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One of the most common criticism of electric vehicles, even among their proponents, is "there's so little out there!".  And for the most part, this criticism is valid.  While there are dozens of types of NEVs -- "Neighborhood Electric Vehicles", which are low-range, low speed, and low performance -- one who wants a longer range, highway-speed vehicle has been largely restricted to bidding exorbitant amounts for some of the few remaining such vehicles from the 90s CARB era, such as the RAV4EV.  This has led to the erroneous assumption that there are few to no EVs coming out in the immediate future.

The reality is just the opposite.  In fact, almost every major automaker (with just a few notable exceptions) has announced solid plans to produce at least one production model.  What follows are 33 new, modern EVs (both BEVs (battery-electric vehicles) and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) that will be hitting the streets in the next few years.

Read on for more details!

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.  In fact, it's quite incomplete.  I've limited it to cars, trucks, and SUVs.  The many electric scooters and conventional motorcycles (a number of which are already on the streets), as well as the upcoming electric commercial vans and semis, are not included. Concept vehicles are not included.  Vehicles from new companies who haven't shown compelling evidence that they're progressing toward production (such as Venture Vehicles' fascinating VentureOne) are not included.  Major companies that have announced that they're considering producing EVs and PHEVs, but haven't committed to it, are not included.  And so on.  That said, let's get to them!


ManufacturerModelTypeSeatsPriceElectric range (mi)0-60 (sec)Top speed (mph)Battery typeFast charge?Est. release dateRefs

Aptera Typ-1
ApteraPalomarProbably both EV and PHEV4



Unknown li-ion

*
Typ-1eEV2+1$27k120<1085-90LiPCurrently no; undecided on fasterDecember 2008*
Typ-1hSeries PHEV2+1$30k40-60<1085-90LiPCurrently no; undecided on fasterEarly 2010*

Volkswagen Up!
Audi(EV version of the Volkswagen Up!)EV4





Before 2011*

BYD E6
BYDE6EV5
1861099LiP80% in 15 min2010**

BYD F6DM
F6DMSeries PHEV5
601099LiP80% in 15 min2010**

Chevrolet Volt
ChevroletVoltSeries PHEV4$30-40k40<8.5120LiP or spinel
Late 2010**

Chrysler








2011-2013*

Smart Fortwo
Daimler AGSmart Fortwo EDEV2Probably battery rental90

Unknown li-ion
2010*

Silence PT2
EBW & SilenceSilence PT2EV2$42k125-250
125


*

Fisker Karma
FiskerKarma(?) PHEV4$80k505.8125Unknown li-ion
Late 2009**

Eliica
Hiroshi ShimizuEliicaEV4$255k
4 (for the "speed model"; the "acceleration model" should be faster)230 (speed model)Unknown li-ion

****

Lightning GT
Lightning Car CoLightning GTEV2$220k150-180, can be increased<4130TitanateFull in 10 minutes2009**

Loremo
LoremoEVEV2+2$48k93-124<15105Unknown li-ion

***

Mazda 5 MPV (drivetrain mule)
Mazda
Series PHEV7?



*

Mercedes-Benz
Parallel PHEV?

105

Unknown li-ion
2010**

Miles XS500
MilesJavlon XS500EV4-5$35k-$39k120
80
Unknown li-ion
2009**

Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Mitsubishii-MiEVEV4$20-35k100
1080Unknown li-ion80% in 30 minutes
**

Phoenix SUT
PhoenixSUV and SUTEV2$45k130 (extended = 200)
<10
95
Titanate, possibly spinel10 minutes2008 or 2009
*

Pininfarina/Bollore
EV4
155
80Unknown long-life li-polyNo2010*

Nissan-Renault Project Better Place sedan
Nissan-Renault(Unnamed sedan)EV4"Price of a regular sedan" + battery rental costs "less than the average monthly expenditure on gas"125-2508

Battery swap2010**

Saturn Vue Green Line
SaturnVue Green LineParallel PHEV5
107


2009*

Ultimate Aero
Shelby SupercarsUltimate Aero EVEV2

"Twin 500hp motors"World's fastest EV

Q4 2009*

Subaru R1e
SubaruR1eEV2
50
65Spinel80% in 8 minutes2010**

Tata Indica
TataIndica EVEV4
125-250

Unknown li-ion

*

Tesla Roadster
TeslaModel SEV4-5$60k225

Unknown li-ion

*
RoadsterEV2$109k221 orig (231 w/powertrain 1.5?)3.9125Traditional li-ionNoNow***

Th!nk City
Th!nkCityEV2$28k plus $100-$200/mo battery rental1240-50 in 15 sec65
NoNow*

