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How to find and buy a cheap electric car

Updated on September 12, 2014

Where are the EVs?

Most people don't know that there are thousands of electric cars on the road today, and - while some EVs are quite expensive, there are also electric cars that can be both inexpensive to obtain and to operate.

Why tolerate unpredictable gasoline prices? An inexpensive electric car can be a fun project that saves real money - and pays for itself in short order.

Can you really buy an inexpensive electric car?

You might only have to spend a few thousand

We all know about expensive electric cars. Even expensive EVs can pay for themselves through fuel savings (see below.) But there are also EVs that are inexpensive to purchase.

In truth, many of the electric vehicles on the road today were built by hobbyists or small entrepreneurs. In the links section at the bottom, you will find some of these people, and the cars that they sell.

The majority of these cars are converted gasoline cars. An old car with a poor engine but a good body is obtained cheaply. The engine, and all gasoline components are stripped out, and a new electric drivetrain is installed.

You might decide to convert a car you already own - or buy a car which has already been converted. The good news is that an electric car of this type can be obtained for as little as $5000. Prices almost never get as high as $20,000.

Many of these cars will be based on old battery technology, as new tech batteries are protected by patents that make it hard for the small businessmen to deal with. But you will still be able to drive at freeway speeds in cars that accelerate and handle well. Your driving range may be limited to less than 100 miles, or even less than 50 miles. But cars like this are still fine for most commuting and day-to-day driving tasks.

Remember, an electric vehicle can be plugged in anywhere, even into a regular electric wall socket. I charge mine while I'm at work, so I have plenty of juice to run an errand or two on the way home.

Can an electric vehicle save me money?

Apply the fuel savings to your car payment

The typical driver puts about 15,000 miles per year on his car. This works out to 1250 miles per month.

If this driver's car gets 25 miles per gallon, this represents 50 gallons of gasoline. At $4.00/gallon, our typical driver spends about $200 on gasoline every month.

An electric car uses kilowatt-hours (KWH) of electricity instead of gasoline. Typically our EV might get from 3 to 5 miles per KWH. So, for this example, we'll use 4 miles/KWH. In my city, there is a special off-peak electric rate of just 7 cents/KWH (ask your utility about off-peak rates.) But let's use the national average of 11 cents.

Using these numbers, the same 1250 miles per month - that cost our typical driver $200 for gasoline - only costs $34.37 in electricity for our electric car - a savings of $165.63!

If you were buying an electric car, and your car payment was $400, try subtracting the fuel savings from it: it becomes $234.37. This means you can afford a better EV with a bigger car payment!

And how about this: The Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf EVs both lease for as little as $200/month. Apply the fuel savings from above, and it's equivalent to leasing a conventional car for just $34.

Definitely not unaffordable!

Maintaining your electric car

It costs very little

Some people think electric vehicles are complicated, and therefore difficult to maintain. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A gasoline engine and its associated components are made up of thousands of parts. Every part represents the possibility of a breakdown. This situation is far different in an electric vehicle. Electric motors have only ONE moving part. There is no maintenance needed on an electric motor. No filters, oil changes, coolant, NOTHING.

You have electric motors all over your house - in your clothes washer/dryer, refrigerator, air conditioner, can opener, blender, and on and on. Appliances do break - but when was the last time the electric motor itself was to blame? There is almost nothing in the technology world more reliable than an electric motor. This is why EVs last a long time, and can have very high resale values.

How about the batteries? Yes, of course some older battery types have a limited life, and need periodic replacement. The oldest battery technology is lead-acid. In a typical EV, a lead-acid battery pack might last for 20 thousand miles. The pack in my old EV, which consists of 16 batteries, costs me about $800 to replace. That works out to about 4 cents per mile. Add to that the typical electricity cost per mile of 2 cents, and our total operating cost is only 6 cents per mile.

Newer battery technology, like Li-Ion, or especially nanotechnology batteries, have a much longer life. Cars with newer versions of these batteries (like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf) typically warrant the battery pack for at least 100,000 miles, or even more.

Are there other operating costs? The electronic controller in the car is very reliable also - my own EV is 30 years old, and has all the original motor and electronic controller parts. They have never needed repair.

