Miles Electric Vehicles

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.

Categorized | Transportation
16 Responses to “Miles Electric Vehicles”
  1. Piet Pompies says:

    Miles Electric Vehicles seems to be the electric vehicle for the people for the near future…

  2. Ben says:

    Way to go Rubin! Thanks for your effort. The world needs more responsible rich men like you.

  3. dustin says:

    MILES – low speed neighborhood vehicles are the best in the business real cars that provide good value and are viable community transportation. We all should be looking at them as an alternative to high gas prices. – WAY TO GO MILES

  4. Tom Rollings says:

    I was at Springfest in Fayetteville, Arkansas and there was a Miles vehicle parked in the street. When I reached inside the car for a brochure, people surrounded me. They thought that I was the salesman for the MILES and asked me a bunch of questions. To the delight of my family, I started answering a few questions and more people started to show up. It was hilarious! The point being, there is a lot of interest in an all-electric plug-in type of vehicle! If you ever need a salesman…

  5. BILL SCHRADER says:

    Is there any way to make them in the USA?

  6. Terry J. Hale says:

    To respond to the last comment the Miles EV’s are manufactured in San Monica, CA. However, the batteries are manufactured in China.

  7. Andrew says:

    The miles ev isn’t made in santa monica, it’s all from China. I’ve been there personally.

    Also for their highway car, I remember when they were saying that it would be around 30k, so it sounds like the same old song and dance, get everyone’s hope up, then can not meet the original plan. I do hope they prove us wrong.

  8. Zenlia says:

    While final assembly of MILES vehicles is in China, many of the major components are US engineered and manufactured (i.e. both the motor and controller). MILES makes sure that they use the best engineering and parts for their vehicles. Also, MILES has only given estimates of the cost for the highway speed and naturally things change in the development process.

  9. Henry Gibson says:

    All electric cars should have an emergency fuel powered charger. Your local model airplane hobby shop can show you high powered engines for large model aircraft that weigh only a few pounds and may have as much as ten horsepower. This is enough for city driving when you also have a very big battery for high acceleration. Actually a modified Honda inverter generator can give you an idea of what size is actually needed for charging while moving. These charging engines operate at very high speeds or not at all to get high horsepower and high efficiency. A computer can select between the highest efficiency or the highest horsepower depending on the charge in the battery and the speed of the car. High low speed torque is not needed as is the case in a regular car engine. The engine can use only one large piston for low friction loss and manufacturing cost. The exhaust clean up is easy because of the constant speed operation. The catalyst can be preheated while initially operating on the battery. Many people will seldom need to use the generator, as the car is charged at home….HG…

  10. Roy Christian says:

    The Miles vehicle is Chinese manufactured then shipped here. The ZENN (Zero Emission No Noise) is manufactured in Canada (with some European parts). From a sustainable point of view it would be better to support the ZENN over Miles just regarding the fuel used transporting product from China, not even getting into local parts availability.

    ZENN is researching a highway vehicle as well utilizing ultra capacitor storage instead of batteries. The result is a charge time of 15 minutes or less with a life greater than any other battery system..

  11. hans says:

    A Chinese car received a “fail” crash test rating in Europe this year. I hope the Miles passenger car will be up to current safety standards. People who are green are more often than not also safety concious. A terrible crash test result could be fatal not only for passenger, but Miles electric cars.

  12. frank harvey says:

    I don’t care how they’re making it or where they’re making it. They’re an american firm making cars for us. That’ll do just fine, thank you. Go Miles!

    I’m thrilled to see that it’s got a 100 mile range and can go freeway speeds. The designers really understand what people need.

  13. Bill Williams says:

    I have seen the high-speed cars being offered by several company’s in the USA. So I made a call the manufacture in China for these cars they wanted to make our company the sole Disturber for this car and there high-speed bus to find out that they had offered this deal to many US company’s. There is not one company have this car dot approved for high speed in the US according to the dot. I would like to see the dead line on when this car can be sold in the USA. I think this is a great way for the American people can fight back with the high gas prices.

  14. Rick Perry says:

    Boy……….what a shame……I won’t have anything to do with products from China if I can help it……I was real pumped and had my wallet ready……China already owns us….why add salt to the wound….Nice car…but now I will take my business elsewhere….

  15. Mark says:

    I want a pure battery electric car, but I know we won’t see one built by the car companies we grew up with.
    Who does not want EV’s in our driveways:
    -Big Automakers, because they, and their dealer networks do not earn significant revenue by selling cars. A look at how large their service departments are (and our out-of-wallet experience with them) shows what’s at stake revenue-wise because EV’s never need service beyond tire changes. EV’s don’t even need brake jobs due to electronic regenerative braking that does most of the work. Their ordinary friction brake pads and rotors thus last the life of the car (as shown on the Toyota electric Rav4).
    The large established car companies depend on their service department, like printer companies depend on sales of ink cartridges. So why did Toyota sell the Rav4 instead of leasing and crushing as GM did with the EV1? It’s a mystery, but I came across a blog that mentioned that a Toyota exec at a public speech mistakenly said that the cars would be sold, and so to save face, Toyota reluctantly sold the Rav4. Buyers, however, now post on blogs that they actually had difficulty in getting the Toyota dealer to sell them an electric Rav4 and that they were highly pressured to instead buy a Gas Toyota or a Prius.
    -Large oil companies, for obvious reasons. Note they are also major stockholders in auto companies and thus probably have influence over their board of directors.
    Business firms exist to make profits, but profits are going to be reduced if EV’s replace the ICE car. Much of our economy is based on the automobile, and its upkeep. Almost every business is related in some way to the car. What will happen to employment if the need to service a car is reduced?
    What happens to Midas, Pepboys, Kragen’s, smog check, AMCO, gas stations, Jiffylube, general service repair centers, the manufacturing plants that fabricate repair parts, the UPS people that deliver the parts, the corner deli or Taco Bells frequented by those firm’s workers at lunchtime? What about government agencies that depend on collecting all manner of tax revenue from the above interlinked economy?
    If people understand this scenario, then they will understand why they can’t yet buy an EV from the legacy business infrastructure. Only recently can one sniff the scent of a potential EV from upstart EV start-up manufacturers like Tesla (too costly for mass production partly because they hand-solder a battery pack of 6000 Lithium AA sized cells together in series-parallel groups), Aptera, and even the tiny BugE, etc., because a startup company does not need to address the risk that a service-free vehicle will parasitically affect revenue from other parts of its company.
    Curiously, Nissan’s CEO has advocated a pure EV but I have a hard time believing he really will build one and that the announcement is mostly PR in nature. After all, Nissan has service centers, too.

  16. manuel islas says:

    We have a Miles ZX 40-S and it only gets 20 miles per charge. Now it only gets about 12 miles per charge. I have called Miles service to take a look at the vehicle for about 6 months and they still have not come. After several calls they basically told me to fix it myself. Good luck at getting it serviced!


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