Who will be first to deliver a full-sized, affordable all electric car to consumers? One company quietly emerging as a strong contender for this distinction is Miles Electric Vehicles, based in Santa Monica, California.
|The full-sized, freeway capable XS500,
Available late 2009 from Miles Electric Vehicles.
(Photo: Miles EV)
Through 2007 this company, founded in 2004, has delivered over 500 low speed (25 MPH, range up to 50 miles), full size vehicles and trucks to fleets, primarily for use on campuses and bases.
Customers include the University of California, the US Navy, the City of Chicago, Cal Poly, the US Air Force, and others. Their production, based in China, has expanded this year, and they are on track to deliver another 2,000 low speed vehicles by the end of 2008. But what’s coming will be available to consumers, and you’ll be able to drive it on the freeway.
The Miles XS500, which they expect to be offering for sale to consumers by late 2009, is a full sized, four door, highway speed sedan. It is designed to travel 80+ MPH for 120+ miles on a single charge. The all electric car uses lithium ion iron phosphate batteries manufactured by their partner Lishen Battery Co. located in Tianjin, China, and Miles expects to sell these vehicles for under $40,000.
The battery packs for the XS500 are designed to deliver 125,000 to 150,000 miles before requiring replacement. They are expected to require 4-6 hours to charge at home using 220 volt current, and store up to 25 kilowatt-hours.
When I asked Miles spokesperson Kara Saltness earlier today if Miles had a prototype of the XS500, she not only said yes, but told me she had been a passenger in the car during full speed testing on the Santa Monica Freeway. She stated there were two additional prototypes they would be testing within the next few months.
Miles Rubin, a wealthy and successful entrepreneur who has a long-standing concern for energy independence, funded this company himself until earlier this year, when the Angeleno Group put in a $15M equity investment. Miles Electric Vehicles hasn’t been in the spotlight much, but they appear to be as likely to deliver the first affordable full-sized, freeway capable all-electric car as anyone.