Sparrow 2, the updated three-wheeled EV, on the drawing board for late 2012

An updated version of the Sparrow, the entirely quirky three-wheeled battery-electric vehicle that sold around 300 units before its parent company went bankrupt almost a decade ago, could make a comeback later this year, Wired magazine reported.

This new vehicle, the Sparrow 2, is the latest incarnation of what was first called the Corbin Sparrow, the brainchild of motorcycle-seat maker Mike Corbin. Corbin started deliveries of the $14,000 Sparrow in 1998 and at one time had taken $40 million in orders. Ultimately, the company only made 289 cars before going bankrupt in 2003, according to Wired. Corbin has long been working on a successor to the Sparrow, even pitching a gas-powered version called the Raven in 2007 through his Sparrow Motors. Corbin has said that vehicle would get as much as 100 miles per gallon in fuel economy. His new mission is to get the Sparrow 2 onto the road, but he's got a long way to go.

The upcoming Sparrow 2 is different from the Duo from Myers Motors. Myers ended up with the leftovers of Corbin Motors and created the NMG (No More Gas), a one-seat, high-top-shoe-shaped vehicle that costs $29,995. The updated version, the Duo (which stands for Don't Use Oil and seats two), has been claimed in the past to cost about $25,000 before the federal tax credit for EVs kicks in and may have a single-charge range of about 60 miles as well as a top speed of 75 miles per hour. Tallmadge, OH-based Myers Motors, which is taking $250 pre-orders on its website, was set to deliver the vehicle (which is classified as a motorcycle) last spring. The website now says, "Start driving electric in 2012."

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