Sep 092010


AMID the hype about electric cars, one problem remains: their price. General Motors’ Volt, for instance, will cost $41,000 (though that is before generous subsidies).

It therefore remains an option more for early adopters than for normal motorists. Specialist vehicles such as the 200kph (125mph) Tesla Roadster are even more expensive.

Partly, this is the result of a desire by carmakers to create electric vehicles that match the standards of petrol-driven ones. Increasing their speed and range to do so, though, is costly and in most cases the technology is not really quite there yet. The Volt, for example, has an additional petrol-powered generator to run the car when the battery’s 65km (40 mile) range has been exceeded.

One South Korean firm, however, is taking a different tack. CT&T, whose main line of business until now has been making electric golf carts, is producing a range of battery-powered cars more suited to low-speed, short-distance urban driving than to cruising the freeways of the American West. Its flagship model, the eZone, is a quirky two-seater aimed at housewives, the elderly and those making the daily school run. It has a range of 100km and can clip along at 70kph if you really put your foot down.

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