Automotive

EcoCentre dealerships to offer cheap (but not fast) electric cars

EcoCentre dealerships to offer...
Established Lincoln and Jaguar auto dealer Ramon Alvarez has announced the opening of a new low cost electric vehicle showroom in southern California
Established Lincoln and Jaguar auto dealer Ramon Alvarez has announced the opening of a new low cost electric vehicle showroom in southern California
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The eco-Van gets a top speed of 25 mph and a range of 25 - 40 miles from its 13kW peak motor and 96-volt absorbed glass mat battery
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The eco-Van gets a top speed of 25 mph and a range of 25 - 40 miles from its 13kW peak motor and 96-volt absorbed glass mat battery
The eco-Van has bucket seating up front and one or two bench seats behind
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The eco-Van has bucket seating up front and one or two bench seats behind
Like the other vehicles on offer at the EcoCentre, the eco-Van is manufactured in China by Liuzhou Wuling Special Purpose Vehicle Manufacturing Co. Ltd
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Like the other vehicles on offer at the EcoCentre, the eco-Van is manufactured in China by Liuzhou Wuling Special Purpose Vehicle Manufacturing Co. Ltd
Established Lincoln and Jaguar auto dealer Ramon Alvarez has announced the opening of a new low cost electric vehicle showroom in southern California
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Established Lincoln and Jaguar auto dealer Ramon Alvarez has announced the opening of a new low cost electric vehicle showroom in southern California
Ramon Alvarez, founder of the Alvarez Electric Motors Company, with the two-seater eco-E
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Ramon Alvarez, founder of the Alvarez Electric Motors Company, with the two-seater eco-E
The eco-E has a 3.1kW motor powered by a 48-volt absorbed glass mat battery
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The eco-E has a 3.1kW motor powered by a 48-volt absorbed glass mat battery
The eco-E has a range of 30 to 40 miles per charge, and has a charge time of between 8 and 10 hours via a standard household (110-volt) electrical socket
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The eco-E has a range of 30 to 40 miles per charge, and has a charge time of between 8 and 10 hours via a standard household (110-volt) electrical socket
The eco-E has a (regulation limited) top speed of just 25mph, which may be fine for inner city or campus travel but you're probably not going to see any of these cars on California's highways
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The eco-E has a (regulation limited) top speed of just 25mph, which may be fine for inner city or campus travel but you're probably not going to see any of these cars on California's highways
The eco-Truck has a 13kW peak motor and 96-volt absorbed glass mat battery for a top speed of 25 mph and a range of 25 - 40 miles
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The eco-Truck has a 13kW peak motor and 96-volt absorbed glass mat battery for a top speed of 25 mph and a range of 25 - 40 miles
The eco-Truck features over 1000 pounds of cargo capacity
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The eco-Truck features over 1000 pounds of cargo capacity
The eco-E commuter car is manufactured in China by Liuzhou Wuling Special Purpose Vehicle Manufacturing Co. Ltd
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The eco-E commuter car is manufactured in China by Liuzhou Wuling Special Purpose Vehicle Manufacturing Co. Ltd
All of EcoCentre's neighborhood electric vehicles detailed above have a (regulation limited) top speed of just 25mph
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All of EcoCentre's neighborhood electric vehicles detailed above have a (regulation limited) top speed of just 25mph
Initial sales are expected to be from corporate, institutional and government fleet buyers with retail sales projected to follow after
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Initial sales are expected to be from corporate, institutional and government fleet buyers with retail sales projected to follow after
More a utility vehicle than a people carrier but like all vehicles, the eco-Truck is adaptable
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More a utility vehicle than a people carrier but like all vehicles, the eco-Truck is adaptable
Like the two-seater Smart car, the eco-E is tight-turn-friendly and should be able to squeeze into the tightest parking spot
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Like the two-seater Smart car, the eco-E is tight-turn-friendly and should be able to squeeze into the tightest parking spot
The eco-Truck will be one of three low cost electric vehicles on sale from the EcoCentre housed within Orange County's Irvine Auto Center
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The eco-Truck will be one of three low cost electric vehicles on sale from the EcoCentre housed within Orange County's Irvine Auto Center
The new eco-Truck's 96-volt absorbed glass mat has a recharge time of between 8 and 10 hours via a standard household (110-volt) electrical socket
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The new eco-Truck's 96-volt absorbed glass mat has a recharge time of between 8 and 10 hours via a standard household (110-volt) electrical socket
No need to choke the environment with poisonous fumes to drop off your child at the school gates, the eco-E will get you there with no tailpipe emissions
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No need to choke the environment with poisonous fumes to drop off your child at the school gates, the eco-E will get you there with no tailpipe emissions
The eco-Van is the vehicle of choice if your school run has more than one child
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The eco-Van is the vehicle of choice if your school run has more than one child
An electric scooter and a quad/ATV are expected to be added to the catalog by the end of 2013
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An electric scooter and a quad/ATV are expected to be added to the catalog by the end of 2013
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As any early adopter of consumer electric vehicles will tell you, being a clean transport pioneer might be kinder to the planet but it can cause the average wallet to suffer a seizure. Chevy's 2013 Volt, for instance, is priced at a snip under US$40,000 and Ford's Focus Electric is only a few hundred bucks cheaper, and a new Nissan Leaf is over twice the price of a new ICE-powered Dodge Dart. The owner of Lincoln and Jaguar dealerships in Riverside, California is hoping to strip away the high cost barrier to the mass adoption of electric vehicles with the opening of his first all-electric EcoCentre showroom later this month. Three EVs are to lead the charge, including a small commuter car for under $10,000.