Th!nk Ox
OxEV5
120

Unknown li-ion

*

Toyota Prius
ToyotaPlug-in PriusParallel PHEV57 initially, more later

NiMH initially, li-ion later

**

EV"Small urban commuter car"





Early 2010s
**

Volkswagen Golf
VolkswagenTwin Drive GolfParallel PHEV4-5
31

Unknown li-ion
2012*

Wrightspeed X1 (precursor)
WrightspeedSR-71EV2

2.5


Track-ready, late 2009; street-legal, early 2011*

Nissan-Renault Project Better Place sedan
Nissan-Renault(Unnamed sedan)EV4"Price of a regular sedan" + battery rental costs "less than the average monthly expenditure on gas"125-2508

Battery swap2010**

Saturn Vue Green Line
SaturnVue Green LineParallel PHEV5
107


2009*

Ultimate Aero
Shelby SupercarsUltimate Aero EVEV2

"Twin 500hp motors"World's fastest EV

Q4 2009*

Subaru R1e
SubaruR1eEV2
50
65Spinel80% in 8 minutes2010**

Tata Indica
TataIndica EVEV4
125-250

Unknown li-ion

*

Tesla Roadster
TeslaModel SEV4-5$60k225

Unknown li-ion

*
RoadsterEV2$109k221 orig (231 w/powertrain 1.5?)3.9125Traditional li-ionNoNow***

Th!nk City
Th!nkCityEV2$28k plus $100-$200/mo battery rental1240-50 in 15 sec65
NoNow*

Th!nk Ox
OxEV5
120

Unknown li-ion

*

Toyota Prius
ToyotaPlug-in PriusParallel PHEV57 initially, more later

NiMH initially, li-ion later

**

EV"Small urban commuter car"





Early 2010s
**

Volkswagen Golf
VolkswagenTwin Drive GolfParallel PHEV4-5
31

Unknown li-ion
2012*

Wrightspeed X1 (precursor)
WrightspeedSR-71EV2

2.5


Track-ready, late 2009; street-legal, early 2011*

About the lesser-known manufacturers:

Aptera Motors, formerly Accelerated Composites, is an automotive startup from Carlsbad, CA whose investors run the gamut from Google to a small oil company (Essenjay Petroleum).  Their main funding comes from technology incubator Idealab.  Aptera focuses on hyper-aerodynamic, low energy shapes, and has been leaching talent from the industry to quickly move their Typ-1 tadpole three-wheeler into production -- and later, their four-wheeled followup, codenamed "Palomar".

BYD Auto is a subsidiary of BYD Company; both are headquartered in China.  BYD Company is one of the world's largest manufacturers of lithium ion batteries.  Currently a low volume producer (~10,000 cars per month), BYD plans to significantly ramp up by branching into the electric vehicle market.

EBW (Electric Big Wheel) is a French-Canadian manufacturer of electric go carts.  Silence is the manufacturer of the T-Rex tadpole three-wheeler, which helped bring about a new surge in interest in such a drive configuration.  The two have partnered up to produce the Silence PT1, an electric vehicle based on the T-Rex.

Fisker Automotive is a joint venture between Fisker Coachbuild and Quantum technologies.  Fisker Coachbuild is a world-famous sports car design house based in Orange County, California.  Quantum Technologies is a performance automotive parts designer and manufacturer whic makes an electric drivetrain called the "Q-Drive".

The Lightning Car Company is a new British sports car manufacturer based in Peterborough.

Loremo, short for "Low Resistance Mobile", is a German company founded in 2000 designed around producing small vehicles with a very low drag area, with models powered by internal combustion engines or electricity.  

Miles Automotive is a Los Angeles-based company that partners with Chinese companies to bring low-cost Chinese-made NEVs -- and soon, a full highway-speed BEV -- to US markets.  Their XS500 "Javlon" sedan, initially considered a longshot due to overly ambitious stats, has since been revised and has now passed US-standard crash testing.

Phoenix Motorcars is a Ontario, California startup designed to produce fast charge all-electric SUVs and SUTs (Sports Utility Trucks).  To compensate for their use of the most expensive, highest performance batteries on the market, they have an unusual business model involving selling the ZEV credits that they earn in California to other automakers.

Pininfarina S.p.A. is an Italian car design firm famous for its work on high-end vehicles, such as Ferrari, Maserati, Cadillac, Nash, Peugeot, Jaguar, Volvo, Alfa Romeo, MG, Cisitalia, and Lancia.  Bollore S.A. is one of the largest diversified industrial companies in Europe.

