to all electric.  Currently, they have five cars to choose from: PT Cruiser, Mini Cooper, a kit car (cool looking sports car in the middle), Yaris, and Smart Car.  These are custom converted on a per-order basis, so expect to wait 90-120 days from the time you place your order.

Model NameVarious
CompanyHybrid Technologies
URLhttp://www.hybridtechnologies.com
TypeEV
Rangeabout 100 miles
Top Speedavg about 70 mph
Bodysedans, spider
Passengers2-4
Wheels4
Batterieslithium-ion
Charge Time6-8 hours
Price$39k - $100k
Est. AvailabilityTaking Orders
built as ordered by customer - about a 4 month delivery
Warnings / Commentary

I had a hard time debating whether to include this one or not, but ultimately decided to include it because the fact is these ARE EVs and they are for sale now.

I spoke with a sales representative for this company in some detail about the cars.  She was very friendly and appeared to be knowledgeable.  This is a very new program and according to the salesrep, they sold "about 15" cars so far to the public (they sold about 20 more to government).  I did track down one customer on the Internet -- a lawyer from Texas, and spoke with him on the phone about his purchase.  He was very pleased and had only great things to say about the car and the company.

I still remain a bit skeptical.  Looking at their stock, it had some real "downs".  They have been around for about 8 years now so they do have some history, but what kind of history is it?  I have seen many false claims in the media linked from their own website.  Reporter errors or deliberate hype? I look forward to interviewing management at this company to get these answers and more.

As for the cars, they are mainstream cars but you are paying an average of about $35,000 for the conversion alone.  This is fine for enthusiasts and those desperate to get off gas, but does not make any financial sense if you are just looking to save money.

 

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Commuter Cars - Tango

Wanna be like George Clooney?  Order up this very FAST (0-60 in 4 seconds) EV with state of the art interior -- all you would expect from a luxury car today.  But with the good comes the bad -- a $108,000 price tag.  Is the Tesla worth an extra $1000 or would you rather spend your small fortune on this guy?  You be the judge.

Model NameTango T600
CompanyCommuter Cars Corporation
URLhttp://www.commutercars.com
TypeEV
Rangeabout 80 miles
Top Speedavg about 120 mph
Bodytwo door sedan?
Passengers2
Wheels4
Batterieslead-acid
Charge Time4-6 hours
Price$108,000
Est. AvailabilityTaking Orders
built as ordered by customer - about a 6 month delivery
Warnings / Commentary

I ignored this car on the EVcast because their website was not clear that they do actually have a car being produced -- the T600 (sounds like a new model of terminator), but they are producing the T600, just not the cheaper models at this time.

This is a great little EV and I am sure a blast to drive.  I like the fact that they do not hold back on the interior -- really state of the art.  The company answered the phone right away during business hours and the people I spoke with were very polite and knowledgeable.  This is not a car for everyone, but if you are George Clooney, or make about as much money as he does, it is worth a look.

 


Electric Car Availability Update