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How much is too much for a neighborhood electric vehicle? If you're talking about a somewhat unknown NEV that looks like a smart fortwo, can go about 60 miles per charge at a speed of 28 mph and are currently located in Alberta, Canada, $4,500 is too much. That's the lesson we take away from an eBay auction that ends tomorrow and has, well, zero bids. Zilch. The cars are being sold as a lot for $13,500, and we understand why there is little interest. These are unlicensed, slow-charge lead-acid b

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Small Chinese automakers have developed the nasty habit of cloning the design and styling of successful European automobiles and placing that bodywork atop vastly inferior hardware. Although it doesn't seem right, there may be little that automakers like BMW and Daimler can do about it. Evidence of such can be seen in recent court cases, one of which was lost by a certain Bavarian automaker that sued to stop the European importation of a Chinese SUV with an eerie similarity to its own X5. Now th

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RTEV, the company behind Ruff and Tuff electric ATVs, and Shuanghuan Automobile Company have formed a partnership that will see the Wheego Whip arrive in the US by May of 2009. Wheego is the street division of the Atlanta-based company and is now headed by former Miles Electric Vehicles COO, Jeff Boyd. If you are looking at the picture above and thinking, "Dude, that's a Smart Fortwo!", you'd be wrong because this, my friends, is a Shuanghuan Noble upon which the Whip (E-Noble outside the US) wi

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Automotive News Europe (subs req'd) is reporting that there is very little that will stop the upcoming sales of a Smart 'clone' in Europe. Even though Martin Motors, the European importer of the Noble, a Chinese-built car, has been threatened with lawsuits, Martin is saying the cars will go on sale at the end of October or early November for between seven and nine thousand euros. The Smart car company is part of Mercedes-Benz.

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Last fall a battery-powered clone of the first generation Smart ForTwo turned up in China before it was quickly stomped down. Another one is now expected to be displayed at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show and China Automobile Deutschland wants to begin European imports. The Shuanghuan Noble is a four seater that looks much like the Smart and is expected to cost 7,000 euros.

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