Electric Cars Get Real

After some slow and false starts with “cars” like the ZAP from China, it seems that electric cars are becoming real-world practical. Tesla’s $100k+ sports car isn’t real world for most of us, and the ZAPs don’t seem to be holding up to their claims.

This bothered one guy (who had wasted $100k investing in a dealership for the ZAP/Xebra and never even getting ONE car from them,) so much that he decided to take matters into his own hands. The result was the Triac, built by combining the efforts and design abilities of the US and China. His company is appropriately named Green Vehicles, out of California.

The Triac is an ultra-modern 3-wheel vehicle with a top speed of about 80 mph, and a range of 70 miles between charges. It’s a 2-seater with room for some cargo in back. The Triac comes in at a base price just under $23,0000 USD.

Green Vehicles has two other models available as well. Their Buckshot is also a trike, with the single wheel forward, allowing the two rear wheels to hold the payload of an open cargo bed. The extra-cab design gives the driver or passenger a bit more comfortable seating than similar models from ZAP provided. Sticker shock is $21,995

Green Vehicles’ final offer of this year is the Moose. This time, they’ve opted for four wheels on the ground, and made an electric cargo van. This could be popular for local deliveries and even a budding family. Its 60 mile range is reasonable, and the price is a mere $12,995.

A more attractive and practical vehicle showed up in Paris this year at the car shows. South Africa has offered up the very competitive Joule from Optimal Energy. This is a 6-seater that goes 84 mph, 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds, and has a standard 125 mile range, (250 mile range optional) and 7 hour recharge time on Lithium Ion batteries (at 220 volts AC). Obviously, it’s right up there with most gas cars in terms of performance, space, etc. — without the gas tank or tailpipe. Ready for the kicker? $24,618 USD (presumably FOB South Africa). How do they do it? The designer genius being the Joule is amongst the most convincing aspects. Keith Helfet, who designed Jaguar’s F-type and XK220 is the man, and the car is his baby.

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