Shelby Supercars is a maker of exotic luxury sports cars, most famous for their 1183hp, 257mph Ultimate Aero.

Tata Motors is India's largest automobile manufacturer (although production of the electric Indica is to be done in Norway).  Tata is perhaps most famous for their plans to build the Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car.

Tesla Motors, of San Carlos, CA, is a company founded by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, and funded by Paypal co-founded and rocketry enthusiast Elon Musk.  Tesla has earned a lot of esteem by bringing the first production electric sports car to market and is credited with almost singlehandledly changing the public perception of electric vehicles as poor-performance penalty vehicles.

Th!nk Global was owned by Ford back during the 90s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) -- a regulation that also spawned such famous EVs as GM's EV1 and Toyota's RAV4EV.  When GM and other car companies got the ZEV mandate overturned, Ford quickly divested itself of Th!nk, who until recently has focused on making NEVs.  However, they are rapidly approaching production of their Th!nk City highway-speed electric car, and have plans to continue on to produce the larger Th!nk Ox.

Wrightspeed, of San Francisco, CA was founded by former Tesla employee Ian Wright.  The prototype of their production "SR-71" model, known as the X1, is based on the Ariel Atom and is famed for its ability to beat pricey supercars off the line.  It has been described by one person who rode in it as feeling like being shot out of a cannon.

The Eliica is an unusual eight-wheeled car produced by a team at Keio University in Tokyo, lead by Professor Hiroshi Shimizu.  Since the car uses an in-wheel drive, the use of eight wheels doubles its available power, making it currently the fastest EV in the world.  They are taking orders and are improving the design, hoping to best gasoline speed records.  On this front, they may have some competition from the 1000hp Ultimate Aero EV.

Pricing:

While electric vehicles currently can have problems from sticker shock (assuming no tax credits), their overall economic situation is quite favorable.  This leads to a number of interesting financing options for purchases.  While one can still buy most EVs straight out, groups such as the massively-funded Project Better Place are pursuing a wide variety of alternatives, including from long leases, battery rental, a surcharge on on-the-road electricity fills, and so on.  The net result is that the owner buys the car for the same price they'd get an equivalent gasoline car, and their total monthly costs are still lower than what the average driver of a gasoline car would pay.

Of course, this all may soon become a moot point, as the prices of most automotive li-ion battery types are not close to being resource-constrained, and are instead production constrained.  As a result, they've been falling relatively quickly as production and technology have scaled up.  Ener1, for example, expects the extra cost of an EV using their batteries to have a payback as low as 2 years soon.

Read more about EV batteries in Going EV #4: The battery revolution will not be televised.

Originally posted to Rei on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 01:50 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My apologies for this diary having nothing to do (21+ / 0-)

    ... with Sarah Palin.  ;)

    Tips for a cleaner world.

    •  which is why it likely willbe overlooked :-( (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, G2geek, dotcommodity

      Pick a S.P. talking point and there's 275 diaries about it per day.  Talk about anything else and you scroll off the list without notice. Maybe you can get Palin to say BEV/PHEV are bunk, so you can include her name in the title.

      It's good to see a mix of types, a lot of people simply won't look at a car that looks too different than current models.  The number of parallel hybrids is discouraging, as these tend to be mechanically more complex and don't reach the full potential of hybrids.    It seems that the auto manufactures are afraid to let go of the traditional designs, although as wheel-motors keep improving the no-drivetrain cars may become widely accepted because of their simplicity and performance.

    •  Wow, this is an incredible amount of information. (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for compiling it. I look forward to absorbing it all. :)

  •  I thought you meant Electoral Votes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Spruce, RethinkEverything
  •  I thought this was about Electoral Votes (0+ / 0-)

    Do you sell these things?

    •  Nope (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, G2geek

      But I am on the waiting list for an Aptera.  The only ones of these for sale right now are the Tesla Roadster (but there's a huge waiting list) and the Th!nk City (good luck getting ahold of one right now).  However, this is intended to show the diversity of EVs that's coming out in the next few years.  Almost everyone is in a rush to hit the market before their competitors.

  •  No Ford offering? (0+ / 0-)
    Oh shit. I think I now know which one of the Big Three is going to go bankrupt. :(
    •  Ford, as usual... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson

      Is behind.  They're working on some EVs and PHEVs (for example, they have a Ford Escape PHEV being road tested with PG&E), but they haven't committed to commercially producing any that I've been able to discover, so they don't make the list.

