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There is a fierce battle raging between car manufacturers to claim rights to the “Most Innovative Electric Car.” In Part 1 of our study of these electric innovators, we’re highlighting the portfolios of two high-end, sports car designers: Telsa Motors and BMW. These electric powerhouses are proving that forfeiting gas does not require the driver to forfeit speed. Take a look and decide for yourself if the speed and eco-friendliness of these automobiles deserve their hefty price tags.

TELSA

Telsa Motors, a product of Silicon Valley, began in 2003 with the sole purpose of creating a zero-emission electric vehicle. Their mission: “To increase the number and variety of electric cars available to mainstream consumers.”

Roadster

 

The 288 horsepower electric-run Roadster from Telsa Motors boasts acceleration speeds from 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds and drives at 14,000 RPMs at high speed. Its lithium-ion battery carries 6,831 ion cells and carries a charge for up to 245 miles. Re-charge time is 3.5 hours and can be completed from any outlet (the charger is on board). The Roadster is available in 14 colors, from Electric Blue to Fusion Red and is built from carbon fiber panels, reducing body mass by 30% and enabling a light, but strong body frame.
The Roadster uses the regenerative braking system, “downshifting” in a sense to regenerate the battery when the throttle is released.

Model S

 

 

 

 

 

 

Telsa’s Model S is scheduled for release in 2012 holds a 300 mile charge, and is engineered for enhanced aerodynamics, weight reduction and decreased rolling resistance.

BMW

German automobile manufacturers BMW will release a new electric brand of vehicles in 2013. Under the line BMW i, two electric models are currently in production: the i3 and the i8.

BMW i3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boasting a 100kW electric motor and 12,000+ RPMs, drivers will recognize the power befitting the BMW reputation. The power generation of the motor is a unique feature as well; when the throttle is released, the car automatically begins to decelerate, recharging the battery and producing energy. This process is labeled regenerative braking.

BMW i8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although not a 100% electric sustainable vehicle, this plug-in hybrid combines the power of a sports car and drivability for long distances, with the favorable zero-emission driving experience. The body has a low center of gravity and is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, making the i8 lightweight and aerodynamic in its sleek design.

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Tune in in 2 weeks for Part 2 which tackles Honda and Nissan and CODA.

Table 1

MPG vs. PRICE

In the race for the most miles per gallon, the Electric Scooter wins by a landslide at an average equivalent of 500 MPGs. However, the length of a charge limits a scooter ride to about 30 miles per charge.

At Electric Scooter City, our scooters last up to 30 miles on a single charge at 15-20mph. This distance is ideal for daily work commutes or the small errands you find yourself running close to home. Students benefit greatly from these green-energizing scooters as well! Whether you’re enrolled at NC State, ECU, UNC or Duke, or you just remember the days of being a broke college student, you’ll appreciate

1) A quick commute between classes
2) Extra cash for Happy Hour, or for the more responsible student…
3) More cash to put towards your student loan when you finish after four (or in my case 5) years at college.


Cost of Vehicle

The winner again is the Electric Scooter with an average cost between $600-$1500, rolling in behind a gas-powered Moped by an average of $300 per vehicle. Add in the price of gas, which is NONE with an electric scooter and the Electric Scooter is a great saver!

A True Family Story

My dad bought the Hybrid Toyota Prius shortly after its introduction to the market in 2003. At the time, a brand-new gas-conserving sedan, sold for around $28,000, was a great deal, especially with the number of miles my dad planned to put on it and the perceived savings to be had in gas dollars. You see, in my family, we bought, not leased cars, and the fleet of Honda’s and Toyota’s we owned were meant to carry our sweet brood of 14 to work, school, sports practices, the grocery store and on long, entertaining road trips for as long as the odometer still ran and engine still coughed to life.

That Prius-purchase in 2003 really sparked something in my dad in his realization in the amount of gas he was using and the toxic emissions we all released on a day-to-day basis. In addition to the hybrid car, he started biking to work every morning, a 9-mile trek that took him a long, sweaty hour to complete. I bet if he knew the electric scooter market was available then, he would have greatly benefited from the time-saving, air-cleansing mode of transportation. (I bet his patients would have also benefited from a fresh-smelling physician!)

In fact, with anywhere from four to six of us kids zipping around to soccer practice, our friends’ houses and school functions, our whole family could have saved a bundle on the number of cars we purchased and the gas we consumed, by simply allotting a few electric bikes to whomever had a practice, study group, or movie date to go to. My mom probably would have appreciated the time off from her family taxiing service as well!

*** Guest Post by Annie Wechter, 2011 Graduate of Arizona State University. ***