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Are electric cars ready for primetime?

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on June 14, 2007

It sure seems so.

In the last couple of years, several all-electric autos have been announced. While most of them are from independent companies created for the purpose, even Chevrolet is a player.

Tesla Motors

The Tesla Roadster appears to have the best shot of being produced.

Tesla estimates that their home charger will require 3.5 hours to fully charge the lithium-ion battery pack if it is fully discharged. The batteries will give a 200 mile range per charge and last for 100,000 miles before needing to be replaced.

The car is being assembled by Lotus Cars and will sell for $92,000. Their FAQ states that cars will be delivered by Fall 2007, but the order page says June 2008.

Lightning Car Company

The $300,000 Lightning GT takes an even more performance-oriented approach with 700 horsepower worth of electric motors mounted directly in the wheels. They estimate 0-60 mile per hour times of 4.0 seconds.

Lightning is currently taking orders for 2008 delivery.

Chevrolet Volt

The Chevy Volt can operate as a pure electric car for only 40 miles at a time. GM says that this is sufficient for 78% of all commuters. The Volt; however, carries an on-board generator and gas tank sufficient to give it a 640 mile range at 50 miles per gallon.

The Chevrolet Volt’s electric motor is rated at 160 Horsepower which should be good for a 0-60 time of 8.5 seconds.

No pricing information or production time frame is available.

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