Green

29 electric car makers ready to rule the streets

Some crazy concept cars have emerged since the electric car frenzy hit the market in 2008. Where are they now?

We caught up with 29 electric car manufacturers and developers to find out what they’re doing today. Some are still going strong, some have begun actively producing their cars, and some … well, not every startup can survive.

Most major car companies have begun working on a hybrid electric car or a pure battery-powered electric car. The Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt, two of the cheapest electric cars on the market, now cost less than $50,000. And there are plenty of other battery-powered and hybrid electric cars in the pipeline that will bring those costs even lower.

This list is sorted according to car availability and release dates based on publicly available information.

Battery-Powered Electric Cars

Battery-powered electric cars are emerging as reliable forms of transportation. The Nissan Leaf is currently the leader in the early adopter market for battery-powered electric cars. It costs around $35,000 and has a range of around 100 miles. Tesla Motors’ cars have much higher ranges — the Model S is expected to be able to travel around 300 miles between charges — but are more expensive. Battery-powered electric vehicles face longer turnaround times than hybrids because they take longer to charge than filling up a gas tank.

American Electric Vehicle: Kurrent
American Electric Vehicle (AEV) advises its potential drivers to “slow down,” which seems like wise advice, given the golf cart-inspired design of its Kurrent car. Still, it’s ridiculously cheap.
Price: $10,000
Range/Top Speed: 40 miles/25mph
Release date: Available now

Commuter Cars: Tango T600
The Tango is an oddball. It’s less than half the width of a normal car, and two can fit in a single lane. It also accelerates like a bat out of hell, going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds. But this guy will cost you an arm and a leg. Future versions are planned to be much cheaper, and have longer ranges.
Price: $108,000
Range/Top Speed: 80 miles/150mph
Release date: Available now

Dynasty Electric Car Corp.: IT Sedan
This Canadian company sells five different models, although they all look relatively similar. The IT Sedan is another slow-moving electric car, which brings the cost of the car down.
Price: $19,000
Range/Top Speed: 30 miles/24mph
Release Date: Available now

Pure Mobility: Kewet Buddy
Somewhat reminiscent of the Think (now in the deadpool section below), the Buddy is currently only available in its first launch country, Norway.
Price: $28,000
Range/Top Speed: 37 miles/56mph
Release Date: Available now

Fly Bo: FB-3000
The FB-3000, which bears a strong resemblance to the Smart Car, is produced in China.
Price: $10,000
Range/Top Speed: 60 miles/35mph
Release Date: Available now

Global Electric Motorcars (GEM): e2
GEM is a division of Chrysler. Its vehicles resemble golf carts. Polaris Industries acquired the company earlier this year. It currently has six vehicles that are primarily geared to intra-city use.
Price: $7,500
Range/Top Speed: 35 miles/25mph
Release Date: Available now

Myers Motors: NmG (No more Gas)
The NmG is a three-wheeled car with room for only one passenger. It doesn’t go far, but it’s quite speedy. Myers Motors is based in Tallmadge, Ohio.
Price: $22,500
Range/Top Speed: 30 miles/75mph
Release Date: Available now

Reva: G-Wiz
The Indian-produced Reva still isn’t available in the United States. It’s considered unsafe at high speeds, so it may never make it here.
Price: $16,000
Range/Top Speed: 50 miles/50mph
Release Date: Available now

Smith Electric Vehicles: Edison
The Edison, a large van designed for local deliveries, is Smith’s smallest model, meaning drivers don’t need a special license to operate it. The company, based in the United Kingdom also makes several larger delivery trucks. Smith Electric Vehicles raised $58 million in March.
Price: Unconfirmed
Range/Top Speed: 100 miles/50mph
Release Date: Available now

Twike: The Twike
The company sold out its 2007 Twike line of three-wheeled vehicles. It’s based in Switzerland, but sells in several other countries, including the United States. The company has sold between 20 and 25 Twikes in the U.S. The Twike is registered as a motor cycle by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Price: $24,400
Range/Top Speed: 80 miles/53mph
Release Date: Available now

Venturi: Fétish
Another high-end electric sports car (and we stress high-end — look at that price!), the Fétish is manufactured in Monaco. Venturi plans to continue manufacturing the Fétish until 2015.
Price: $400,000
Range/Top Speed: 155 miles/100mph
Release Date: Available now