Just like a regular car, you will need periodic brake and suspension work - but if your EV has regenerative braking, which uses the electric motor to brake the car - your brake pads will last much, much longer that they would on a standard auto.

How electric vehicles help with pollution

It doesn't matter what power plants burn

A common criticism of electric vehicles is that they only move pollution from the tailpipe to the power plant. In other words, since power plants still burn dirty fuel, there will still be pollution. This is not a fair criticism.

First, only about a third of the electricity created comes from burning coal in the USA (according to latest 2012 numbers from the US Energy Information Administration), but this is still our major pollution worry. Less than 2% comes from oil.

So why is coal not a worry? First, coal plants are largely baseload. This means they are designed to run all the time at full output, EVs or no EVs. Extra load on the grid is handled by peak load plants, which are not coal. So adding electric vehicles to the grid increases coal pollution very little, while sending petroleum pollution to zero.

But how about when electric cars catch on, and new plants have to be built? Luckily, this is not something we have to worry about for a long time. Since EVs charge mainly at night (off-peak), there is plenty of excess electric capacity available for decades to come.

But even if all the above were not true, electric cars would still produce much less pollution than gas cars, because of the greater efficiency of electric drive (electric motor, about 90% efficient, versus gas engine, 15% efficient in traffic) compared to the poor efficiency of both gasoline production and fuel utilization in automobiles.

There are inefficiencies in powerplant generation too, of course, but these pale in comparison to the inefficiencies of gas and diesel refining. So much energy (including lots of electricity!) is used to refine a gallon of gasoline, you could actually throw away the gas and drive an EV nearly 30 miles on this energy alone.

The proof of all this is right in the fuel prices. Gasoline costs from 12 to 30 cents per mile, depending on the type of vehicle and gas prices. Electric cars drive around for only about 2-4 cents per mile. The difference comes mainly from efficiency. Much greater efficiency = much less fuel cost and also = much less pollution.

Incidentally, hydrogen fuel-cell cars are also electric cars, including batteries, which are needed for acceleration. But they are less efficient than battery-powered cars, because of the extra electricity required to extract the hydrogen, and the wasted energy of transporting hydrogen to service stations. Fuel cell vehicles will always be more expensive than pure electric cars, because they are electric cars with a fuel cell and H2 tank added on.

The Cheap Electric Car Link List - Links to help save you money by driving an electric car

If you have a little more money to spend, look at the cars at the end of the list!

Books and Videos about Electric Cars

Who Killed the Electric Car?
Who Killed the Electric Car?

This engaging DVD tells the story of the electric car mandate on the west coast - how electric cars arrived in the late 1990s, how they were loved, and then how they were pried from the hands of weeping drivers and CRUSHED. This is MUST viewing to understand the EV story today.

Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars that will Recharge America
Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars that will Recharge America

Where hydrogen fuel-cell cars won't be ready for decades, the technology for plug-in hybrids exists today. Unlike conventional hybrid cars that can't run without gasoline, plug-in hybrids use gasoline or cheaper, cleaner, domestic electricity-or both. Although plug-in hybrids are not yet for sale, demand for them is widespread.

Build Your Own Electric Vehicle
Build Your Own Electric Vehicle

Drivers can enjoy the clean-running convenience and economy of an electric vehicle for as much as it costs to buy a new car. This illustrated guide explains step by step how to build an inexpensive EV from a kit or convert an existing internal combustion engine.

Electric and Hybrid Cars: A History
Electric and Hybrid Cars: A History

Far from being a modern conception, electric cars were among the first vehicles on the road. In the formative days of the automobile, a third of cars were electric, and they challenged internal combustion engine-driven vehicles for primacy. The story of the electric car is a long one, and it is still being written.


Cheap electric car feedback

Would you drive a cheap EV?

Where's my wallet?

Where's my wallet?

