Top 10 US electric car companies
Probably the world’s most famous car company, Ford began dabbling in hybrid vehicles in 2004, when it entered into a patent share with Toyota that allowed the former access some of Toyota’s hybrid technology. The Escape Hybrid was released the same year, and as of a decade later, Ford had created four all-electric plug-in vehicles: the Ford Ranger EV, Ford TH!NK, Transit Connect, and Ford Focus Electric (which is still in production). In October 2015, the number of Ford plug-in electric vehicles sold reached just over 56,000.
2. Lit Motors
San Francisco-based Lit Motors creates lightweight two-wheeled gyroscopically-balanced vehicles. The company focuses heavily on innovation, breaking boundaries until the company’s founder, Daniel K. Kim, designed the C-1. Despite the fact that the company has spent the last few years pushing release dates back further and further, Kim and his team insists that they are continuing to work on both the C-1 and the newer cargo scooter, Kubo, until they are eventually released to the public.
3. Canadian Electric Vehicles
This British Columbian company was created in 1995 and began designing and creating parts that would convert traditional engines to battery-powered ones. The business converted all manner of vehicles from internal combustion to electric. Canadian Electric Vehicles is now best known for its electric-powered aircraft refueling trucks it originally designed for Los Angeles airport, which are now used all over the world.
4. Fisker Automotive
Fisker Automotive created the Fisker Karma, which was among the first production plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The private corporation was founded in 2007, and over 2,000 Karmas have been sold worldwide since their debut in 2011. Fisker’s battery supplier, A123 Systems, went bankrupt in 2013, leading Fisker to sell its designs and assets to Wanxiang Group. Wanxiang started Karma Automotive, and now produces a luxury electric hybrid sedan based on the Karma.
5. VIA Motors
Predominantly a modification company, the Utah-based VIA Motors buys up standard vehicles from GM to convert them to electric ones, selling to fleets under its VTRUX brand. Having tested the vehicles within fleets, VIA began taking orders from private customers for its award-winning trucks in 2014, just four years after its inception.
6. General Motors
Amazingly, GM was developing all-electric vehicles as far back as 1990 – the first car company to do so – but every such car GM produced across the 90s was leased rather than sold, and eventually returned to the company, leading to a dip in customer faith. GM has since redeemed itself, however, blazing a trail with hybrid and flexible-fuel vehicles, and finally releasing an affordable all-electric car – the Chevrolet Bolt EV – in 2016.
AeroVironment, based in California, has been working on electric vehicle systems since 1971. In 1990, the company created the system for GM’s flagship all-electric Impact, which was intended to be a mass-produced car, but was discontinued nine years later. AeroVironment has seen more success with its 240V home-charging electric vehicle stations, which Nissan chose for use on its Leaf models.
8. Wheego Electric Cars
Wheego formed in 2009 as an offshoot of Rough and Tuff Electric Vehicles, going on to produce the Wheego Whip and the Wheego LiFe. The former is a two-seater low-speed car, whereas the latter is suitable for highway use with a top speed of 65 MPH. Marketed as a commuter car, the LiFe retails at £32,995 in the US, Caribbean, and Japan.
Californian electric car company, Tesla, is perhaps the most famous of its kind in the world. Eccentric CEO Elon Musk is focused on the development of battery-powered cars which use thousands of small lithium-ion cells rather than more common large cells. As of September 2016, Tesla has sold over 164,000 electric cars since 2008, and the company is currently ironing out any remaining kinks in its AutoPilot function in another step towards full autonomy.
10. Faraday Future
This startup was established in 2014 and has made a huge impact on the industry in a very short space of time. It plans to launch its first fully-electric vehicle this year, and to branch out into autonomous driving in the future; the company has been granted permission to test self-driving vehicles in California. It has been predicted by Motor Trend that Faraday Future’s electric car will have 15 percent higher specific energy than Tesla’s Model S, among other features which are arguably an improvement on Tesla.
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