The Best Electric Car Kits to Buy

March 28, 2012

A look at the most well reviewed electric cars on the market: the Leaf, the Volt, the Tesla, the ZAP, and the Fiskars.

Electric Kit Car

What are the best electric cars on the market? The top five most popular electric cars for sale (including the world's fastest) are:

  • The Nissan Leaf. Nissan is creating a whole infrastructure to support its electric-only vehicle, the Leaf. Surprisingly affordable, the manufacturer has put a list price on it of $32,780, before any sort of tax credit—which apparently will be continuing past its supposed Dec. 31 expiration date—so the price will ultimately be $25,280. At the same time, the manufacturer is selling an overnight charging station that must be installed by a Nissan technician that will retail for about $2,200 and will require a 120/240 volt service, so you may have to rewire your home if you purchase this all-electric. At the moment, the Leaf looks like it is the best electric car for sale.
  • The Chevrolet Volt. An all-electric with a twist, the $41,000 Volt is a quasi-gas/electric vehicle that is not a hybrid. The Volt runs strictly off a 48 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack that is charged by a small 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine whose sole task is to keep the battery charged. Unlike hybrids, where the engine also helps the electric motor, the Volt's gas motor is strictly a charging motor. It cuts in after the Volt's standard overnight charge has wound down and you are nearing the 40-mile limit.
  • The Tesla. First announced nearly seven years ago, the Tesla has about 1,000 units on the roads of 25 countries around the world. Two models, the Roadster and the S have both one-upped the traditional industry by using advanced materials, an advanced 56 kWh battery pack, as well as advanced programming. Tesla went public last summer.
  • ZAP. Built around a Chinese chassis, this all-electric has had some impressive orders placed, according to its press sheet. Not only are U.S. agencies looking at it, but it is also slated for sale in this country as a base builds for all-electrics. ZAP vehicles are available in truck and car configurations.
  • Fiskars. Although very much out of the mainstream, the Fiskars is the king of the mountain in electronic performance, outshining even Tesla. Some tests have shown that the Fiskars' two-door luxury all-electric will get 220-mph at the top end, and it will sport advanced materials technology, LI-On battery technology and cutting edge software technology.
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