Every now and then, a new electric vehicle pops up unexpectedly on our radar, fully realized and just about ready for sale. They're usually low-speed electrics, and that's exactly the case with the line-up of EVs from Alvarez Electric Motors Company that was unveiled in Vegas last week at the National Association of Minority Auto Dealers.

Looking almost exactly like any number of neighborhood electric vehicles before them, the Alvarez NEVs will be sold in "Ecocentres," which are part of a dealership network "dedicated to economical, environmentally friendly fleet and consumer vehicles."

Who is this titular Alvarez? He's Ramon Alvarez, who owns Lincoln and Jaguar dealerships in Riverside, CA and said that the cars' main reason for being is their low price tags and zero-emission status. In a statement, he said, "Americans who love the environment and hate the price of gasoline are showing an increasing level of interest in owning an electric vehicle, but they sometimes have been stymied by the relatively-high cost of ownership. AEMC is going to bridge that gap with a commuter car that is priced just under $10,000 and is eligible for thousands of dollars in rebates and tax credits through our local, state and federal governments."

Prices start at $9,995 for the Eco-E Commuter Car, $16,995 for the EcoTruck and $17,995 for the EcoVan. The vehicles all have a top speed of 25 miles per hour and claimed ranges of between 25 and 40 miles (30 to 40 miles for the Eco-E). The vehicles are made by Liuzhou Wuling Special Purpose Vehicle Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in China and use absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries. You can find more specs below.



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Alvarez Electric Motors Company to Unveil EcoCentre at NAMAD

National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers provides a forum for a 30-year automotive industry veteran to announce new venture featuring electric cars, trucks and vans

RIVERSIDE, CA –Ramon Alvarez C., owner of successful Lincoln and Jaguar dealerships in Riverside, has created Alvarez Electric Motors Company to provide customers and fleet managers with an electric vehicle line that promises to make owning a "green" vehicle easier and more affordable than ever.

Alvarez is scheduled to unveil his vision for a nationwide network of Alvarez Electric Motors Company (AEMC) outlets, known as EcoCentres, at the annual membership meeting of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers in Las Vegas July 25-27. The EcoCentre franchises will sell AEMC's affordable Eco-E Commuter Car, EcoVan and EcoTruck, as well as pre-owned alternative-fuel vehicles.

"Americans who love the environment and hate the price of gasoline are showing an increasing level of interest in owning an electric vehicle, but they sometimes have been stymied by the relatively-high cost of ownership," Alvarez, AEMC's President, said. "AEMC is going to bridge that gap with a commuter car that is priced just under $10,000 and is eligible for thousands of dollars in rebates and tax credits through our local, state and federal governments."

The two-seat Eco-E car is listed for $9,995, the EcoTruck sells for $16,995 and the EcoVan costs $17,995. Tax credits and local and state rebates can cut thousands of dollars of the cost of each vehicle, making them an affordable alternative to electric cars that can cost two or three times as much. The vehicles are expected to use about $5 per month in electricity and can be powered with a simple 110-volt outlet.

AEMC's car, truck and van are neighborhood electric vehicles, or NEVs, meaning they are perfect for in-town driving on most city streets or for use on corporate campuses, colleges and universities or by governments. The vehicles reach speeds of 25 mph and have a range of 30-40 miles, depending on your driving habits.

The first EcoCentre dealership, Fladeboe EcoCentre, will open in August at the Irvine Auto Center in Southern California and will be operated by Fladeboe Automotive Group. The Fladeboe Automotive Group consists of Honda, Volkswagen, GMC, Buick and Coda franchises. AEMC has signed letters of intent from dealers interested in opening EcoCentres in Riverside, San Bernardino, Glendale, Canoga Park and San Jose.

Alvarez is scheduled to unveil the EcoCentre new car dealership model to a national audience at the annual membership meeting of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers July 25-27 in Las Vegas. The event marks the culmination of two years of groundwork, including the development of an agreement with Liuzhou Wuling Special Purpose Vehicle Manufacturing Co., Ltd. for distribution in North America. Wuling is one of the oldest and largest vehicle manufacturers in China, producing 1.2 million cars and trucks each year.

Alvarez anticipates a strong market for business, government and institutional customers who will want to use the vehicles on a business campus, as part of a government fleet, at colleges and universities and at large manufacturing and distribution facilities. Other options include golf courses, airports and military bases, shuttle vans, food deliveries and landscaping companies.

On the consumer side, the car, truck and van are expected to draw interest from residents of gated and/or retirement communities, high school and college students and their parents, and motorists who are looking for a second vehicle that does not cost much to buy or operate.

"We look forward to working closely with fleet managers who are looking for a reliable, yet affordable, vehicle that is very, very inexpensive to operate," Alvarez said. "We also believe there is a strong consumer market among drivers who need an affordable vehicle to make short trips in town, using city streets instead of the freeway."

Alvarez has 30+ years of experience in the auto industry. He opened his Alvarez Lincoln-Mercury in Riverside in 1995 and, six years later, his Alvarez Jaguar, the first Hispanic-owned Jaguar dealership in the western U.S. He is past chairman of the Lincoln-Mercury Dealer Association.

Alvarez has been a member of the California New Motor Vehicle Board since 2007 and currently serves as its President. He also is a past member of the board of directors of the California Chamber of Commerce and sits on the boards of numerous community, professional and charitable organizations.