San Diego-born car dealer Ramon Alvarez founded the Alvarez Electric Motors Company in 2010 and is due to open the first of a planned national network of electric vehicle sales centers in Southern California this month. All three of the electric vehicles initially available through the new Fladeboe EcoCentre (housed within Orange County's Irvine Auto Center and operated by the Fladeboe Automotive Group) are manufactured in China by Liuzhou Wuling Special Purpose Vehicle Manufacturing Co. Ltd and are being offered at a fraction of the price of other electric vehicles currently being sold in the U.S.

Ramon Alvarez, founder of the Alvarez Electric Motors Company, with the two-seater eco-E
Ramon Alvarez, founder of the Alvarez Electric Motors Company, with the two-seater eco-E

The eco-E is a two-seater EV with a 3.1kW motor powered by a 48-volt absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery. The vehicle's range is quoted as between 30 to 40 miles (48 - 64 km) on a single charge, and has a charge time of between 8 and 10 hours via a standard household (110-volt) electrical socket. This model carries a suggested retail price of US$9,995.

The eco-Van gets a top speed of 25 mph and a range of 25 - 40 miles from its 13kW peak motor and 96-volt absorbed glass mat battery
The eco-Van gets a top speed of 25 mph and a range of 25 - 40 miles from its 13kW peak motor and 96-volt absorbed glass mat battery

The vehicle of choice for ferrying a few more than two people around is the eco-Van, which has bucket seating up front and one or two bench seats behind. The 13kW peak motor gets its power from a 96-volt AGM battery with the same charge time as the small car and a range of 25 to 40 miles (40 - 64 km). This EV is priced at $17,995 with factory-installed air conditioning available as an optional extra.

The eco-Truck features over 1000 pounds of cargo capacity
The eco-Truck features over 1000 pounds of cargo capacity

The remaining EV on offer is the eco-Truck, which has the same motor and battery specs as the eco-Van but features over 1000 pounds of cargo capacity. This model has a price tag of $16,995 (with the same optional extra of factory-installed air conditioning also available).

In each case, local, State or Federal tax incentives could reduce the cost of purchase even further and the typical cost of operation is being given as 3 to 5 cents per mile (or about $5 per month). But there's just one catch for all budding electric speed monkeys hoping to zoom up and down the highway in a budget EV - all of EcoCentre's neighborhood electric vehicles detailed above have a (regulation limited) top speed of just 25 mph (40 km/h).

The EcoCentre has been designed to offer customers a friendly and engaging place to take their first steps into the emerging world of electric vehicles. A Connection Counter will be the focal point for customer queries about the vehicles on offer, as well as any applicable rebate or incentive information. Initial sales are expected to be from corporate, institutional and government fleet buyers with retail sales projected to follow after. It's hoped that the EcoCentre will expand to all of the top 75 U.S. markets by 2015.

An electric scooter and a quad/ATV are expected to be added to the catalog by the end of 2013.

Source: EcoCentre, via Inhabitat

View gallery - 21 images
26 comments
Mike Donovan
The speed restriction allows the manufacturer to avoid costly crash testing
SpaceBagels
Electric cars are not 'clean'. The batteries use toxic chemicals, which uses enviromentally hazardous method and produces toxic gasses and byproducts during manufacturing which needs to be dumped somewhere, are not 100% recyclable and requires more energy and cost to recycle.
The power used to charge it comes from somewhere else powered by mostly burning coal.
Slowburn
Glorified golf carts and the taxpayer gets it in the wallet as well.
Francesco Baldacchini
@Spacebagels
Electric cars are essentials because firts they are far more efficient than combustion one, then you have to worry only on how to produce electricity to charge them. Second air in the city will be cleaner if everybody will drive electric car, and the amount of lung and respiratory problem would greatly decrease. Third an electric car is much more simple than a mechanic combustion one, so the cost of maintenance would drop to zero, instead now it's a great amount, every time you have to rapair a car it's always really expensive
dpark76
This will be useless unless someone figures out how to de-restrict it.
wle
so the average speed is 3 mph? 30 miles then you have to wait 10 hours for it to charge?
lets see how much the optional AC [or worse - heater] cuts the top range..
wle
Jansen Estrup
If the electric car is not clean enough for you invest in a few photo-voltaic panels and use them to charge your new pickup ... mount them right on the truck bed instead of a camper shell ... be a trend setter!
jerryd
Spacebagels, are you a paid troll for big oil? You certainly sound that way using their old lies as facts.
First off coal is no longer the big electric sources as NG has matched it at 32% and gaining ground as coal plants shut left and right.
If toxic batteries are a problem them why do every vehicle have one yet causes little problem as they are the most recycled product in the US. No?
Lead batteries are only recycled in closed factories so no wastes, gas, liquid or solid excapes as 98% of them are made into new batteries. The one in your cars is likely on it's 10-15th recycle already.
As long as 4wh vehicles must be done to Fed DOT it costs so much just for legal that stops most new 4wh ones. Though one can even do better in 3wheels if designed right especially with 2 front wheels and the low battery weight/CG.
My EV's run at 25% of a similar ICE/gasoline car does. So say what you want, but next time you fill up , remember for the same miles, mine only costs 10% of yours for fuel. I'll be the one laughing all the way to the bank.
George Warner
dpark76>> so the average speed is 3 mph?
No, as the article says: "(regulation limited) top speed of just 25 mph (40 km/h)."
Robbie Price
What's wrong with the bicycle?
More efficient, less costly to buy and maintain and build infrastructure for, and massive health cross-benefits.
Most people in the west well exceed the required calorie intake so there are no extra carbon emissions.