I know that GM killed their electric car in 2003, and just the thought of how insanely stupid and shortsighted they were makes me want to kill, but where are the rest of the electric cars? I heard a report on the radio yesterday about the progress on the Volt and the plug-in Prius next year, and about how cool it is to ride in a Tesla, but it seems crazy that we can't go down to a dealer right now and take a look at more options than that.
Just recently I read about a store here in the Valley called Green Rides that sold electric vehicles and thought about how cool that was. There's a car they sell called the Zenn which looks incredibly cool... until you check out the stats. 25MPH max, and a 30 mile range. Are you kidding me? I don't understand why they're so limited - it's rated as if it was a golf cart because supposedly they have less safety stuff in them. You know, I can think of plenty of cars on the road that don't have a lot to them in terms of safety - or weight even - the Geo Metro back in the day got what, like 50 mpg? It was like a tin can on wheels, why can't they just take that design and throw some batteries in the back and get a decent electric car?
I know it all goes back to battery power, but if GM was solving this stuff almost 10 years ago with the EV1, surely the technology must be a bit more standard nowadays, no? I hope now that gas prices are so insane (and honestly, I hope they stay there as economic incentive to produce more electric vehicles) that companies will get it together and start putting more resources into this stuff. I keep reading every day about this company or that developing this or that car... but until I can go down to the local dealer and test drive them myself, they're just not real.
You can go online and check out some fascinating mods. I love the idea of getting an old BMG, Beetle or Karmann Ghia and throwing a pile of batteries in the back and an electric motor in the front and getting a retro electric vehicle to use. But according to Wikipedia, California makes it hard for those modded vehicles to get back on the road. Bleh.
All this said, would I sell my somewhat gas-guzzling Saturn VUE (front wheel drive, stick, 23mpg) to get an electric version of a Geo Metro? Probably not this minute... but I'd love to have the option.