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    • anonymous 3 years ago

      If we all drove air cars by MDI (called CAT-clean air technology in 2006)it would scrub the air since the air going out the back is cleaner than the air coming in the front ,the perfect hybrid would be electric and air combination also air cars are made by Tata motors and Peugeot motors as well. Still not allowed in USA

    • anonymous 3 years ago

      Very difficult to find a ev in stock at dealers who make them as oil industry tries to kill them, I love my 2008 Zero air pollution truck (ZAP)does not use gas, can run on pure solar charge for short commutes, fully charged lithium batteries get up to 65 miles on about a $.50 cent charge. On board charger for regular 110 plug in at 80% charge in 20 mins. 2008 models are $1,500-$4000 with low mileage, bed dumps side and tailgate fold-down ,nice interior plus leather seats ,very low maintenance no oil transmission or differential fluids no tuneup plugs points etc. may need to clean solar panels occasionally . I will use daily and 4 hauling. Oil industry is trying to have these destroyed.

    • CarZone USA 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Absolutely, not only it save me money, it also helps the planet.

    • kju385 3 years ago

      Sure, I'm just waiting for the industry to develop a better kind of batteries. There is a lot of room for improvement in performance as well...

    • EzLoanLookUp LM 3 years ago

      Yeah I think its worth driving

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes...still waiting for price decreases....

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      i hope i buy one

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      these cars are so awesome

    • Dave Muse 4 years ago from Dearborn, MI

      @anonymous: I don't see how disclosing all the costs is deceptive - sure,it would be great not to replace lead-acid batteries, but at least it's relatively cheap (about a nickle per mile.) If you're game for the larger upfront cost, you can drive a EV with more modern lithium batteries, which can last the lifetime of the car.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      Sure I'd buy a cheap EV, but this article is transparently deceptive... first it touts that $200 gasoline is equivalent to $34.37 "so your savings are like, $165, dude." Then several paragraphs down you learn that replacing the batteries (and you *will* have to replace them) costs twice as much as *all the electricity they have ever stored*... i.e. around $68 per $34 of electricity. So in the end, the running cost is roughly half the cost of gasoline. Oh well, at least you don't have to pay for oil changes.

    • HouseBuyersOfAmerica 4 years ago

      Electric cars is a great Eco-friendly alternative of fuel car.

    • RestlessKnights 4 years ago

      Yes. We have rather cheap electricity in my country, so it makes a lot of sense. It'll probably be fairly common in a few years time.

    • inesiut 4 years ago

      YES :)

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      yes why not

    • Mr3man7 4 years ago

      Great lens! I sure would :-)

    • racko09 4 years ago

      Of course i would :D

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      yes yes yes

    • BarrettCoffen 4 years ago

      Of course!

    • steph-naylor 5 years ago

      I just dropped by to say 'super lens' Thankyou!!

    • CapnFatz 5 years ago

      I drove an EV in China for ten days AND we just built an All Electric Bus. We're closer than you think. The problem of the EV vehicle range is a relatively small one IF you live in a family with more than two vehicles and IF you properly manage the use of those vehicles.

    • takerecess 5 years ago

      With gas prices the way they are, I'm tempted. But I think it would need to be a second car, mostly because of the EV's limited space and ability to travel long distances. Thanks for the information!

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      The price now looks HIGH but doable! I am wondering why the Mitsibushi, Nissan, Ford and GM-Volt dealers along the interstate don't all get the DC-FAST chargers available. This would make interstate driving between larger cities like Chicago to St. Louis feasiable. Weren't those routes some of the early car race routes to prove the dependability and desireability of driving rather than taking the train or horse and buggy?

    • Dave Muse 5 years ago from Dearborn, MI

      Angelo - hobbyist EVs share performance characteristics with major automaker EVs, that is, around 3 to 5 miles per KWH of electricity, similar acceleration capabilities, etc. The point of this article is not that hobbyist or small entrepreneur EVs can do what other electric cars cannot, it's that they can do it much more cheaply.

      Can a hobbyist gas vehicle that gets 150 MPG really drive in, and keep up with traffic, even on the freeway? Because all the cars discussed here are fully practical for everyday city driving.

    • Mark Shearman 5 years ago from Alicante Spain

      I certainly would - great lens!

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      An electric car would be perfect for me. I'm one of the 50% of Americans who don't earn enough to pay income taxes. All I need is a simple set of wheels to get to school, to get around town, and to get a 2nd job.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Yea i will

    • biggking lm 5 years ago

      Yes, thats why Tesla was invented

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      yes. Maintenance per mile should be minimal due to the small number of moving parts. Plus, plugin or pantograph supply of juice should minimize inconvenience of repowering the batteries while driving.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I personally don't give a rats as$ about the planet. It's cash. cash makes the world go round and what once costed a buck a gal is now quadruple. Of course I wouldn't buy any of those ripoff vehicles sold from chevy or the like. One, because the battery is crap. It's actually recommended you lease the dam thing.

