Money gets you peace of mind and that’s where the IX comes in. The IX is one of the newest electric car offerings from BMW. The crossover design is very reminiscent of the BMW SUV models that we’ve seen over the past decade. The interior quality is above average and the materials are top-notch (via Car & Driver).
But this is a BMW and quality shouldn’t be overlooked. The performance of the IX is exceptional and the charging time is fast. When it comes to high-priced luxury EV models the competition is fierce and the BMW IX stands out from the crowd.
Believe it or not, Chrysler was one of the earliest adopters of electric vehicle technology. The TEVan was based on the 1993 Town & Country and it utilized a battery charging pack to feed the 60 HP motor. The van only achieved a range of about 85 miles on a full charge and only 56 of them were put into production (via Hot Cars).
The TEVan wasn’t a success but it showed the company was serious about electric cars. The Town & Country wasn’t the best base to use for a new electric vehicle, but Chrysler was still rebuilding from the 1980s.
Although Tesla is generally credited with bringing electric vehicles to the forefront, there was another company doing it in the 1990s. Solectria was a company that designed a few electric cars nearing production. One of the most prominent models was the Solectria Sunrise, which debuted on the auto show circuit in 1996 (via Hot Cars).
If the car looked familiar, it was because the base of the vehicle was a Geo Metro. But its lightweight design gave designers a lot of room to mess around with. The Sunrise never made it into production but it’s amazing to see how futuristic this car was.
The EV1 was probably one of the most notorious vehicles in history, and with good reason. GM developed this car and leased it to consumers, only to decide to crush them upon return. This caused an uproar and even spawned a documentary. The EV1 was the first modern mass-produced electric car that didn’t break the bank (via Motor Trend).
The Saturn brand offered the humble underpinnings of the car. The EV1 was so popular that there was a waitlist and even Danny Devito owned one of them. Unfortunately, GM learned from its mistakes and its modern electric cars are much better.
Believe it or not, the new F-150 Lightning was not the first electric-powered Ford truck, although the company would love to think that. It was the Ranger EV which was produced in small numbers in 1997. The truck was very simplistic with a lead-acid battery and a 90-horsepower motor, but it was enough for the fleet customers who wanted one (via Motor Biscuit).
The Ranger EV offered everything great about the Ranger, from its reliability to the affordable price tag. The truck was a stellar product but it was only produced in small numbers and only available in a single-cab configuration.
Honda also offered an EV model in the 1990s called the EV Plus. This little hatchback was a lot smaller than the Civic model at the time. The EV Plus only had 66 horsepower and it reached 105 miles on a single charge. Perhaps the most interesting about the car was that it seated four passengers (via Top Gear).
There were 340 examples put into production and although it doesn’t look like it the EV Plus was a groundbreaking car. The fact that Honda was able to produce this car on such a small scale with such advanced technology and keep the price down is commendable.
The RAV4 EV was an SUV that you might have seen at a car show a time or two. There were 1500 of them leased in California and this was the first modern electric SUV. The overall style and feeling of the RAV4 were quite normal, the only difference was that it was electric. The RAV4 EV boasted a reasonable driving range and the lease wasn’t hard to get your hands on (via Motor Trend).
The model was based on the first-generation RAV which itself was a great SUV. The RAV4 was the originator of the car-based compact SUV segment that we have today. The RAV4 EV was by far one of the most advanced and futuristic SUV models.
Even though Nissan was in bad shape in the 1990s, there were still a few great concept cars. One of the most notable was the Altra, which was an electric-powered wagon model. The engine was 84 horsepower and 105 miles, which was impressive at the time (via Motor Trend).
The Altra was also one of the first electric cars to use a lithium-ion battery. This technology was later adapted for the Nissan Leaf model. The Altra was a comfortable and consumer-friendly electric car that was way ahead of its time.
General Motors was never a company to be outdone by Ford, and when Ford unveiled the Ranger EV in the ’90s, GM had its own answer. The S-10 Electric was also a fleet vehicle only available in a single trim. The range wasn’t all that great and the truck was about as basic as it came (via Hot Cars).
From the rubber floors to the black grill and bumpers the S-10 Electric wasn’t anything great to look at. But the fact that it was electric was appealing to fleet customers, who needed to save money on their bottom lines.
The Fisker Karma beat Tesla to the market by a long shot and the car was the sweetheart of environmentally conscious celebrities. But its high price tag and relatively unknown brand meant the car was bound to fail. Karma never broke any sales records and there were very few produced (via Car and Driver).
But the beautiful styling of the Karma almost made you forget it was an electric car. The Karma wasn’t produced but for a few short years. Interestingly enough the brand is going to be making a resurgence with the new Fisker Ocean model.
The Tesla Roadster was the car that started it all for the company. And although the Tesla Roadster is primitive by today’s standards, it was the standard bearer for what a production electric car should be. There were points in time when Tesla was almost out of money bringing the Roadster to the market (via Car Buzz).
The earliest Tesla Roadster models were plagued with bugs and issues, but it was enough to get the company ahead. The Roadster was a success for Tesla and it was one of the most futuristic vehicles on the road.
The E1 was never mass-produced, but BMW continued to perfect the technology for years to come. While most modern EV manufacturers are getting all the notoriety it was BMW that was one of the first major players.