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Five Forgotten Electric Cars: Do YOU Remember Them?

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Amidst a throng of new launches over the past few years and a host of new models to come, some electric cars from days gone by have disappeared into obscurity.

Some are surprisingly recent, others have been dead for years, but all are easily forgotten. Unless you own one, of course...

Ford Ranger EV

The biggest gains can be made with the least efficient vehicles, and though the Ranger has never been as gas-guzzling as its bigger F-Series siblings, an electric version is certainly as clean as it's ever got. It wasn't alone either--several companies experimented briefly with electric pickups.

Made between 1998 and 2003, only a handful were ever sold, and the rest were leased. Sadly, like the more well-known GM EV1, many were crushed at the end of the lease period, so we expect only a small proportion remain.

Corbin Sparrow

If you've forgotten this one, it might be that your memory has blocked it, as it might a tragic event in your past. That's one way of saying the Corbin Sparrow isn't as easy on the eye as its ornithological namesake. In fact, it looks more like something you might find at the bottom of the sea.

With only a single seat and three wheels it's less conventional than most EVs, but despite its relatively small 20-40 mile range, the lightweight Sparrow is still reasonably efficient, with an MPG-equivalent figure of 162. Since 2005 the Sparrow has been produced by Myers Motors, and a successor is expected to follow some time this year.

Think City

This one may be more familiar to long-term readers of GreenCarReports, as we were writing about the Think regularly as recently as a year or two ago. Since then however, the car has disappeared into obscurity after Think went bankrupt.

More recently, unregistered Thinks were being sold off dealer lots for well under list, but even then the relatively high prices put the car nearly in line with cars like the Nissan Leaf. And that was always the Think's problem--competing with the big guys, with an expensive niche product.

Comuta-Car

We've actually featured the Comuta-Car fairly recently, when a pristine, low-mileage example came up for sale. Designed and built in the 1970s its quirky styling now seems quite endearing, even if it's never really been a practical daily method of transport.

If the Comuta-Car has been forgotten you can thank its age. Plenty of small electric car manufacturers have come and go throughout the 20th Century, and only a handful make enough of an impression to etch themselves on the public consciousness. Perhaps one day, the Comuta-Car will be looked back on fondly as a worthy attempt at electric transport?...

Lightning GT

Here's one even we keep forgetting about. At least, we did until actor, television presenter and one-time GreenCarReports contributor Robert Llewellyn covered the electric supercar in his latest Fully Charged video.

News from Lightning has been almost as quiet as the electric motor that powers it, but it's good to see the ambitious British company still bubbling along, with big plans for the GT. It's still a good-looking car, one that really might inspire the next generation of gearheads to accept electric vehicles as something to get excited about.

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Comments (8)
  1. I haven't forgot the Lightning GT, I'm still looking forward to seeing it on the road some day.
     
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  2. Hey the NMG, aka no more gas, aka Corbin Sparrow is cute.
     
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  3. I drove the NMG and found it sobering - because it was the first time it hit me, driving an ev meant I didn't have to participate in having a military interest guard my 'right' to foreign or domestic oil. It was a hoot to drive, the price though seemed...uh.. a bit disproportionate. ...that and it wasn't my first choice for unplowed Michigan roads in winter. I wish Myers real success with their DUO and will watching for it.
     
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  4. Studebaker made electric vehicles in the early 1900s.
     
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  5. So good to see my truck in the news. I drive a Ranger Electric every day and even at the Ford dealership I am asked if I converted it.
     
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  6. Glad to hear yours was one that avoided the crusher!
     
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  7. I actually drove a Comuta-Car once, only it was the earlier Vanguard CitiCar. It was... interesting, but the car was really just a golf cart with an enclosed body, not to be taken serioulsy as an automobile.
     
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  8. I've been driving my 2007 Myers Motors NmG for daily 5 years now. I've driven it about 15K miles since new, spending about $225 on electricity. It averages 147Wh/mile in combined freeway/city driving and 123Wh/mile in city driving. Best ever was 102Wh/mile on a 10 mile no-stop expressway run at 50mph. Big fun to drive and very popular at signal light conversations when gasoline exceeds $4/gallon. Looking forward to the Duo...
     
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