London Car Show: Battle of the Electrics

Britain loves those little electric cars—with the launch of two more at this week's British International Motor Show, there will be six different carmakers fighting for the "green" market. The benefits are manifest, especially for Londoners, since electrics are exempt from road taxes, the congestion charge and often rate free parking. The Mega City, manufactured by the NICE car company (NICE stands for no internal combustion engine) is a version of an existing Aixam design from France. Developed by a team formerly from Lotus, it is powered by batteries that can be recharged overnight from a household socket. It takes eight hours to charge, goes up to 50 miles on one charge, with a top speed of 40 mph. Unlike many of the "green" cars, it looks pretty normal. Smart cars are coming out with the new Smart EV--the battery version of the iconic gas car--and it promises a range of 80-100 mph on one charge with a top speed of 70 mph. Saab is entering the environmental fray with the Saab 9-3 Convertible BioPower Hybrid Concept. It is the first car to combine the use of pure bioethanol fuel and electric power on demand and it's a convertible. :: British International Motor Show via :: The Independent

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