Kevin Bullis

A View from Kevin Bullis

A New Electric Vehicle

EV Innovations is unveiling a commuter-vehicle prototype tomorrow.

  • April 8, 2009

Another small company is having a go at filling the demand for electric vehicles that the major automakers haven’t yet filled.

New Wave: A prototype of a new electric car, called the Wave. Credit: Kevin Bullis

Tomorrow, a company called EV Innovations, based in North Carolina, will officially unveil a prototype of the Wave, an electric vehicle with a range of 170 miles that’s expected to cost $34,900. It was available for a preview at the New York International Auto Show today.

The company only recently got a manufacturing license. Before that, it was converting conventional vehicles into electric cars. The prototype seems to be inspired in part by a fish-shaped electric car developed by Aptera, although the Wave has four wheels instead of three–a potential advantage because having four wheels allows it to qualify for tax credits. However, there is a bill before Congress to rewrite legislation to allow three-wheeled electric vehicles to qualify for tax credits.

The company is also developing an electric sports car that’s expected to accelerate from 0 to 60 in four seconds. Again, the company seems to be following in the footsteps of others, this time Tesla Motors. It will have a larger interior than Tesla’s Roadster, which could make tall people happy. Mike Cerven, director of sales at EV Innovations, hopes to get Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger interested.

Overall, though, there’s not much that stands out about these new offerings. The battery chemistry isn’t new, the range isn’t impressive, and so far the design doesn’t seem that thrilling. But the company has been developing its own batteries, and it hopes to bring them to production by persuading the government to give it some of the money set aside for battery R & D in the stimulus package that was signed into law in February, Cerven says. Maybe those batteries will significantly improve the cars.

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