Universal Electric Vehicles: Spyder
UEV’s Spyder has a sporty design, but the company itself doesn’t seem as slick and polished as some of the competitors. The company’s website is just an explanation of the car and the doesn’t indicate how to order it (which you can apparently do by calling the company). The company is based in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Price: $70,000
Range/Top Speed: 300 miles/80mph
Release Date: Available Now

Miles Electric Vehicles: ZX40S
Miles Electric Vehicles specializes in low-speed cars and trucks that don’t require a lot of juice to run. The vehicles are also cheap because they don’t have to include the same safety standards that higher-speed cars require, such as airbags.
Price: $19,500
Range/Top Speed: 40 to 50 miles/25mph
Release Date: Available Now

Zap! Electric Cars: Alias
Zap! Electric Cars stopped producing the Xebra, its earlier electric car model, in 2008. Its next car is the sporty Alias. The company has also begun work on the A380, an SUV that Zap! says can travel around 350 miles on a single charge. The website indicates that the Alias was supposed to go into production in June, but there are no new details. The company is based in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Price: $38,500
Range/Top Speed: 100 miles/85mph
Release Date: “Accepting reservations”

Lightning Car Company: Lightning GT
This is the United Kingdom’s answer to the Tesla Roadster. The Lightning GT is still slated for a 2012 delivery, and the company is taking pre-orders for the car.
Price: $293,000
Range/Top Speed: 150 miles/124mph
Release Date: 2012

Arcimoto: Arcimoto SRK
The Arcimoto SRK is a two-seater battery-powered electric vehicle. It’s a bit like a three-wheeled electric powered jeep. Like other independent electric car makers, the company has a pretty small retail footprint.
Price: $17,500
Range/Top Speed: 160 miles/65mph
Release Date: Late 2012

Tesla Motors: Model S, Model X
The first shipments of the Silicon Valley-based company’s second electric car, the Model S, are expected early next year. Tesla Motors is working on a battery-powered electric SUV called the Model X, which it will unveil later this year.
Price: $57,400 (Model S)
Range/Top Speed: 300 miles/120mph
Release Date: early 2012 (Model S)

Phoenix Motorcars: Phoenix SUT
Phoenix Motorcars was originally planning to produce a sport-utility vehicle, but it has halted development as of last year. The company has since begun working on a sport-utility truck that’s due next year. The company is based in Ontario, Calif.
Price: $45,000
Range/Top Speed: 70 miles/80mph
Release Date: 2012

Motor Development International: MiniFlowAir
These tiny, unusual little vehicles are powered entirely by compressed air. Motor Development International unveiled a concept car, the AirPod, in 2009 and has since started working on several other air-powered cars. The company is based in Carros, France.
Price: $12,600
Range/Top Speed: 110 miles/68mph
Release Date: 2013

Aptera: 2e
In August, Aptera was forced to return 2,500 $500 security deposits due to a snafu with its credit card processor. The company filed for a $184 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy but was denied. It’s still waiting to hear back about approval for a $75 million loan.
Price: $30,000
Range/Top Speed: 100 miles/TBA
Release Date: TBA

Persu (formerly Venture Vehicles): Persu V3
The Persu is a sleek three-wheeled electric scooter-like car that looks like it comes out of a sci-fi film. The car has plenty of buzz and showed up on Top Gear, a show that tests out supercars like the Tesla Roadster. Persu is based in Los Angeles, Calif.
Price: $25,000
Range/Top Speed: 350 miles/100mph
Release Date: 2014

Proterra: Proterra EcoRide
A Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers-backed electric car manufacturer, Proterra specializes in making buses powered by electric motors. Those buses are meant for public transportation in large cities like Chicago and San Francisco.
Price: TBA
Range/Top Speed: 400 miles/65mph
Release Date: TBA

Mission Motors: Mission One PLE
The Mission One PLE is a concept electric motorbike produced by Mission Motors. The company licenses its electric motors and powertrains out to other car manufacturers. Mission Motors is based in San Francisco, Calif.
Price: TBA
Range/Top Speed: 150 miles/150mph
Release Date: TBA

Wrightspeed: X-1
Wrightspeed recently cut the ribbon on a manufacturing plant for its supercharged electric car, the X-1. That car was last spotted on a track in April racing past a Tesla Roadster, for those of you keeping score. The X-1 is a formula one-esque supercar developed by Ian Wright, originally a founding team member of Tesla Motors.
Price: TBA
Range/Top Speed: 100 miles/104mph
Release Date: TBA

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