• Apr 23, 2007

Hybrid Technologies has created a way for you to be kinder to the planet, save on gasoline, and look great doing it -- but it's going to cost you. The seven-year-old company out of Nevada is developing an electric Mini Cooper that uses lithium batteries and will be available next year for $59,000.

By now everyone realizes that environmental responsibility is going to cost us all a bit more. Still, it's hard to imagine how many folks will plunk down an extra $40K over the Mini Cooper's base price in order to maintain style points. The Hybrid Technologies site lists the Mini's range as 120+ miles, but Frank Ziegler, Hybrid's director of sales and distribution, apparently said it would be 160 miles. Assuming a gas price of $3 per gallon, no matter how you do the math, you'd have to keep the car for at least 14 years to recoup the additional investment.

Hybrid Technologies is dedicated to turning hot models into electric cars. In addition the the Mini, they sell a number of two- and four-wheeled vehicles, including an electric Smart that comes in at $49,000. Ziegler says, "People want cars that don't look like electric cars." True. But for the time being, only certain people with deep pockets will get the choice.

[Source: Wired]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      How exactly a car that uses "batteries" can save the earth is news to me. I never knew we as human beings already have a safe, economical and earth friendly way to dispose those batteries.

      If you want to save the earth, get a bicycle, use public transit and walk. Otherwise don't pretend you are doing the earth any good because you spend 1/3 more on a car that use more energy to produce and potentially creates more problems to the earth down the road.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you want an electric car that can compete with petrol-powered cars, converting an existing car to an electric drivetrain is just about the worst thing to do. The electric version will almost always be inferior to the original car in some aspect. That's exactly one of the reasons why electric cars are so unpopular.
      People may not want to buy crappy looking electric cars, but they sure as hell don't want cars that look like any other car, but perform worse and cost more just because they're electric.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The people buying this version obviously care more about a car that can be powered with CLEAN energy rather than recouping investments. And who wouldn't want to switch from carcinogenic gasoline cars to something that maybe won't give their kids asthma? Alot of areas now give residents the ability to purchase "Green" energy (wind mills, etc.) instead of from traditional power plants, so the oil shills can go somewhere else where people don't know better.

      And at the cost & profile of this car, its infinitely more likely it includes more bells & whistles (and power, AND performance) than the gas-can version. And to the buffoon who said electric cars "aren't so popular", maybe its because they AREN'T SO AVAILABLE. Check out who killed the electric car. The big companies like to showcase cars electric cars with poor performance and ugly looks because they want people to believe only a gas-can can give them that. WRONG. They have the ability & tech to do it, but they'de rather protect their interests in the oil business. Criminal Complicity. If we nationalized oil & left the electric industry unregulated, in 3 years tops 80% of the cars out would be electric.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just wonder, how much CO2 is liberated to the atmosphere in the process of building just one these "green" cars?.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Article made me laugh !

      Misconception - Hybrids / electric cars are NOT green, they are greener alternatives to a regular car. A true "green" person doesn't own a car.

      As a Prius 2006 owner, I can upsize my EV-2 car to a plug-in EV-30 for a cheaper combined price of this 59K$ Mini !

      Plus I still have my gas engine for highway speeds, long trips, roomier interior, more storage, and SAFER (my car has four airbags & side curtains).

      I plan on converting to Plug-IN EV-30 when it's paid for 5 years, unless Toyota makes a newer plug-in model.

      If Toyota makes a 2010 Plug-IN Prius, I will resell my current 2006 Prius for over 50% of it's purchase price.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the "people don't want electric cars that look like electric cars" is totally off the mark. People who pay a premium for a "green" product want to make it a lifestyle statement.

      How about the Prius outselling the hybrid Honda Civic? Could it be that the Civic just didn't stand out enough to justify the increased price? It seems an accepted truth that the savings in fuel economy won't cover the premium cost of hybrids, so it's either people wanting to feel good about making a lower impact on the environment (they still pollute a lot less) and/or making a statement about their choice.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Google 'electric Porsche 911' and look at the videos of these conversions in action. They have nearly as much or more power than the original gas versions and do it without stinking up the air.
      Or if you want real performance check out www.tesla.com, for one of the fastest sports cars built.

      For the last poster... I don't know where you're from, but I live up north in the sticks (in canada) and even we have drop off depots car, cellphone, laptop etc batteries for recycling. It's not rocket science.

      Electric cars may be take more energy to produce right now, mainly because they aren't mass-produced; also in the long run since you can make electricity cleanly, electric cars are a much better choice in the long run, energy and pollution wise.