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Miles Electric Vehicle is a fairly well-known maker of low-speed electric vehicles, which are only good for short distances in small towns or inner city environments. However, the company plans on releasing a model that can reach highway speeds in late 2009.

The company has plenty of competition, but relatively few electric car startups have attracted more than small rounds of funding.

Miles is distinguished by the normal appearance of its cars (many electric cars look distinctly odd) and by its outsourced production, which is all done in China. The company has attempted to keep costs low, in contrast to Tesla, which spared no expense on its $98,000 Roadster.

Angeleno Group, a private equity fund, led the $15 million investment into the company. Miles is based in Santa Monica, Calif.

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