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Amp Sky – Click above for high-res image gallery

We all want electric vehicles that we can afford. Unfortunately the only full function electric car "available on the market" in the United States right now is the Tesla Roadster. However even before car loans became hard to get, the Roadster was largely unaffordable. So, what other options are there? For now at least the only option is the neighborhood electric vehicle, also known as NEVs.

In typical fashion, Zap has responded to the critical exposé that was published Wired recently with, you guessed it, more press releases. The releases, of course, do nothing at all to address any of the issues raised in the article about the company's business practices. Zap has heavily promoted several amazing new vehicles, none of which have been delivered even in prototype form. One of the press releases does point to an article in Popular Mechanics titled "5 Electric Cars Making Histo

We've already covered the Italian-designed Kurrent built in Michigan by American Electric Vehicle. An English company is preparing to use the same design and build it in Britain. Future Vehicles will produce the Elettrica to take on the popular if easily "compacted" G-Wiz. Unlike the Kurrent, which uses lead gel batteries to achieve a forty mile range, the Elettrica will use lithium ion batteries to bump the range to seventy miles.

It may look like an AEV Kurrent to American eyes, but the car in the photo here is an Elettrica. It may share the look of the Kurrent, but the Elettrica is an Italian-made electric car that recently proved it has a range of at least 50 miles during a drive from London to Brighton without recharging. Indeed, it had "battery capacity to spare." Is 50 miles far? No, but it's a way to introduce this car to England.

A Kurrent in the assembly process. Click the photo for a high res gallery

Click on the photo of AEV President Scott Thornton and the Kurrent for a high-res gallery of photos from AutoblogGreen's visit to the AEV factory

Click on the photo for a high-res gallery of the AEV Kurrent factory tour

Click on the photo for a high res gallery from the AEV factory tour

Click on the photo of AEV President Scott Thornton and the Kurrent for a high-res gallery of photos from our visit to the AEV factory

digg_url = 'http://digg.com/environment/The_Top_Ten_electric_vehicles_you_can_buy_right_now_for_the_most_part'; I think all the news of the Tesla Roadster and the Chevy Volt that came out since last summer has reminded a lot of people that there are some serious contenders to the gasoline engine. The electric vehicle (EV) community certainly thinks 2006 was a good year for EVs. In fact, the past has seen some truly cool EVs, and the list of retired EVs is long and, for some, emotional: the EV

A few days ago, Scott Thornton took some time to talk to AutoblogGreen about his current project, American Electric Vehicles and the Kurrent electric car (for an intro to the Kurrent, read this).

Is the sudden interest in neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV) good for EV movement? Are they helping advance the technology needed to introduce mainstream consumers to EVs? Is there really a strong market for $10,000 or $15,000 grocery getters and industrial-yard security cruisers?

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