      Two falling hand in hand, im sure those cars are a mechanics wet dream. Hel look how much a charge for a diagnostic alone is at a garage. Now just image them playing with a car full of electric sht.

    • GentlemenGogoVEVO 5 years ago

      Yes and i hope that in future more and better electric car, interesting lens:)

    • macmaki 5 years ago

      Absolutely, and we must remember that besides money -- our planet is also changed. Great Lens!

    • Sp00ky 5 years ago

      Very nice lens

    • motobidia 5 years ago

      Yes, I believe this is the future! I've just nominated your lens for today's Squid Quest. Well done!

    • Rev999 5 years ago

      yeah, these are great...if i could afford to upgrade from my filthy polluting old banger to one of these, i'd seriously think about it...

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      In a heartbeat!!

    • intermarks 5 years ago

      Yes, if this can save the earth. Why not!

    • gamrslist 5 years ago


    • tomaztt 5 years ago

      absolutelly yes!

    • wahrsein 5 years ago


    • kevingomes13 lm 5 years ago


    • WilliamPower 5 years ago

      Yes I would but I would need a gas car for backup.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      i want to try this

    • AaronSquid 5 years ago

      EVs are going to become much more common as oil starts to run out over the next decade or so. I'd love to own a Tesla Roadster, they are such beautiful cars.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      2 Thumbs up Kent!

    • nelsonkana 5 years ago

      I don't have one. But i think i should start thinking about having one.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      One EV driven for 30 years? Where is the profit? Greed fuels a capitalist economy.

    • Guided Abundance 5 years ago from Mobile, AL

      I don't know about these guys but have you seen the chevy Volt. It's pretty inside. And you can use both gas and electric depending on your trips that day if you have to go into using your back up gasoline. It's a no brainer. WHY NOT HAVE THE OPTION to have both especially when it's not just a hybrid.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Absolutely, it makes complete sense to drive EVs. Even with the present high cost of lithium batteries, EVs cost far less to run than gas vehicles when you factor in all of the true costs. In fact, many studies find that the true costs of using gas in our vehicles will add $9 per gallon to the subsidized price we pay at the pump. Nevertheless, the electricity to power EVs costs less than half the cost of the average government subsidized price of gas that we typically pay at the pump. The maintenance cost is far, far less as there are no oil changes, tune ups, radiator flushes, etc. There are far fewer parts to break and far fewer repairs needed. Electric cars -- with only one moving part in the powertrain -- can last for over a million miles without major problem, unlike gas vehicles that often have trouble making it to 200K without needed a new engine. Electric cars do not create any pollution from the tailpipes -- in fact, they do not even have tailpipes. Also, while petroleum advocates try to weaken this fact of no tailpipe emissions (and this article does a lousy job of addressing) by pointing out that the powerplants use coal sometimes to create electricity which creates pollution they NEVER mention the pollution that is produced in creating gasoline. We all know about the horrible pollution that results when there is an oil spill such as the massive one in the Gulf that dumped millions of gallons of oil for three months into the sea. To the millions of animals and people who lost lives, substantial treasure and their clean enviroment, t's tragic and far worse than some fractional increase in air pollution. Many people have no idea of the huge number of oil spills that occur either. Just in US navigable waters during the twenty year period of 1980 to 2000, there were more than 43,000 oil spills reported! IN fact, the EPA estimates that -- during this same period -- there more than 4 million oil spills in US navigable waters. This is unacceptable. Moreover, petroleum advocates also fail to mention that it also takes electricity to produce gasoline in the refinery process - a lot of electricity - about 6 kw per gallon of gas, which is enough for the average electric car to drive 14 miles. And this electricity is also generated by burning coal, producing air pollution. So, those people who reject gas and use EVs will save this air pollution in addition to all of the pollution produced at the tailpipe. The advantages make the EV a no-brainer. But of course many people and businesses are dependent upon the jobs and will spread disinformation and ignorance because of the personal consequences they will suffer. We all can understand this. But our society, politicians and community leaders all need to think about the very survival and health of our communities now which makes the transportation choice quite clear and irrefutable.

