Fancy that spiffy new Tesla Roadster but don't feel like shelling out $100,000 to (try to) get your mitts on one? Fear not: help is on the way. While it doesn't exactly fit into the same luxury EV mold as Tesla's fine rides, Miles Automotive's ZX40 4-door hatchback will satisfy your basic driving needs in a pinch.
Founded by 79-year old multi-millionaire Miles Rubin, Miles Automotive is a company whose mission it is to bring affordable, low-polluting electric vehicles to the mass market. More importantly, he started the company as a way to fight back against global climate change. While he isn't expecting the ZX40 - which costs close to $15,000 - to conquer the minivan market, Rubin hopes it will help him get his foot in the door and expand the burgeoning EV market. A highway speed sedan is already in the works for early 2009.
The ZX40 - which can be plugged into any old wall socket - has been a minor hit with NASA and several college campuses, which have purchased roughly 300 of them over the last few months. Rubin expects the upcoming speed sedan - which will have a range of 120 miles and go about 80 miles per hour (with an estimated price tag of $30,00) - to be a bigger success story.
Still, having already signed with dozens of dealers around the U.S., Miles Rubin is hopeful that his vehicles will eventually make a dent in the market for EVs and other fuel-efficient cars. "Things will happen very quickly. And I hope we're on the leading edge of it, not just to be first, because I'd like to say in this point of my career that I was able to make a change that mattered," he said.
Via ::NPR: Entrepreneur Hopes to Charge Electric-Car Market (radio show)