Miles Motors to Introduce High Speed Electric Car

At the National Auto Dealers Association convention here in February, California-based importer Miles Automotive expects to unveil a prototype of its latest Chinese electric car.

Published: 19-Jan-2007

Dubbed XS500, the company says its "high speed" vehicle will employ "breakthrough technology" — namely, a lithium-ion battery pack — which it says will enable a speed of up to 80 miles per hour and a range of more than 150 miles. The range, incidentally, has shrunk by 25 percent since last year, when the company promised 200 miles.

The XS500, according to the company's literature, will go on sale in late 2008, priced from around $30,000. It will be joined by a companion model, the XM200, about which there are scant details.

In fact, Miles Automotive has been quietly importing subcompacts from China for more than a year. The company's principal product is a tiny hatchback derived from the old Daihatsu Move, resuscitated in China by state-owned FAW and rebadged as the Happy Messenger.

The car, marketed in the U.S. as the Miles ZX40, is refitted with an electric motor and batteries. It is priced from around $15,000. The ZX40 has a modest top speed of 25 mph and a range of only 40 miles.

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