    • Dave Muse 5 years ago from Dearborn, MI


      Yes, you can indeed make hydrogen using electricity. The problem is that this is only about half as efficient as just putting that electricity straight into an electric car.

      Since the range problem is in the process of being solved right now with fast charging (see my last post), I fail to see how hydrogen cars can possibly develop fast enough to beat fast-charge EVs to market.

      And if they arrive on the market after fast-charge EVs, who would want a car that needs twice as much electricity to travel the same number of miles?

    • Dave Muse 5 years ago from Dearborn, MI

      Hi Freecarguy -

      Infrastructure: Plain old electric plugs, available everywhere. Plus, try typing 'EV Charging Stations' into Google - there's about a thousand of them already.

      Paying for electricity: Much cheaper than gas, around 2 cents per mile. Gasoline is more like 15 cents per mile. If deregulation spikes electricity prices someday, get a solar panel for your garage. However, It's likely gas prices will spike far higher.

      Hydrogen: Infrastructure problem is not trivial - it's very difficult and un-economic to transport hydrogen. And the range advantage is not as solid as you think. EV fast charging is already here - the Leaf has 30-minute fast charging today, and charge stations that support it. Nissan has also demoed 10-minute charging, and Proterra (electric buses) has 5-minute charging today. Fast charging will show up big time in the next few years.

    • Dave Muse 5 years ago from Dearborn, MI

      I mean, look at the 'Featured Lens' box in the right column. It's a spreadsheet where you can put in your own numbers for gas prices, miles driven, loan percentage, etc. It looks at lifetime costs for car ownership. It shows many scenarios where EVs can win for lowest overall cost of ownership. EVs aren't for everyone,but the math shows they can save lots of money fro some people.

      No, I don't work for an EV company. But I've been an EV hobbyist for many years.

    • Dave Muse 5 years ago from Dearborn, MI

      DJ: You talk about comparing a $15k economy car to an EV - there's a lens here that lets you do exactly that. Look to the right, in the sidebar.

    • brownicus15 5 years ago

      yes. as long as it's not a prius.

    • EmilioPereira 5 years ago


    • Rudy145 LM 5 years ago

      Yeah why not.

    • ekkoautos 5 years ago

      If there is a store selling the electric car in my city, I'd like to buy one. It seems a good idea to protect the environment and save money. Thanks for sharing.

    • BookItOut 5 years ago

      It depends on the vehicle.

    • waldenthreenet 5 years ago

      Added this valuable lens to my link list of my "All Electric Lens" update. Valuable topic. Thanks. I voted "Like" on this one. !

    • mercin12 5 years ago

      Yes. I would love to get off the gas.

    • Carolan Ross 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      SURE I would! I'd love to replace my gas guzzler for an EV, just figured they were not affordable.

    • creativeinc lm 5 years ago

      Yes! Do they sell it in the Philippines

    • SamNos 5 years ago

      Interesting lens!

    • harunb13 5 years ago

      Nice description at all. Like to buy one.

    • DavidCzajka 5 years ago

      Thanks for such a useful information regarding electric car buying. But i will prefer a petrol car or a CNG car instead of electric car. Because this technology have to improve more and still we can't rely on this.

    • NidhiRajat 5 years ago

      just think about it!!!

    • seeker2011 lm 5 years ago

      The idea is great and so is an hydrogen powered vehicle I think the world has room for many options. Steam powered vehicles were once more popular than petrol not so long ago. Visit my steam powered lense. Nice lense.

    • sls450 5 years ago

      The older and more unique the better

    • bakingoutsidethebox 5 years ago

      You bet. I loved the documentary, "Who killed the Electric Car?" Great ARTICLE, THANKS.

    • NidhiRajat 5 years ago

      i would go for one

    • gamecheathub 5 years ago

      hell yes I would.

    • brbrooks 5 years ago

      I would drive one for sure!

    • tomtaz517 5 years ago

      Definitely. I drive a scooter right now, and moving to a convetional car would be a shocker to my wallet. EV's are the logical move. You brought up some interesting economics about them too.

