Electric Cars Invasion

The demand for electric and hybrid cars is constantly increasing and a lot of new companies producing these vehicles have popped up. The people over at VentureBeat has compiled a nice list of 27 startups.


At last the penny is dropping and designers are starting to realise that electric cars are not (initially) going to be a replacement to internal combustion cars, but a supplement. Designing something that will do 80mph, have a range of 200 miles and outperform most small cars is barking up the wrong tree entirely.

Electrics (intially) will be ideal for the second car in a household, the one that gets taken to the shops or takes the kids to school or the dog to the vet. I reckon the most practical design will be something like http://www.thedigitalbuffalo.com/japan/japanimages/MINIvan500.jpg
with three rows of double seats, the rear two pairs of which can be removed. It'd take five kids to school or for a day out within 30 miles or so, it'll carry home DIY materials from the shop, it'll take the garden waste to the dump and collect the Christmas tree. What it won't do is do more than 100 miles a day, nor will it do motorway speeds without a long runup. So what? That's what the other car's for.
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Looking at the list you linked to at VentureBeat, I'm struck at how small these vehicles are. I'm not ready to share the road in one of these shoe box sized vehicles, with the likes of Hummers, SUV's, Pickups, in the same space. I can't imagine getting tapped in my Zap by a F150...couldn't be good for car or occupants. I like steel, crumple zones, front/back/ side airbags - they provide that extra bit of margin which hopefully me and the family will never need.
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Sounds awesome! Electric and hybrid technologies are a win/win, and I'm glad people are starting to take notice, instead of stereotyping people who are interested as "greens" and "lefties" and other sorts of supposedly derogatory labels. ;) Easy to see who's really interested in progress, I think. Bring on the new generation of passenger vehicles, I say!
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For a moment I thought you'd posted a picture of a Reliant Robin:

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