Electric Cars: A Buyer’s Guide

Most everyone agrees that electric cars are the next big thing. You can buy a new one today or convert a gasoline car to an electric one. Here’s a quick overview of both options.

Tesla Roadster – Anyone who thinks electric cars are slow should ride the Tesla Roadster. This striking sports car can do 0-60 in 4 seconds and can travel over 100 mph. It is the Porsche of electric cars. The ’09 version of the Roadster retails for $ 109,000.

Toyota RAV4 EV – This is the grand dame of electric cars. It was sold to the public from 2002 to 2003 for $ 42,000 and you can still find a few of them on the road today. Someone recently sold one on eBay for $ 71,000.

AC Propulsion Ebox: First buy a Scion xB for about $ 16,000, then ask the folks at AC Propulsion to convert it to an electric vehicle for another $ 55,000. Viola, you have the Ebox. This car is lightweight and responsive and can comfortably seat five people inside.

The Mini E – This is an electric version of the BMW Mini. You can rent one for about $ 850 a month, but there are only about 500 available and you must live in Los Angeles or the New York City area to qualify. Essentially, this is a field test for the Mini.

Dodge Electric Vehicle: Amid bankruptcy fears, Chrysler still has plans to launch an electric sports car in 2010. It should be something similar to the Tesla, but a little cheaper. Still, given the uncertainties of Chrysler’s future, 2010 seems a long way off.

If there is one thing that all these electric cars have in common, it is that they are too expensive for a normal person. Which is a shame, because there is a huge demand for affordable electric vehicles.

More and more people are refusing to wait for big car companies to deliver conventional electric vehicles. They have rebelled by starting their gasoline-guzzling engines and replacing them with electric motors. What’s more, they say that anyone can do it.

There are electric car conversion kits that are available for sale over the internet. These are downloadable instruction sets that sell for around $ 30- $ 50. They tell you how to find the tools and parts you need to get started. Just follow the instructions and you can soon be the proud owner of your own electric car!

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