Alvarez is a past recipient of the Ford Motor Company Society of Leasing Professional Dealer Award and the prestigious Ernst & Young Outstanding Entrepreneur Award. He is a past Executive-in-Residence at California State University San Bernardino's College of Business and Public Administration, and hosts a weekly radio show, "El Show de Don Ramón," produced by Univision Radio.

Specifications for the EcoCentre line of Vehicles


EcoTruck™
Motor: 6 KW nominal - 13 KW peak
Battery: 96 volts, absorbed glass mat (AGM)
On-board Charger: 110 to 230 VAC
Charge time: 8 to 10 hours
Charging cycles: 700+
Vehicle Dimensions: 159x60x73 inches
Weight (empty): 2367 lbs
Cargo Capacity: 1000+ lbs
Speed: 25 mph (regulation limited)
Range: 25 to 40 miles
Brakes: hydraulic disk (front), hydraulic drum (rear)
MSRP: $16,995 Options: Factory installed air conditioning


EcoVan™
Motor: 6 KW nominal - 13 KW peak
Battery: 96 volts, absorbed glass mat (AGM)
On-board Charger: 110 to 230 VAC
Charge time: 8 to 10 hours
Charging cycles: 700+
Vehicle Dimensions: 145x59x73 inches
Weight (empty): 2,700 lbs
Seating: Buckets in front, one or two bench seats
Speed: 25 mph (regulation limited)
Range: 25 to 40 miles
Brakes: hydraulic disk (front), hydraulic drum (rear)
MSRP: $17,995 Options: Factory installed air conditioning


Eco-E™ Commuter Car
Motor: 3.1 KW nominal
Battery: 48 volts, absorbed glass mat (AGM)
On-board Charger: 110 to 230 VAC
Charge time: 8 to 10 hours
Charging cycles: 700+
Vehicle Dimensions: 90x52x68 inches
Weight (empty): 1210 lbs
Cargo Capacity: 440+ lbs
Speed: 25 mph (regulation limited)
Range: 30 to 40 miles
Brakes: hydraulic drum (front & rear)
MSRP: $9,995


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      gladyschavez1
      • 5 Months Ago
      Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverages on older cars. Search online for "Clearance Auto" If your car is worth less than 10 times the premium, purchasing the coverage may not be cost effective.
      purrpullberra
      • 5 Months Ago
      These things need to be allowed to go 35 mph on smaller roads. That seems to be the speed at which nev's don't ruin small road traffic or go too slow for driver and passenger.
        Ziv
        • 5 Months Ago
        @purrpullberra
        purrpullberra is right about the speed issue. 35 mph is crucial because it lets these NEV's go with the flow of traffic. And for a lot of these NEV's all it takes is a $500 kit to increase the speed from 25 mph to 35 mph. At least it does for GEM, the Ford Think and the Kurrent. Here is a link to the wiki on MSV's which are legal in 8 or 9 states. Montana is leading the way on this effort, which is a cool thing for this old Hi Liner to say. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium_speed_vehicle
      Marcopolo
      • 5 Months Ago
      I can't believe that anyone would consider allowing the import of these absurd, little vehicles, with no safety features into the US. These little vehicles are badly constructed, even by the standards of NEV vehicles. The US will continue to lose employment and wealth as long as it's more selfish citizens will sell their birthright for cheap PRC goods. Liuzhou Wuling Special Purpose Vehicle Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in China, is part of the PRC state owned Wuling Group, a group of companies whose state subsidized commercial success is marred by it's shocking human rights record. (But they still produce the Chevy spark). Sorry Ziv, I see nothing 'cool' about these PRC products. Nor should 23 million unemployed Americans !
        Marcopolo
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marcopolo
        @ Ziv, A few crappy little, badly made vehicles made in the PRC, will not make America or EV technology stronger. For the US to sell it moral integrity to deal with such enterprises, is shameful. It's the same as all those eager sino-philes who gushed praise about the Beijing Olympics, human rights advocates and those whose homes had been demolished to provide luxury accommodation for foreign visitors or Party big-wigs were being viciously beaten, crippled, and tortured by the authorities less than 1000 metres away. No doubt, in the 1930's, lot's of people thought that German goods and products had improved and represented 'good value' , with the arrival of the 'new era'. BTW, these little vehicles aren't 3 star safe, they are no car safe !
        Ziv
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I prefer MSV's like GEM's that can do 35 mph and are built in the US, but I would rather jump start the industry any way that is possible. Safety standards? I don't believe in making perfect the enemy of good enough. If the car is doing 35 mph, air bags aren't needed, they are a problem. These MSV's aren't the goal, they are a means of getting there. Any MSV that uses American electricity is a step towards energy independence, which is more important in my opinion than whether the car is 5 star safe or 3 star safe. This isn't about what I like or dislike about American cars, it is about what makes America stronger in the long run.
      Actionable Mango
      • 5 Months Ago
      The local bug exterminator bought one of these. It is very poorly made and very unreliable. Within a couple of months everything was constantly breaking. Leaky cabin. Poor welds. Everything metal rusting. Everything plastic breaking. Finally he gave up and repainted it to be a sign.
      Nick
      • 5 Months Ago
      Yeah give em 35 mph........come on! Are these eligible for any tax rebates?