Beauty's Only Skin Deep
Beauty is very subjective, and what someone will find beautiful someone else will find ugly, or just "meh". There's nothing scientific about it, or even very serious, but here are some eco-cars that we might like in some way or another, but that look like they fell off the ugly tree. Why does this matter? To some it doesn't, but to a mainstream audience, it does more often than not, and if we want greener alternatives to replace dirty ones, they need to be at least as attractive (if not more!).
Read on for our picks of ugly eco-cars.
MiniC.A.T Compressed Air Car
A compressed air car might sound like a dream to some. No tailpipe emissions, and if you run the compressor on clean power, it's actually very green. But the MDI MiniCAT (pictured above) makes us wish that the French company had taken the Miles EV or BYD approach: Recognize that you don't yet have the design talent (and $) to make something that is both distinctive and beautiful, so just blend in and make your car look like Corolla.
GM EV1 Electric Car
This electric car has a cult following (a used one was sold for $465k!). It even has its own movie. But we don't think it's very pretty... It's not a total disaster, but since the EV1 came (and went), designers have found better ways to make cars with a low coefficient of drag look better. We still wish GM had kept making it, though. If it had done so, its electric car and battery expertise would be much greater than it is now.
REVA/G-WIZ Electric Car
The REVA, known as the G-Wiz in the UK, is a small city electric car from India. It's not the most high-tech EV, and at 745 kg (1,640 lb), it's definitely not the biggest. But it does the job in the context of short-range urban commuting. Some people have called it "cute", and we suppose that when you see it for the first time rolling down the street it kind of is. But the longer you stare at it, the less cute it is...
ZAP Xebra Electric Car
The ZAP Xebra is an electric vehicle classified, from a legal point of view, as a three wheel motorcycle in some jurisdictions. Top speed is 36–40 mph (64 km/h), with a range of about 20 - 25 miles (40 km) or 40 miles (64 km) depending on the battery option selected, so you won't find one one the highway. A lot of good can be said about how this is one of the first production electric vehicles available, but the looks of the Xebra sadly probably reinforced the prejudices and misconceptions against electric cars in many people that saw it on evening news segments or whatever.