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Eight alternatives to Detroit’s ‘Big Three’

Posted by lawman2 on January 3, 2009

Want some choices???
Maurizio Gambarini / EPA file

Don’t want to buy a car from General Motors, Ford or Chrysler? You still have options. A handful of non-traditional North American carmakers are out there selling cars, and the products they make range from super fast roadsters to the greenest of electric vehicles. Learn about eight North American automakers and the vehicles they make.

Persu Mobility
Persu mobility
The Persu Hybrid

Persu Mobility

So uncommon is the tilting, three-wheeled Persu Hybrid that its builders have devised a new term for the vehicle — an Urban Life Vehicle, or ULV.
It’s certainly unlike most other vehicles on the road. The two-passenger Persu incorporates what the company calls a patented Dynamic Vehicle Control system, or DVC — an electro-hydraulic tilt-steering control technology that gives the driver the ability to attain an extreme lateral acceleration that “rivals the best sports cars in the world while maintaining control and ride comfort.”
Basically, that means the vehicle (which runs on a plug-in hybrid gasoline-electric propulsion system, much like today’s popular hybrid vehicles) tilts into its turns like an aircraft banking into a turn, but still maintains full stability.
Sales of the Persu Hybrid are planned for early 2010, first in California, and then in other regions of the country, depending on the company’s ability to provide a retail and service infrastructure.



Meyers Motors
Myers Motors
Myers Motors NmG

Myers Motors

If you’ve seen the Austin Powers movie “Goldmember,” you might recognize the bizarrely shaped NmG (No More Gas) personal electric vehicle. Mike Myers’ character Goldmember drove a gold model in the movie.
With a range of up to 45 miles and a top speed of 80 mph, Myers Motors (no relation) says the NmG provides “practical transportation for the daily trips for work and errands when the driver usually travels alone.”
“Research shows that 87 percent of all commutes are less than 20 miles and 93 percent of those commutes are with one person only in the vehicle,” said Dana Myers, president of Myers Motors.
The carmaker calculates that a driver charged 11 cents per kilowatt will pay about 55 cents for the “fill up” that powers the NmG for about 30 miles. The NmG fully recharges in 6 to 8 hours using a 110-volt outlet.
The NmG comes in a range of 14 color choices, form “dark aqua” to “purple,” and given the car’s unusual shape Myers Motors’ Web site boasts that NmG drivers will get more attention in their vehicle than in a $100,000 sports car (but we doubt it will be the same sort of attention).

ZAP Xebra


Santa Rosa, Calif.,-based ZAP (Zero Air Pollution) manufactures and markets various electric vehicles for sale in the United States.
ZAP’s small, low-speed electric vehicles provide very little driving excitement, but these 100 percent electric vehicles are highly fuel-efficient and would appeal to those concerned with climate change and the nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil. ZAP says it has delivered more than 100,000 electric vehicles to customers in over 75 countries since 1994.
With a base price of $12,500, ZAP’s
Xebra sedan (shown above) has a top speed of 40 mph, can run up to 25 miles on a single charge and seats up to four (a pickup version can seat up to two people). ZAP has even created a version of the vehicle that incorporates a rooftop solar panel. The company is currently taking reservations for the three-wheeled, electric Alias, which does 0-60 mph in 7.8 seconds, has a top speed of 105 mph and a range of 100 miles. Deliveries are expected in late 2009.


Aptera Motors
Aptera Motors
Aptera Motors 2e

Aptera Motors

Modern, fuel-efficient vehicles like Toyota’s Prius certainly have bold designs, but Aptera Motors has taken things a step further.
Aptera 2e all-electric, two-seater vehicle was designed to combine the lowest possible aerodynamic drag with a highly-efficient propulsion system, and it looks more like a small plane than a car.
The 2e has a range of up to 120 miles on a single charge, and the company says future variants will be capable of delivering up to 300 mpg. It costs $27,000, and for now the 2e is only available to residents of California.


Green Vehicles
Green Vehicles
Green Vehicles Triac

If you’re a modern freeway commuter that knows this is the 21st century, Green Vehicles reckons its two-seater, three-wheeled Triac plug-in hybrid is the right vehicle for you.
The Triac has a top speed of 80 mph and a driving range of 100 miles that can be boosted by as much as 25 percent with an additional battery pack, according to the manufacturer. Charging the battery takes six hours, and “is as simple as plugging in a toaster.”

Tesla Motors
Tesla Motors
Tesla Motors Roadster

The Tesla Roadster — San Carlos, Calif., -based Tesla Motors’ first production vehicle — proves that alternative fuel cars don’t have to be boring, or slow.
The $109,000, all-electric, emissions-free sports car costs pennies per mile to run. It can do 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, has a top speed of 125 mph and does 244 miles on a single charge, according to the company.
It may sound like a pipe dream, but Tesla says the Roadster is available to purchase now. The company has delivered nearly 150 to customers so far and is producing cars at a rate of about 15 per week. It expects to ramp up production to about 30 per week in the first half of 2009.
Tesla also plans to begin manufacturing a four-door, five-passenger, all-electric, zero-emission luxury sedan in 2011.

Bombardier’s Can-Am Spyder

Bombardier Recreational Products

Already well-established as a manufacturer of off-road vehicles like snowmobiles, in 2007 Canada’s Bombardier Recreational Products turned its attention to the on-road market, releasing the Can-Am Spyder, a $16,199 three-wheeled roadster.
Although most U.S. states require a motorcycle license to drive one, the Can-Am Spyder is neither a bike nor a car, but rather something in between.
Bombardier says the motorcycle-like vehicle’s Y stance offers a unique architecture that offers a balance of performance and peace-of-mind riding. It also comes with features like pedal brakes, a reverse gear and power steering.
But what sets the Spyder apart from regular bikes is a set of safety features, including traction and stability control, and antilock brakes.


Campagna Motors
Campagna Motors
Campagna Motors T-Rex

Campagna Motors

Campagna’s T-Rex takes a leaf out of Bombardier’s book. Like its fellow Canadian company, Campagna Motors has combined the look and handling of a car with the size and fuel-efficiency of a motorcycle.
The six-speed T-Rex is zippy. It has a top speed of 144 mph and can do 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Safety features include a rigid tubular chassis, a front crash zone and a safety roll-cage, and the vehicle starts at $49,995, not including $1,000 for the cost of transportation.




Tesla Motors


Green Vehicles




3 Responses to “Eight alternatives to Detroit’s ‘Big Three’”

  1. justice4mothers said

    I’ll take the one at the top, in red….


  2. obama the antichrist said

    all them are kinda ugly except the telsa motors one i would take that one pretty please


  3. […] and Aviation … 2009 Ski-Doo MX Z TNT 600 H.O. E-Tec Snowmobile Test Ride is Wild … News : Discover our latest news : BRP InternationalEight alternatives to Detroit’s ‘Big Three’ « A Different Kind of BlogShutdownThe Other […]


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