10 Electric Cars You Can Buy Right Now

Following a brief piece on I’ve received several emails about the idea of converting or purchasing them. I’ll look at the many aspects of converting existing cars in a future article; for now though, here are 10 Electric cars you can buy right now.

There are pro’s and cons of course (advantages and disadvantages of electric cars), but by far the biggest advantage is the impact on the earth. There are also lots of options to choose from in the various models.
electric car Tesla Roadster

A few pros and cons

Before the list itself, a few words on the advantages and disadvantages of electric cars. If you’re thinking about making the switch, a few things to consider are :

Disadvantages

  • Cost : As the number of these vehicles is still tiny when compared to their gas-guzzling cousins, they usually cost a little more up front. Of course, the running costs can be greatly reduced.
  • Range : For regular trips to work or the shops, these cars are often an ideal solution. For longer journeys, however, the limited range (before recharging) is worth keeping in mind.
  • Reduced top speed : Although very few people put their car’s top speed to the test, some just like to know it’s their. In many cases, electric cars will have a reduced top speed.
  • Frequency of ‘refuelling : This is a necessary evil – and relates to the car’s range and how you use it. Something to consider.
  • Availability of refuelling points : While there are several cars (listed below) using similar technologies, the recharging methods are not always the same. Take a look at the method your preferred car uses, and take a look around to see how many refuelling points there really are.
  • Conversion of your current garage : The simplest way to recharge your car is usually just to plug it in at home. In some cases, this will require a small amount of up-front work.
  • Lack of noise : The first time you drive through a small town you’ll notice the impact of a low-noise vehicle. When people don’t hear it coming, they are more likely to step out in front of it (when crossing the street, for example). A little noise can be a good thing.

NB : Despite these minor disadvantages, I believe the benefits completely outweigh the drawbacks. Particularly since a number of the points above are gradually being reduced.

Advantages

The most obvious advantage, of course, is a reduced impact on the environment. A smaller carbon footprint if you like.

In addition to this, however, there is another benefit which is certainly worth thinking about – they can be much, much cheaper to run. Especially since a number of these vehicles also qualify for a myriad of parking and road tax rebates.

The cars

Now. on to the cars themselves :

NB : These are in no particular order, and there are certainly more than 10 manufacturers currently producing electric vehicles. These, however, are all reasonable choices in many parts of the world – particularly the US and the UK.

  • Tesla Roadster

    When it comes to performance and styling, this one definitely makes the shortlist. A beautiful car.


  • Phoenix SUT (Sport Utility Truck)

    After an SUT? Try the Phoenix. Looks great.


  • ZENN

    ZENN = Zero Emissions, No Noise. Not bad at all.


  • Mullen L1X-75

    Slightly more pricey than many cars on this list, but definitely a performer.


  • G-Wiz EV

    Live in a large, densely populated city? Consider the G-Wiz.


  • GEM e2

    Speed isn’t everything.


  • Kurrent

    Not a bad mix. The Kurrent.

  • Silence T-REX

    Although the name is somewhat misleading, this holds promise in the performance stakes.


  • Tango

    Very unusual.


  • Wrightspeed X-1

    One more in the performance column.

As you can see, there are a number of options available – regardless of the type of car you currently drive. Which is your favourite?

6 Comments

  1. Thanks for highlighting what’s out there for electric cars. I would note that several of these are not commercially available. You didn’t mention the Xebra sedan or truck from ZAP which came out last year for a little over $10,000. I own one actually, with stripes. These are 40 MPH DOT approved city-cars.

  2. Diana Moneymaker December 5, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Thank you for the list of great electric cars.

    I would love to get a Silence T-Rex, but I would have to live in a good weather area to get the best use of it. Other vehicles I do not see them as viable. The distance isn’t enough for me to invest in one.

    -Diana Moneymaker

  3. Thanks Alex, we’ll have a look at the Zap. If we mentioned it in the article, we would have to re-write the whole thing you know.

    change all the references to 10 Electric Cars to 11 you know!

    maybe we can get Scott to do an article just on the Zap. Or myself even. Are you affiliated with the zap website in some way?

  4. Not only do I own several ZAP vehicles, I work for the company. I’ve been in EVs for about 17 years and have seen some amazing progress in some ways and almost none in other ways. The only real solution to this problem is for more people to start going electric any way they can. I wish everyone on this list well in their efforts and everyone not on this list.

    I’ve been keeping an eye on the blogs and just wanted to make a note for your readers so they know that there are real, affordable solutions today and that you don’t have to wait several years to start driving gas-free.

    Another great company that is not on this list… AC Propulsion.

  5. The problem is that electric cars are either over priced or really weird looking.

  6. Why buy when you can build or convert to an electric car? A lot of information on how to build an electric car, including cost cutting measures and design tips, can be found on Frank Didik’s website at: http://www.didik.com/didik_ev.htm. In particular, check out the section entitled “How to Build an Electric Car”, “Didik Turtle or How to build a two person electric vehicle in 14 hours” and “Critical and accurate assessment of electric vehicles”. He is the first to truly mention the pro’s and con’s of electric cars and an excellent history directory of electric cars, starting in the 1800′s. Many years ago, Didik was the found of the Electric Car Society.

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