    • Best-Cars 5 years ago

      Yes, I would too. It's great for leisure and driving around town for groceries.

    • Best-Cars 5 years ago

      I would love to own one Cheap EV for my daily city commute. But I wouldn't mind if they get cheaper. :)

    • Joan Haines 5 years ago

      Yes, I would. Too bad I need to drive on a fast highway every day.

    • Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I totally would! This is going on my short list of financial goals. I did not know about these grassroots cars. So perfect! Thank you!

    • Lenskeeper 5 years ago

      Yes. I had no idea that you could buy an electric vehicle so cheap!

    • computer_repair 5 years ago


    • NidhiRajat 5 years ago


    • Eicher1110 5 years ago

      thank for a great information......... it sounds affordable....

    • sapnaseo 5 years ago

      ya i drive a cheap EV

    • gypsyman27 lm 6 years ago

      I am very much in favor of electric vehicles. See you around the galaxy...

    • Elizabeth Sheppard 6 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      Yes, it sounds affordable!

    • Mosoma 6 years ago


    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Of course!! Especially around town doing erands or getting to work.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      .....I'm lost for I can say is this is completly stupid.....Could you imagine a country without oil? We would be unstopable

    • E L Seaton 6 years ago from Virginia

      Move over Prius, there's a new kid in town.

    • busyjack 6 years ago


      I will think about it. Electricity is wicked expensive in Vermont but then so is everything else.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Why is it taking so long for the United States Companies to flood the market with electric cars? This will solve our dependency on oil problem and clear the air so that we can breath freely again.

    • annel lm 6 years ago

      I would drive ONLY electric car

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      The problem with EVs is that they are all marketed to eco-nerds. When the average Joe can buy it, run it, and fix it for less money and effort than his current car, he will buy one. Simple as that. Speed, range, and pollution are all secondary to the dollar.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I would love an electric car. I'd still keep my gas car but I'd only need it a few days a month or less. If I had a highway capable electric car, I'd probably only need my gas car a few days a year, if ever.

    • anonymous 6 years ago


    • Carolan Ross 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      YEP! Definitely WOULD drive an electric vehicle.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      yes - i just heard that gas prices went up not because of the cost of gas or gas exploration, but speculation on gas prices. why should i pay more for some fat cats to make money off my misery - again?!?!

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      yes ofcourse, what I would drive is only EV.It is my dream that I should realize soon.

    • anonymous 6 years ago


    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Today, it is a matter of conflicting ideas but a few years more and we are all driving electric cars. Electric cars are pricey but if it can protect the environment, there is no point to reject the idea!

      Used Nissan Frontier

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I would drive one if i could find one.

      I thought I saw one at Costco that looked like an enclosed golf cart that was selling for about $ 1,100.00 in 2008 when gas prices were really up there (about $120.00-$140.00 a barrel). However, when I went back about a week later to check out the vehicle again, it was gone and no one at Costco knew anything about it.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      somehow i think some more pics would be good.

    You're off your rocker!

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      • socialcx1 4 years ago

        Yes I certainly would like to drive one

      • anonymous 4 years ago


      • tweeky lm 5 years ago

        the sounds like a plan

      • curtmaxwall 5 years ago

        I'd loved too, but as an auto Enthusiast i thinks this technology is still in development phase and needs to improve a lots to gain momentum in mainstream market..

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Wait, gasoline does not have to cost at least 12 cents per gallon, that would mean that you can't get better than 48 miles per gallon (with $4 per gallon at least), but both me and several of my friends have cars that get over 60, 70, and even 85 miles per gallon, and cars with over 150 mpg's have been around since the sixties. If your going to compare cars then you can't just compare the "hobbyist" electric vehicles (as you describe them) with mass produced gasoline vehicles. I've personally seen at least 13 gasoline powered vehicles with over 200 miles per gallon and own one with over 115 mpg on a good day (I'm a diy auto engineer), so you have to take hobbyist gasoline cars into account to if you share info on hobbyist electric vehicles. Electric vehicle technology just hasn't advanced enough yet to come anywhere near the current potential of gasoline. Yes, that will eventually change in the future, but right now we need to focus on the realism of our ideas.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        i absolutely cannot wait to get one!

