Another company adding to the US neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) market with new models is Miles Automotive. NEVs are plug-in electric vehicles that are limited to a top speed of 25 mph and are exempted from many of the regulations that apply to other vehicles. Most of the NEVs available so far have been more like golf carts than what most people would call "real cars." The four door Miles ZX40 has the tall wagon look of many Japanese-market Kei-class cars, and is available in two- and four-seat configurations.
The base version is quoted as having a range of 40-50 miles from its four lead acid batteries while the ZX40S adds two more batteries and bumps the range to 60-70 miles. According to the specs for the base model, if you drive an average of 10 miles per charge cycle with a 20 percent discharge of the battery pack, it should be good for about 2,300 cycles or 23,000 miles. As the trip average increases to 25 miles, the number of cycles drops to 700 with a total of 17,500 miles before a new battery pack is needed. The ZX40 is built in China by Beijing JATO Machine & Electric Manufacture Corp. The screaming 8.45 hp motor will take you from 0-18.6 mph in a mere 3 seconds if you opt for the S model. If you cheap out, the base model will take a more leisurely 11.9 seconds for the same trip.
No price information is available at the web site although I've contacted a dealer to find out. Miles is also planning new higher speed models within the next eighteen months. Read more ABG coverage on Mile Automotive:
- EDTA Conference: Miles Automotive chairman previews 2007 LA Auto Show
- Chinese-made Miles OR70 NEV drawing interest on East Coast