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The Most Futuristic Electric Cars You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

Cameron EittreimJanuary 5, 2023

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Ford Ranger EV

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).

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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.

Photo Credit: Honda

Honda EV Plus

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).

Photo Credit: Honda

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.

Photo Credit: Toyota

Toyota RAV4 EV

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).

Photo Credit: Toyota

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.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Nissan Altra

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).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

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.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Chevrolet S-10 Electric

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).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

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.

Photo Credit: TMZ

Fisker Karma

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).

Photo Credit: Fisker

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.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Tesla Roadster

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).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

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.

Photo Credit: BMW

BMW E1

The BMW E1 was a concept car released in the 1990s. While it didn’t look like much from the outside the design was great. The technology that went into the E1 was far ahead of the time. Like with most electric vehicles from this period, BMW had to stick to a fairly compact design (via Car & Driver).

Photo Credit: BMW

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.

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