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


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


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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The Detriot Electric

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The Detroit Electric was the name given to a range of cars built between 1907 to 1939 making them one of first electric cars. Fitted with a lead acid battery they could a range of 130 km with a top speed of around 32km/h.While this speed doesn’t sound like much it must be remembered that these cars were mainly sold to woman and city drivers who found the instant start of the car much more convenient than hand cranking. Later versions of the car could be fitted with Thomas Edison’s Nickel Iron battery that gave better range and performance, Edison believed that electric cars would soon be the most popular cars on the road at the time and he himself was the proud owner of a Detroit Electric along with John D. Rockefeller, Jr and even Henry Fords wife. While the company battled to stay afloat after the great depression some of the cars today can be found in motor museums around the world thanks to the fact that during the companies peek they were selling between 1000 to 2000 a year. When you compare the Detroit electric to GM’s EV-1 despite all the technological achievements the EV-1 claimed to have it was not that much better in range and sold a hell of a lot less. 

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DIY electric cars

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Want an electric car but don’t like the very few that are available if there are any available to you at all? Well you could build your own, there have been plenty of people out there that have converted there existing cars to run on electricity and there are specialist parts available to make it happen. It’s not cheap but if you do a lot of city driving the savings in fuel will soon pay off the initial outlay. Conversions have been done on all sorts of cars from Ford F100 pickups to Porsches. Generally you start by ripping out the petrol engine, tank and exhaust and replacing them with a big electric motor a controller and a heap of batteries. Things like your existing AC and power steering often get powered by a separate smaller motor and electric heaters can be bought to replace your existing heater. The cool video above is of a triumph Spitfire conversion being done at an electric car show.

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G-wiz, it’s the Reva


The Reva is an Indian built electric car and one of the largest selling electric cars in the world. The Reva is a small 3-door hatchback measuring only 2.6 m long and with a top speed of 70km/h it is designed as a city car. Its small size and lake of pollution has won favor with London’s city council where it is exempt from London’s congestion charges. The car features a 13 kW DC motor mounted in the rear with 8 lead acid batteries under the front seats. It takes 2.5 hours to get to 80% charge or 8 hours to fully charge the Reva that gives it a range of 80klm although future use of lithium ion batteries will improve this greatly. The body of the Riva is made of colour impregnated ABS plastic that makes it dent and scratch resistant.  In some markets the Reva is sold as the Reva G-wiz and as with most electric cars has found itself a niche market for people that want a cheap neighbourhood runabout and dont really need to go far or fast on a highway.

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