      • neuromancer lm 5 years ago

        Electric cars are expensive only because batteries are expensive. I would love to have electric car, but I will wait at least to 2015 when these cars should be much cheaper and batteries will have better capacity(I hope).

      • fuelfixeruk 5 years ago

        Is there such a thing as a cheap electric car?.. seriously the manufactures need to make that stuff in more volume or it will never hit the mainstream

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Yes ,I love it, ism sick of diesel,fossil fuels

      • freecarguy 5 years ago

        There is no need to transport hydrogen, if you have water use solar panels to split it and you're done. You can also store solar and wind energy in hydrogen. Fueling with hydrogen takes as long as it takes to fuel with gas. Charging a battery the size that runs a car takes hours!

        As I said, for in-town driving EVs might work, but why strict myself?

      • freecarguy 5 years ago

        I don't think it's the time yet. As DJ says, the infrastructure is not ready yet, and I would only drive one within the city only if I don't pay for the electricity. With the deregulation of electricity coming soon (already in place in some areas) I don't think it would be an economic idea. A better green option would be a hydrogen cell car. The infrastructure can be built easily, it fuels the way gas does (I don't need to plug the car and look for a hotel to spend the night until it's full as with EVs), and this gives it a longer range.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        I did compare, apeweek. The comment was for the writer who is obviously skewing his things. I would love to buy an electric car when they make it reasonable.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        The savings are inflated. Gas is not $4/ gal in most places these days.

        And compare buying an economy car that gets 40 mpg and costs $15k with buying a Volt or a Leaf. With the gas savings they are still much more expensive, you may have to have something installed in your house/garage to charge them, and they don't have enough range to do even some long commutes, and there's not much infrastructure for charging on the road.

        I think the guy that wrote this was paid somehow by the EV manufacturers.

        It's just ridiculous.

      • benny77 5 years ago

        HMMM there must be a reason why this hasn't caught on in a wider range? If they save so much money, lower emissions, and are easy to maintain...why isn't everyone driving one? Definitely sounds interesting and YES I would give one a try but...I'm left wondering what is left out?

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        yes of course! i would love to. With that i'm not going to spent too much for gas which causes pollution....

      • umarshehzad lm 5 years ago

        Well buying an electric car is seems easy but maintaining one may cause few problems..

      • FerrariLoco 5 years ago

        Maybe in 5 ten years once the technology has advanced a little further.

      • autofanatic 5 years ago

        Seems like battery technology is the limiting factor here. Having to replace a load of led acid batteries every 18-24 months is not my idea of fun.

      • desa999 lm 5 years ago

        As the quality improves I'd be tempted, but at the moment they don't seem to have the range in distance that I would like.

      • Joan Hall 5 years ago from Los Angeles

        I'm in the category of people who buy cars that are $2000 or so. So I'll have to wait a while longer.

      • HuntAndFishGuides 5 years ago

        No way buddy! haha

      • danzuc76 5 years ago

        Not yet as I think the technology needs to be improved first. Fuel cells are the way.

      • henrylayla 5 years ago

        i didn't used any electric car so i don't know anything about them but one day i will definitely try them and the lens were very nice and attractive

      • scaguy 5 years ago

        When they get the same ranges as gas or diesel between recharges, then I will consider it. Good article.

      • GrinningFool 6 years ago

        I would. I am waiting for them to get cheaper though!

      • rentngo 6 years ago

        i like the new electric cars made by renault :)

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        Ev conversion kit still very expensive and is not popular in MALAYSIA.

      • CreativeJuice 6 years ago

        I think there is no point of saying no, however, there is still room for improvements. First, there is the need to improve the charging time and second, the issue of easy battery worn out. Otherwise, this will be a good forever car for all of us. Mother earth will give us huge hug for this.

        transmission slippage

      • StewartM276 6 years ago

        nice tips thanx for the article..

