The Volt enters pre-production

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The Chevrolet Volt is GM's much anticipated electric car that is not too far away from hitting the showrooms. GM is pinning its hopes on this car turning the fortunes of the company around, so they are going all out to talk up the car before release. One new marketing idea for the car is a social network website known as cheveroletvoltage.com where they are releasing a range of video's of the car before its release. We especially liked the video of the cars pre production you can see above, there are plenty more like these if you follow the link to their site below.

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first drive of Chevy Volt

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The video above is of one of the first drives of the Chevy Volt's running gear set up in a test car based on another Chevrolet model. GM are really pushing the Volt hard to journalists as GM is pinning its hopes on the Volt turning around the companies future. What do you recon, will it make or break them? or is GM too close to bankruptcy to even get one of these new cars out the door? Hit up our comment form below.

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The Poulsen Hybrid

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Want a hybrid car but don't want to shell out for a Toyota Prius or similar? Well a company named Poulsen may have the answer for you with their diy kit that transforms any front wheel drive car into a hybrid vehicle. how it works is that two electric motors are attached to the back wheels that are connected to a range of batteries and a plug in charger in the boot. The idea is pretty simple when you think about it, just imagine you are going down a hill in a normal car, you can back off the accelerator and start free wheeling saving gas. These motors use the same idea except on level ground, so when you take the foot off the break in traffic the car will start moving forward without you using fuel. The only down side is it looks a bit hideous but at US$3300 it maybe a cheaper option than a brand new hybrid car.

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The Tesla Roadster

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As we come to the final in our electric car series we take a look at what promises to be an electric car with the performance and range of petrol driven car. The Tesla Roadster is made by a Silicon Valley based company who have received a lot of funding from many of the top tech company people including google, ebay and paypal founders and past presidents. The Roadser claims to have a top speed of 201 km/h with a range of 356klm, 0 to 100 k can be achieved in around 4 seconds and charging takes only 3 1/2 hours. The Testla is due to go on sale this year for around $100000 and people who have driven the pre-production models claim it's a good a sports car as any petrol powered car. Interestingly issues with transmission production have yet to be ironed out so the first lot of production cars will get a temporary transmission that will be upgraded during service. The rear wheel drive car uses Lithium ion batteries and also makes use of  regenerative breaking to provide extra charge to the batteries.

Dynasty IT

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We will take a look at 2 more EV's before we wrap up our Electric Vehicle series and today's car is the Dynasty IT. The Dynasty IT is produced in Canada with most of its sales going to the US under the Neighbourhood Electric Vehicle class of car, this means top speed of this car is around 40 km/h with a range of 30 klm. There are also plans to export these cars to the UK with a higher top speed of around 55-65 km/h. Five versions of the car are available including a van, a ute and two convertible versions. All of the versions are based on the sedan which sort of makes the ute version look a bit odd with its two cut down rear doors, we recon a aluminum tray would be a better option for the ute, you could even use the space under the tray for extra batteries to extend its range. Check out the video above for the full story on the Dynasty IT.

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The Tango T600

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The Tango T600 is an electric car by Commuter Cars of Washington. It’s quite an odd car even for an electric car, and is about the width of some larger motorcycles. Seating two in tandem the car is fairly well equipped with racing style seats, air conditioning electric windows, a MoTeC dash, leather trim cruise control and a fairly decent stereo system. It has decent performance too with the ability of Zero to 60mph (100 klm) in four seconds and has can accelerate through the standing 1/4 mile in 12 seconds at over 120 mph (190 kph). Range is also expected to be up to 80 Miles (130 Klm) so this car seems pretty darn good performance wise for an electric car, so what’s the catch? Well firstly you have to get use to the love it or hate it styling, personally we hate it. I know the skinny size of the car is suppose to make it more nimble in traffic but there is something about it that makes it look weird, the next issue is the price tag, which is $108,000. The companies web site talks up the benefits and costs per mile of their electric vehicle compared to a standard car but we recon if you got 108k to pay for a car the cost per mile probably doesn’t matter too much. The company does have future plans for 2 cheaper models at approx $40k and $19k so we might hold off on our final judgment unit these cars are developed.

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The Zap Xebra

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The Zap Xebra is an electric 3 wheeled car produced in China and sold in the United States the Xebra has a 40klm range with a top speed of around 60klm an hour. Technically classed as a motorcycle the car features such luxuries as 4 seats with seatbelts and a radio/cassette and a heater. The Xebra is about the cheapest electric cars you could own with a price tag of around $11k US it could be tempting to some but also remember 40klm is not that far and walking or riding a bike is just as environmentally friendly with far less mechanical problems. Many owners who have ponied up cash for the Xebra have noted it has poor build quality with a tendency to leak water into the electrics, probably not a good thing in an electric car. Zap claim to have rectified the leaking issue but you really have to be keen to go green with a car that looks like this one.

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