In spite of all the attention that Tesla has drawn in the electric vehicle space over the last two years, few of us will ever be able to afford a Roadster or the WhiteStar. One ray of hope that many have been able to hang onto for an affordable all speed electric car was the XS500 from Miles Automotive (previously known as the Javlon). Unfortunately it starting to look like that car won't be much more affordable than a WhiteStar. Ever since Miles announced their intention to offer the XS500 they have been quoting a price of about $30,000 for the electric sedan that has the capability of traveling at highway speeds.
Miles has been working with the manufacturer to upgrade the power-train with items like an AC motor and lithium ion batteries. Also unlike Tesla they are not requesting a waiver on the advanced airbag regulation. All that stuff requires a lot of engineering which doesn't come cheap. According to Martijn Noordam at AllGreenVehicles, the European distributor for Miles, the XS500 should appear in early 2009 and the price will be approximately €40,000. At today's exchange rate that comes to about $58,750. That's not exactly mainstream affordable.
Update: After some communications with Miles Automotive Marketing Mgr, Kara Saltness, the situation is marginally less cloudy. According to Saltness the company is still targeting a US price of $30-35,000. However, work remains to be done on the car and in her words, "Due to the complexities of the development process, we cannot yet determine the exact price for the XS500 at launch in the U.S. market." So the price may be higher or it might not. The only thing we know for sure is that we don't know, although if I were a betting man, I'd say it will likely be adjusted upwards. As for the European price, my initial communications with Martijn Noordam implied the target price in Europe was the same $30-35,000 and it had risen from there to €40,000. I'll chalk that one up to lost in translation.
[Source: MILES BENELUX B.V / ALLGREENVEHICLES]
TALKING POINTS: MILES XS500
1.When will the XS500 be available for purchase?
We anticipate delivery of the XS500 in 2009. Due to the complexity of the development process, we cannot determine an exact launch date at this time. While being first to come to market with this leading technology may provide certain advantages, ensuring the XS500 exceeds customer expectations in terms of safety, quality and reliability is of first importance.
2. How much will the XS500 cost?
The projected U.S. retail price for the XS500 is between $30,000 and $35,000. The projected price for markets outside the U.S. has not yet been determined.
There are a host of factors that may affect the price of the XS500 in other markets including distributorships, shipping costs, local taxes, and import duties. Until those unknown variables are addressed it is premature to make consumer price projections for the XS500 in international markets.
3. What is the status on the progress of the XS500?
The computer simulation crash testing began in January 2008, and physical crash testing will soon follow. Like all of MILES' current vehicle models, the XS500 will conform to U.S. NHTSA standards and exceed the U.S. Department of Transportation safety regulations.
The first XS500 prototype was delivered to the U.S. in January of 2008. Prototype vehicles will be road and climate tested in the U.S. in the Spring of 2008.
We plan to work on the homologation of the vehicle for EU Certification; however, we have not yet set a specific date for EU testing.
4. What type of batteries will it have?
The XS500 is powered by a 320 volt, 25 kilowatt, 80 amp/hour, advanced, proprietary, safety tested, lithium-ion battery pack. The battery system will take 4-6 hours to charge at 50% depletion and charge on a 220 volt service. The expected battery life of the system is 125,000 to 150,000 miles.
5. What special features does the car have?
The MILES XS500 is an all electric, zero emissions, four-door, highway speed sedan. It will travel 80+ mph for 120+ miles on a single charge. Pininfarina styling and interior design along with sophisticated electronics systems and an advanced airbag system make the XS500 a desirable consumer and fleet car. The XS500 will offer a wide range of options including Bluetooth capability, air conditioning, power seats, power windows, a sunroof and an AM/FM CD stereo system.
6. Where will it be manufactured?
All MILES vehicles combine the best of U.S. research and development as well as electric motor and controller technology with China's advanced battery and vehicle manufacturing capabilities with final assembly in China.
7. Where can I buy one?
The XS500 will be distributed nationwide through our U.S. dealer network. MILES is currently working on distribution agreements for international markets.
8. Can I be put on a waiting list and are you taking deposits?
We do not currently have a waiting list, but interested individuals can join our mailing list on our website (www.milesev.com) and be notified about the progress of the XS500. We are not taking deposits at this time; however, as we get closer to the official launch date, we will notify interested parties about our vehicle deposit program.
9. When and where can I test drive one?
The MILES XS500 model will be available for test drives at any one of our authorized MILES dealers in 2009. To find the dealer nearest you, visit our website (www.milesev.com) and type in your zip code in the "Dealer Locator" box in the top right side of the homepage. If there is not currently a MILES dealer in your area, please notify the corporate office in Santa Monica, Calififornia for follow up.