      As an aside, if anyone discovers any errors or any new ones that should go on the list, by all means, let me know  :)

  •  planning to get plug-in prius... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, A Siegel

    ...to run off our solar panels.  We're grid-tied, and it turns out that we over-estimated our needs.  So we need an electric car to use up our excess (solar) electricity. :>)

  •  Aptera (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    I'm super stoked about the Aptera. My understanding is that the Type1e and h are going into production this year for delivery in 2009. BUT ONLY FOR CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS! AH. I want to see this thing in action. Essentially getting 1000MPG when driving less than 40 miles. 400MPG when you drive 75 miles. 300 at 120 miles. Whoa!

    This is the bridge to the era of alternative fuels based vehicles. A drastic cut in our oil consumption and the impetus to move the mainstream car industry forward.

    •  Note that the Typ-1h comes out in 2010 (4+ / 0-)

      It's only the Typ-1e (all electric) that comes out this year.  As with all vehicles, it'll start out in low volumes and ramp up; the facility they're building is designed to max out at 10,000 vehicles a year, but they're also searching for a location in the south to build a larger factory.

      I agree with you, though -- I think the Aptera is the best of the bunch.  To me, the concept is genius: spend the smaller amount extra needed to keep it light and aerodynamic to save a much greater amount in battery costs.  And, at the same time, you consume less power, lower your maintenance costs, and decrease your charge time from a given outlet.  I love it  :)  I'm planning on a big cross-country promotional tour with it as soon as I get mine.

      •  Stop in Oklahoma! (0+ / 0-)

        I'd love to see that thing! Give it a go. And my dad would pretty much wet himself as well. Don't forget Oklahoma on your tour!

        •  Unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AC Stewart

          My route is going to go further north -- Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, etc.  But this trip will merely be the big promotional trip.  I can always stop by when driving it in my normal life; I drive from Iowa to Houston about once a year, for example.

          As the planning for the upcoming trip gets further along, I'll post some diary entries about it.  The idea is to go through some of the roughest, most remote areas in the country without a drop of gasoline, setting a bunch of new EV records in the process.  We're talking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, a new EV altitude record by climbing to the top of Mount Evans, climbing Imogene pass, entering The Maze in Canyonlands (assuming the Hans Flat ranger station will let me charge), etc.  Along the way, I plan to do as many publicity stops (media interviews, speaking before schools, etc) as I can arrange to promote EVs and clean power.  The whole thing will be filmed (I plan to get some quality cameras and perhaps a robotic tripod or two), and if I think the footage is good enough, I'll make a documentary out of it.

      •  relative efficiency (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        whitis

        As with other vehicles, total energy consumption will vary in accord with vehicle weight, driving habits, etc.  

        This is important for people to know: just because a vehicle is electric, doesn't mean it doesn't have to be efficiently designed in other ways.  An electric SUV will require proportionally more kilowatt-hours to drive a given distance than for example an Aptera.  And it will also use more power in city driving, due to inertial losses starting & stopping, even if it has regenerative braking.

        We need a standardized and understandable measure of energy consumption on all of these, for points of comparison.  Distance per kilowatt hour would seem to be the most obvious, since it's isomorphic with miles per gallon.  

        The kilowatt hours need to be measured at the wall socket, to factor in the efficiency of the charging system itself.  This information will also give people a bit of warning when their battery packs are ageing: you'll put so many KWH into the car, but get fewer miles before the onboard "state of charge" gauge drops a given distance.  By analogy, fewer miles on a "tank full."  

        Vehicle chargers should have KWH readouts built in, including a resettable readout so that individuals can keep track of total KWH used, and KWH used per each charge.  

      •  Oakland CA area? (0+ / 0-)

        Also it would be interesting to know when you're in the Oakland / Berkeley area.  I'd be interested to take a look at the Aptera first-hand.

        •  The closest I'll get to Oakland is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          Sequoia National Monument (turning off at Ducor).  However, given that you live in California, you'll probably have plenty of opportunities to see Apteras.  :)  In fact, a number of people on ApteraForum.com are already looking at having Aptera owners club meetings and trips; you may end up seeing a whole convoy of them at once   ;)

          •  heh, convoy of Apteras... (0+ / 0-)

            Just look for something that appears to be a flock of small airplanes on the road:-)

            Cool.

            Here's me waiting for a series hybrid PHEV micro-van that can seat 4 or seat 2 and carry a decent amount of cargo by folding down (or better yet removing) the rear seats.  Needs to have low deck loading height like any other micro or mini van, and square boxy area with flat floor in back to maximize cargo space.  Think of a Piaggio micro-van with series hybrid powertrain and batteries sufficient for 25 - 40 miles at city speeds.  

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