What Ever Happened To...? 5 Electric Cars We Should Have by Now

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Aptera 2e production intent vehicle

Aptera 2e production intent vehicle

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Nissan may have got heat recently for its long, drawn out and significantly delayed rollout of the 2011 Nissan Leaf, but it isn’t the only company struggling to fulfil its own sales figures for 2011.  

Over the past two years there have been a whole barrage of cars which were promised to the consumers by the end of the first quarter of 2011. But how many of those cars have actually made it to production and are in the hands of eager owners?

Here’s our list of 5 electric cars we were assured would be here by early 2011 but which seem to have got a little delayed in the process.

Aptera 2e

Back in 2007 when Aptera’s bold new design for a fuel efficient car featured on the cover of Wired Magazine many electric car fans thought the world was just about to change.

In the new electric car world, vehicles would no-longer assume the conventional boxy designs of the past 100 years. They would cut through the air like giant scythes and transport humanity on a wonderful utopian journey towards an oil-free existence in a vehicle that looked a little like an aeroplane.

The problem is, we never reached that point. At least, we haven’t yet.

Even though Aptera promised us it would start selling its futuristic two-seater by the end of 2008, the firm’s delayed production and failed entry into the Progressive Insurance Auto X-Prize has meant that we’re still waiting for the car we though would change the world.

Will we ever see it? Franky we’re not sure. Aptera are still working on the vehicle and regularly send out newsletters to keep buyers up to date on the development schedule.

Will we see it before the end of the year? We’re doubtful.

Lightning GT

lightning gt photos motorauthority 008

lightning gt photos motorauthority 008

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We first got our sneak peek at the Lightning GTEV electric sportscar back in 2007 when it was a tubular chassis and a set of components in a workshop somewhere in rural England.  

It may not have looked like a car at the time, but we were promised it would be the ultimate electric sportscar, with high capacity state-of-the-art batteries, in-wheel motors and a 0-60 time of 4 seconds flat.

Initially designed as the Ronart Lightning before being rebranded the Lightning GT after Ronart launched a new brand for its electric range, the Lightning GT promised Aston-Martin looks, Tesla performance and an exclusive price-tag.

But company woes and restructuring as well as an increased development cycle has delayed the initial launch by over two years.

Back in 2008 when our sister site Motor Authority reported on the GT, the 700 hp, 250-mile car was scheduled for an early 2010 launch.  Current estimates from Lightning put the GT’s launch as being somewhere in early 2012.

Unlike more mainstream market cars, the Lightning GT is guaranteed a customer base looking for exclusive British charm, but we have to admit: we’re a little disappointed the GT isn’t with us now.

Phoenix SUT

Ed Begley Jr. and Phoenix

Ed Begley Jr. and Phoenix

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Another Californian startup and former competitor in the Automotive X Prize, Phoenix Motorcars first promised an all-electric double-cab pickup before we’d even heard of TeslaMotors.

Its story is one we’ve hard play out time and time again. Back in 2006 the firm promised a $45,000 double-cab pickup truck capable of speeds of up to 110 miles. It also promised an SUV capable of up to 250 miles per charge.

Sadly, neither came to market as quickly as we’d all thought they would.

Instead, the firm went through severe restructuring, takeover and bankruptcy before rising, like its mythical namesake, from the ashes.

Its website contains one solitary press release, dated July 2010, where it promised deliveries of its SUT by the end of 2010.

But while Phoenix had promised vehicles long before 2011 we’re still waiting. How long we wait is a completely different matter.

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