The chairman and owner of Miles Automotive, Miles Rubin, gave a presentation at the EDTA Conference that was refreshing because it wasn't a PowerPoint slideshow. I admit those slides are a great way to show graphs and charts to a large audience, but they're also pretty boring. When Rubin got up to speak, he just launched into his and his company's reasons for being in the electric drive business.

Readers will know about Miles Automotive from their OR70 NEV, but Rubin announced that at the Los Angeles Auto Show in late 2007 the company would have something new to show, probably the XS200. This new car probably won't be NHTSA certified at that time, but if it's anything like the car that Rubin said is his company's goal car, then people will be enthused anyway. This goal car can reach highway speeds, has a 200-mile range and has an on-board charger for a battery that lasts 125,000 miles. The estimated price for the XS200 is $28,500. The reason for building a car like this are obvious, Rubin said: electric make sense because the infrastructure exists; if we wanted to, we could make clean electricity; and hydrocarbon emissions are an "absolute disaster" that our children will have to deal with, but we can start working on the problem now.

Rubin said Miles Automotive is working with Chinese battery makers not because labor there is cheaper, but because those companies are "doing wonders" with lithium-ion batteries that are safe and have the range required (Miles' low-speed OR70 has a range of about 70 miles).

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