Top 10 BrandNew Electric Cars and Gadgets for Driving Green Popular Mechanics

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Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars

Top 10 Brand-New Electric Cars and for Driving Green

Now in its 23rd the Electric Vehicle Symposium is the largest gathering for the electric industry, with over 100 in Anaheim, Calif. this But it’s not just about the big We scoured the show floor and out the test track for the innovations OEM and Tesla-the green wheels might not make history but probably can tomorrow.

December 3, 3:11 AM

1. Envision Solar

Electric vehicles need a to recharge at home. Sure, you plug into the grid, but why not your own clean power the sun? The LifePort does that, while offering a DIY-assembled carport to boot.

with recycled steel and no more than 100 pounds per piece, this 22 x 22-ft. structure’s setup is eminently customizable, since it still when covered by stucco and materials to match your vinyl siding and the like.

At each, the 24 solar panels a robust 4.8 kW of juice-enough to power homes. (An optional system can 6.4 kW.) This is a constantly market, Envision CEO Robert told PM this weekend. So, LifePort runs at $45,199, but a $2000 federal tax cred for your own solar power, $10,000 if you live in California. And you consider that a solar can recharge your car, much of your home’s needs and add future resale (who won’t want a carport come 2015?), it to make a lot of sense.

The photo above was taken at year’s Burning Man festival a prototype Tesla Roadster underneath.

2. E-Bikeboard S 500 Plug-In

This was one of the most fun EVs at the symposium. Swiss-designed, a three-wheeled scooter is by a 500-watt, front hub-mounted motor. Twin lithium-polymer packs can be recharged in six hours on the S 500 itself, or removed to plug in at

We tooled the 79-pound scooter the show, and it plastered a big smile on our faces. This pup does 15 mph and has a chassis with a carving so you lean into turns as if you skiing. The S 500 can travel up to 30 miles on a and has a folding handle bar stem, so it in most cars. It goes for but E-Bikeboard tells us that $1000 of that is from the packs.

Hey, nobody said lithium-ion batteries cheap.

3. Electro Energy Prius

Before you run to Electro website to place an order, that this electric Prius is just a prototype to large fleet customers there are options besides Instead of replacing the nickel hydride pack, Electro (a battery company that produces lithium-ion packs) the stock pack with one developed in-house to boost and EV drive capability. The additional has four, 108-watt nickel hydride batteries (about six as energy dense as the stock pack) and allows this car to up to 25 miles on electric power

The Electro Energy Bipolar has a patented thin-wafer design requiures no additional electrical between cells. They can stack them up as you would the batteries in a flashlight. And the packs are and take up less space some competitors. We took it for a and found that it will in EV mode up to 34 mph on about 1/3 throttle.

The Prius prototype we drove in Japan could accelerate to a EV-only top speed with throttle input, but it could maintain EV mode for fewer 10 miles. Fleet customers can to pay around $7000 for the conversion, on volume.

4. Vectrix Plug-in Scooter

Scooter is a fairly classification. But unlike some at EVS23, the Vectrix scooter like a real, gasoline-powered rather than an overgrown bicycle. The 500-pound Vectrix has on sale since June according to the company’s vehicle engineer (whose job it is to hammer the for durability), it gets between 30 and 40 under heavy throttle

Expect normal users to get 40 and 60 miles per charge of the nickel hydride battery pack.

One of the features of the Vectrix is its regenerative system. On our test ride, we used the re-gen rear (twist the throttle backward) to nearly all our stopping power. And the brake capability also as a reverse gear, which is only the biggest touring like the Honda Goldwing, can The $11,000 bike tops out at 62 mph and can from 0-50 mph in 6.8 seconds-not Vectrix says its battery can to 80 percent in about 2.5 hours and can for 10 years or 50,000 miles replacement.

On the road, the Vectrix rides any other scooter, except, of that it’s nearly In 2009, the company will a cool trike-two wheels in and one in back-that’s powered by a lithium-ion and should go for around $16,000.

5. 300EV Electric Mustang

For us, was the star of the show for us. Like Ronaele believes you can build an EV intoxicatingly fun-to-drive and environmentally at the same time. They’ll you a Mustang 300EV for around (plus the cost of a donor that packs the equivalent of 300 hp using lithium phosphate

Sure, Ronaele admits its Mustang can only go 125 miles needing a recharge, but it’ll to 60 mph in four seconds. And from we sit, that’s a pretty tradeoff. Not enough for you?

A equivalent is coming soon, yeah, we can’t wait for our drive in that bad boy.

6. Quantya FMX EV Bike

This off-roader has to be one of the toughest-looking EVs around. The FMX uses a lithium polymer pack for a range of 25 miles at a 40 mph. The 195-pound bike is legal and will sell for than $10,000.

To absorb big the suspension uses Marzocchi 35mm front forks and a single shock in the rear.

this bike wasn’t in the area of the symposium, but it looks cool in person-and we want one in the PM

Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars

7. Johnson Controls/Saft VL6P Lithium-Ion Battery Cell

wasn’t just about the and wacky EVs on display. There plenty of OEM battery suppliers, A123Systems (the gurus we earlier this year who are with powering Chevy’s by 2010) to its rivals at Johnson The battle for lithium-ion technology is up, but it may be Johnson that gets a pack on a production vehicle

The Milwaukee-based company had its VL6P cell on display (pictured at left), along with a unit. According to Johnson’s rep, a pack with the cells will make its way the Mercedes-Benz S400 diesel next year. And a year a pack with the larger (above right) will the Saturn Vue Plug-In Hybrid.

8. AC Scion eBox

It looks the good ol’, last-gen xB, but this little white box is a lithium-ion powered EV. Already on the for almost a year, the AC Propulsion uses a 600-pound battery lithium Cobalt chemistry of 5088 small cells to hit a of 150 miles.


This is one of the cleanest and best-performing we’ve ever driven. with three good-size on board, the acceleration was sprightly. AC claims a 0-60mph time of seconds, and that sounds right to us. Top speed is 95 mph, and it five hours to recharge the or two hours to quick-charge.

But as with high-tech EVs today, this expensive: The conversion cost not including the cost of a donor

9. Fallbrook Technologies NuVinci Transmission for EVs

Earlier this Fallbrook pioneered its continuously planetary (CVP) gearset on bicycles. The bike is brilliant, for a smooth, seamless transmission of from low-speed hill to higher-speed cruising. But the best of Fallbrook’s CVP is that it’s

After we climbed off the bike, we on a couple of Currie Technologies scooters-one with the standard final electric drive and one with the NuVinci CVP. The was astonishing: The CVP scooter was quicker off the and had a higher top speed. The prototype we was calibrated to deliver shift not unlike a car’s automatic

And speaking of automotive applications, says it’s prototyping cars in Asia with a version of this technology. We it comes to market soon-real

10. Electric Vehicle Systems Electric ATEV 28

An electric At first glance, this may not a lot of sense. But while ATVs are used for recreation, they’re employed by municipalities for lifeguards and personnel, and by farms and ranches as vehicles. So a zero0emissions workhorse is a idea.

And Electronic Vehicle recently launched the e-Force ATV for those customers.

The e-Force’s lead acid battery allows for a range of 30 miles, out at 35 mph-or more than 40 mph a little tweaking. Our short proved that this ATV is as quick (in power mode) as a work ATV. In economy it wasn’t quite as spry. The workhorse will likely to a lithium phosphate battery in 2009.

But right now the ATV goes for to $7600, depending on equipment.

Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars
Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars

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