We are excited to bring Transform 2022 back in-person July 19 and virtually July 20 - 28. Join AI and data leaders for insightful talks and exciting networking opportunities. Register today!

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

Extended-Range Hybrids

Recent years have seen the emergence of extended-range electric hybrid cars. Those models run off a battery for a shorter distance — typically between 25 and 50 miles. When the battery runs dry, the car switches to gasoline to power a motor and recharge the battery. It gives the electric cars a much larger extended range, but they are effectively electric cars if they are mostly driven short distances.

Fisker Automotive: Fisker Karma
The Karma is Fisker’s first high-end hybrid electric sedan. The car can travel around 50 miles on an electric battery before switching to an internal combustion engine to recharge the battery. The company is well-funded and delivered its first Karma to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Ray Lane earlier this year.
Price: $97,000
Range/Top Speed: 50 miles EV/125mph
Release Date: 2012

Velozzi: VELO
Now this is a super car — the Velozzi VELO can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 3 seconds and boasts a top speed of more than 200 miles per hour. It’s a hybrid electric vehicle.
Price: “Serious inquiries only”
Range/Top Speed: TBA/200mph
Release Date: Available Today

BMW: i8
The BMW i8 is the German car manufacturer’s first luxury extended-range hybrid sedan. It looks like the car will go toe-to-toe with the Fisker Karma, a similar high-end extended-range hybrid.
Price: TBA
Range/Top Speed: 20 miles EV/120mph
Release Date: 2013

Ford: Evos
The Ford Evos is Ford’s first extended-range hybrid electric car that uses a similar powertrain to the Fisker Karma and BMW i8. The concept car features gullwing doors — like the DeLorean from Back to the Future — and looks like it will be a more direct competitor with the Chevy Volt.
Price: TBA
Range/Top Speed: 40 miles EV/TBA
Release Date: 2012

General Motors: Cadillac ELR
General Motors already has an extended-range hybrid electric car with the Chevy Volt. The Cadillac ELR is the company’s take on a luxury extended-range hybrid electric sedan. It boasts the Cadillac design, but doesn’t pack the same oomph the Karma and i8 have.
Price: TBA
Range/Top Speed: 35 miles EV/TBA
Release Date: 2013

The Deadpool

These car companies have since faded or are facing questions about whether the cars will actually move into production since we last covered them.

Modec: Electric Van
Modec made battery-powered electric vans and trucks that resemble the delivery vehicles you might see bringing vegetables to your local grocery. Following a decline in sales, Navistar bought the intellectual property rights to the company’s technology.

Zenn Motor Company: Zenn NEV
After selling 360 NEV electric cars at $16,500, the company began buying into capacitor manufacturer EEStor. It has since stopped manufacturing cars and the future of the Zenn NEV is unclear.

Think: City
Think has been in and out of bankruptcy three times over the course of the company’s history. It was recently purchased by one of its investors, Boris Zingarevich. The Think City was an all-electric sedan priced at around $34,000. The City electric car’s future is now unclear.

Porteon: Porteon
Originally unveiled in 2007, Porteon intended to make low-cost electric cars that can travel around 25 miles per hour and sell them alongside suburban homes. The price of the car would just be tacked onto the mortgage of the house. But it looks like no new information has emerged about the car, though the company’s main website is still active (albeit extremely vague).

Obvio: 828e
Obvio was acquired by Vrooom! Electric Vehicles (yes, that is the actual name), and it looks like the 828e developed by that company has since drifted off into the ether. Vrooom’s website is quite sketchy, although it appears the company owns Global Electric Vehicle Company, a Brazil-based electric car manufacturer.

If you think we’re missing a company or you have more up-to-date information, feel free to leave that information in the comments below and we’ll update our list if it merits.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Learn more about membership.