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        Methinks electric cars have a long way to go, but that this is the best web page I've seen on the topic in a while , thanks, 5 st

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        but the money you wont spend on gas goes to replacing the batteries

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        sure would

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        If you want to build an EV and do it CHEAPLY, check out the websites of the millions of people who have converted a gas guzzerler into an EV for less than $2000, sometimes even less than $1000. The secret to keeping the cost down is to sell everything you don't use. Use a forklift motor, the controller (you can also use the controller off a golf cart or any other motor controller, but make sure it will handle the voltage and amprage your motor needs), and the pot box (throttle) off a broken forklift. And if you have to buy the forklift, sell everything esle. Next get a donor car and tear out its engine and all that was used to run the engine, but leave the transmission in place (preferably manual as you are going to leave it in 2nd or 3rd gear). Sell the things you took out. Attach the motor directy to the transmission, though chances are you are going to need a plate to atach the two shafts (pay a machinist if you don't know how to make one). Since electric motors stop and dont 'idle' at 1000rpm like gas engines, there is no need for a clutch. Get cheap walmart lead-acid batteries in the voltage you need (wire batteries in series to increase voltage). Make sure the batteries will supply enough amps too (wire batteries in parllel to increase amprage. there is such thing as a series-parallel circuit. look it up). Wire the batteries to your controller (observe polarity), wire the pot box to your controller, and wire your motor to your controller. Link the pot box arm with your 'go pedal' (cant call it the 'gas pedal' in an electric car). Make sure everything works and plug in your batteries. I forgot to mention, you'll need a charger. If you use a high voltage motor (60+ volts), then you might consider getting two cheap chargers, splitting the battery pack into two packs, and charging each pack seperately. Check out other people's sites, get ideas, and expiriment. EVs dont need to be complicated and expensive. If you dont know what im talking about, research, research, research!

      • anonymous 8 years ago

        Yes...Absolutely!!! Who cares if it doesn't look like a rolls royce. Anything we can do to protect our planet and generations that will follow is worth every effort.

      • jordan_lin 8 years ago

        i am very intrigued by the electric car that i want to build one for myself.

      • anonymous 8 years ago

        "If electric cars were readily available, of course we would all know about them, and where to get them."

        Oh really? like the GM EV1?? yah righttttt!

        Its only now when the world is so far in the toilet we may never claw our way out that car companies begrudgingly are telling us they will be coming out with new electric cars and even those are SO highly overpriced that only the rich who can already afford to drive around in their Hummers can buy THEM! I am so jaded by fat cat greedy corporate american I don't believe there will ever be an avoidable fully electric car! I would gladly purchase a fully electric car if it didn't cost me as much as a small HOUSE

      • AslanBooks 9 years ago

        Not a chance!

      • Thundergas 9 years ago

        The Tesla car from Tesla motors is your "serious bid" for EV production.

        It also out performs all stock gas cars and most high performance cars

        "How powerful is the acceleration? A quick story to illustrate. A favorite trick here at Tesla Motors is to invite a passenger along and ask him to turn on the radio. At the precise moment we ask, we accelerate. Our passenger simply can't sit forward enough to reach the dials. But who needs music when you're experiencing such a symphony of motion."

        Novelty? Tell that to The National Electric Drag Racing Association (NEDRA) ALL there cars will smoke any fossilize gas guzzler on the road!

      • anonymous 9 years ago

        Probably not. But I appreciate the work you did getting this info together.

      • deepsouthperformance 9 years ago

        Will it smoke the tires and scare the neighbors?

      • youhavegottobekidding 9 years ago

        I like strong, brute cars but i would choose Electric Cars over Fueled ones at the moment. Why? the 1st thing that i would say is practicality i am just a simple middle class person i have bill to pay so i have to save everything including fuel for my ride.

        Great Lens. Very informative.

      • anonymous 9 years ago

        The short battery life and range still relegate many of these cars to the novelty category; making them only practical for short trips and not negating the need for gasoline powered vehicles. The potential is tremendous, however, and it would be nice if a major player with the genious and foresight of these entrepreneurial companies would make a serious bid toward mass-production.

      • alicesy 9 years ago

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      • alicesy 9 years ago

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      • anonymous 9 years ago

        okay sunny. why r the not said anything about. this is gay. us grannys need some speed too. give me an electric car danmit! i want my dipper back. Errr! that danmen dog needs to leave me alone. anyway tell me more.

      • anonymous 9 years ago

        Any Day. Only if i can get my hands on it

      • anonymous 9 years ago

        Hell Yea. But it should go on highway for my commute.

      • anonymous 9 years ago

        not if it has less than 200 mile range or can't go 85 miles an hour