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Tesla alternatives: Four cheap electric cars

May 29th, 2013
Leasing an electric car isn't just a pricey option for the rich. In fact, there are some very reasonably priced options out there.


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Israeli Electric Car Company Better Place Files for Bankruptcy

May 28th, 2013

Better Place, electric car, EVs, electric vehicle, Better Place cars, Renault

The once-promising electric car company Better Place has filed for bankruptcy. The company sought to put in place a large and innovative electric vehicle network with interchangable batteries, which could be switched out and replaced in about the same amount of time it takes to fill up a tank of gas. But that concept never truly came to fruition, partly because it never attracted enough buyers to become a commercial success. On Sunday, the company announced plans to liquidate.

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Electric car startup Better Place liquidating after $850 million investment

May 26th, 2013
In 2008, Better Place partnered with Renault to build an electric car and create a system of battery swapping stations, but the concept never gained momentum. [Read more]
    




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Consumer Reports Gives the Tesla Model S its Highest Test Rating Ever

May 9th, 2013

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Consumer Reports recently tried out the Tesla Model S electric car, and after all the testing was done, the magazine found that the Model S outscored every other car in their ratings. “It does so even though it’s an electric car. In fact it does so because it is electric,” Consumer Reports stated. Consumer Reports gave the Model S high marks for its impressive power, overall balance and comfortable ride.

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Fiat’s 2013 500e Electric Car to Launch in California for as Low as $20,500 After Tax Credits

April 16th, 2013

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Fiat just announced that its 2013 500e electric car will start at $32,500 before available tax incentives. Starting this summer, California residents can purchase the 500e for as low as $20,500 after federal credits, state incentives and Fiat rebates are included. That’s about $200 less than the current starting price of a comparably equipped Fiat 500 Lounge with a gas engine.

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New, Cheaper Tesla EV to Hit the Market by 2017, Says Elon Musk

April 10th, 2013

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As the Tesla Model S sedan rockets in popularity and sales, and as the electric automaker begins to turn a profit, Elon Musk just announced that the next Tesla production model will go on sale “hopefully” in 2016, but no later than 2017. Speaking to Engadget, Musk suggested that the car would be “slightly smaller” than the Model S and could retail for around half the price—the electric sedan currently starts at $70,000.

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Tesla Motors Turns a Profit for First Time as Model S Sales Exceed Target

April 1st, 2013

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Tesla Motors, the pioneering California-based electric car company, announced yesterday that sales of its Model S sedan exceeded expectations. The company expected to sell 4,500 units of the Model S in the first quarter, but by last weekend sales had surpassed 4,750. According to Tesla, the company, which has been hemorrhaging money in recent years, turned a profit for the first time in the first quarter of 2013.

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Tesla Model S Named 2013 World Green Car of the Year!

March 30th, 2013

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This week, the all-electric Tesla Model S was named the 2013 World Green Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show! With a sleek design and a battery range of up to 285 miles on a single charge, the Model S beat out the all-electric Renault Zoe and the Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid to win the prestigious award. Despite a highly-publicized debate between Tesla founder Elon Musk and the New York Times over the car’s range, the Model S is one of the hottest electric cars on the market today, and this award will further solidify its status as one of the top green cars currently in production.

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Colibri One-Seat Electric Car to Go Into Production Next Year

March 21st, 2013

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Earlier this month, the Innovative Mobility Automobile GmbH unveiled a tiny one-seat electric vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show called the Colibri. The car is so small that two of them can occupy a single parking space, making it an ideal option for dense urban areas. The Colibri has a battery range of about 69 miles, recharges in just two hours, and with its single person-capacity, the car may well be a good candidate for car-sharing programs.

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Henrik Fisker: too many pure electric car models; Karma production re-starting "soon"

February 8th, 2013

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Hybrid, AutoblogGreen Exclusive, Chicago Auto Show, Fisker

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Is Fisker Automotive on the ropes? Listening to cofounder and executive chairman Henrik Fisker speak at the Economic Club of Chicago luncheon at the Chicago Auto Show this week, you certainly wouldn't think so. In an overwhelmingly optimistic speech, Fisker described his company's ethos and plan to sell green cars around the world.

He wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, though, as he talked about his company to the assembled ECC members and media. Fisker said that the company's first (and thus far only) model, the Karma, was specifically designed to not look like any other luxury vehicle on the market. He admits this choice both limits the appeal and makes a statement, thereby attracting a specific type of buyer. "[The style] means you're going to have a smaller market, because you appeal to people who dare to be different, who dare to show that they are buying a new type of brand, a new type of technology," he said.

"There is not a lot of demand for pure electric cars, and I think plug-in hybrids will be the next big step."

Whatever it looks like, Fisker believes plug-in powertrains are the right mix for today's market. A plug-in hybrid with around 50 miles of range can drive without any gas on a daily basis but still take you for long trips on the weekends, he notes. "There is not a lot of demand for pure electric cars, but I think you can see hybrids are on the rise and I think plug-in hybrids will be the next big step," he said. Since he wants Fisker to be a lifestyle brand that doesn't compete with traditional automakers, there are no plans to make a gas-powered Karma (quirky aftermarket Destino venture aside). "We want to stay in a segment where there is less competition," he said, not mentioning the upcoming Cadillac ELR.

"You might be able to go, let's say, 250 miles, but then when you're out of battery you might need to recharge for a couple days or find a charging station."

Fisker also astutely managed to not mention Tesla Motors by name, even when he alluded to the company's star vehicle, the Model S. Fisker argues a plug-in hybrid beats a pure electric for many reasons, including a cheaper battery. "When you're carrying around a giant battery, it costs a lot of money on your daily commute and then when you really want to go far, you can't do it anyway. You might be able to go, let's say, 250 miles, but then when you're out of battery, you might need to recharge for a couple days or find a charging station. Whereas our way is, you have a smaller battery and, when you really want to go far, you can go as far as you want."

This limitation affects all EVs, he said. "In the pure electric car market, my prediction is we're going to have too many models for too few buyers. And the reason is that every big car company is making one little electric car, mostly to satisfy the overall fleet average," he said. "With plug-in hybrids, there's a lot fewer cars on the market, and I think a lot more buyers."

"In the pure electric car market, my prediction is we're going to have too many models for too few buyers."

Speaking of buyers, though, we're still not sure what the status of Karma sales is. Fisker doesn't announce its production numbers, but we can look at the numbers that have been publicly disclosed and calculate out from there. In late 2012, Fisker said his company had built a little more than 2,000 Karmas, and we know that it's been over seven months since any new examples rolled off the line. So, let's guesstimate that there are 2,200 Karmas in existence, and that's all that have been around for seven months. In January, a Fisker spokesman said there was a "sufficient supply" to meet demand. This week, Fisker said his company had sold 2,000 Karmas, but that number has been bandied about for months now. In any case, those steady numbers imply that most Karmas that have been built have been sold and that the "sufficient" supply suggests demand is very low. When asked after the speech when Fisker would start making cars again, all Fisker would say was, "Soon."

Henrik Fisker: too many pure electric car models; Karma production re-starting "soon" originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Fri, 08 Feb 2013 13:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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