• Jan 27, 2010
Columbia Crossline – Click above for high-res image gallery

There's another entry in the low-speed electric car wars, and this one is in it to win it. That's the message we got from Columbia marketing manager Greg Breckley, who was at the Washington Auto Show with his company's new car, the Crossline.

The Crossline is a concept vehicle in the sense that it isn't available yet and probably will change a little bit – the name, most likely – by the time it becomes available this summer. The car will have a top speed of 25 miles per hour (35 in the jurisdictions that allow it) and that's just fine for the low-speed vehicle market Columbia is shooting for. Breckley told us that Colombia will stay focused on the low-speed electric vehicle market because, "there is enough competition in the full-speed segment," Columbia's Greg Breckley.

Instead of trying to compete with Nissan or Coda or Ford, Columbia want to sell its vehicles to groups like the military or universities. In fact, Columbia sold 1,000 low-speed electric utility vehicles to the Army earlier this year and has so far delivered 600 of them. About half of the vehicles are SM4-TN passenger model and the other half are the SUV-LN truck.

Columbia's vehicles use a lead-acid based powertrain that the company has been evolving for the last five years. For the Crossline, the company is considering using absorbed glass mat batteries, and Breckley said they have been performing great in testing thus far. Columbia designed the Crossline with Aixiam Mega, a French company. Columbia used to import rolling chassis from France, but now buys all the components and does the final assembly in Reedsburg, WI. The Crossline should be out by the end of the year (hopefully) at a MSRP of under $20,000. Yes, that's before any tax credits.

Photos Copyright ©2010 Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.
Our travel and lodging for this media event were provided by the Auto Alliance.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      If all states would adopt the 35 mph speed limit for LSVs they would become a viable alternative for urban transportation. Now, how do we make that happen?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The laws need to change to allow 35mph LSVs everywhere.

      LSVs are a cheap easy way to get the EV market rolling. But 25 mph is just too damn low. 35 mph would be MUCH better. 40MPH better still but at that point one such vehicles with reduced safety features start becoming a bit dangerous.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's nice to see an electric LSV that doesn't have the styling and, er, air conditioning of a golf cart.

      At the same time, I think it's too little too late for these guys. With the release of the Leaf et al in a year's time, they don't stand a chance.
        • 4 Years Ago
        We own a Miles, which has similar specs. We live in Seattle, so the we thought about waiting for the Leaf, but realized that waiting for a car that's not yet in real production and is twice the cost, didn't make sense for us. Not to say we've had no bumps, but by and large, we're happy we have a LSV now at a reasonable cost.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh, forgot to mention that the Miles is a 4-door.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Crossline is aimed at a different market sector, one in which they have already made sales.

        "In fact, Columbia sold 1,000 low-speed electric utility vehicles to the Army earlier this year and has so far delivered 600 of them."

        So, as of now, they are ahead of Nissan's Leaf. Why would they quit, when they are ahead? Kudos, Columbia!

      • 4 Years Ago
      LSV's have always been a failure and will likely continue to be so. Too little too late, we need real EV's, and it's just not that hard to do.