Electric for Everybody
With Americans getting cash for their clunkers and a forecasted increase in the demand for electric cars, automakers are releasing fuel “deficient” vehicles for almost every market. Today Nissan released its Leaf electric car, which the auto company hopes will be the first mass market zero-emissions car. Leaf charges overnight for a 100-mile battery life, and its price and design are suited for “real-world consumer requirements.”
The “zero to 60 in under four seconds,” $100,000 Tesla Roadster aims to fulfill slightly different requirements. The first electric car that might pass in a drag race, the sleek sports car travels more than 200 miles without a re-charge.
But if the thought of spending on or cruising in a speedy sports car is the antithesis of your style, there’s an electric car for you, too. If the Tesla were reversed in every aspect except for its electric power, it’s possible it would turn into a Reva: under $20,000, a maximum speed of about 50 mph, and more of a cute baby bunny than a sleek race horse.
And for those who aren’t ready to part with their tail-pipes, there’s also a “more” electric car on the horizon. Toyota announced in June that it would start releasing a plug-in version of its popular third-generation Prius.
--Sarah F. Kessler