Startups Charge into Electric Car Market

High-end vehicles may have trouble competing with major automakers

Published: 29-Jan-2009

DETROIT -- Several startup automakers are in hot pursuit of electric-powered vehicles, but they face an uphill road as they challenge major car companies such as Toyota and General Motors in the race for the green car market.

California-based Tesla Motors Inc. and Fisker Automotive displayed cars at the North American International Auto Show, grabbing attention with sleek electric-drive vehicles that combine environmentally friendly chic with sports car sex appeal.

Tesla, which started in 2004, showcased its $109,000 all-electric two-seat Roadster sports car at the Detroit show and hopes to unveil its Model S electric car in late February, CEO Elon Musk said in an address before the Society of Automotive Analysts.


ZAP is hoping to keep the MSRP at $30,000 for the Alias three-wheeler pictured here.

Hero Motors Ultra Maxi uses a 250 watt motor to avoid falling into category that would require license fees, road taxes and registration.

The scooters currently come in two models, 1000 and 1500 watts, and retail for NZ$2200 and NZ$2400 including GST. Photo courtesy of Scoop.


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