Advance auto zone blog about fast cars and auto trader

Advance auto zone blog about cool fast cars, and auto trader

UEV Electrum Spyder

A sports-focused electric vehicle from a Californian company trying to make green cars sexy? Sound familiar?

Hot on the heels of Tesla's celebrity electric roadster - and from a mere 350 miles away down the Cali coast - comes this, the UEV Electrum Spyder.

UEV Electrum SpyderUEV Electrum Spyder 2UEV Electrum Spyder 3UEV Electrum Spyder 4That's UEV for Universal Electric Vehicle, a company which promises to deliver 'better driving performance and aesthetic design' for zero-emissions cars.

Well, that 'aesthetic design' bit might cause some controversy. When the Electrum Spyder was unveiled at the Alt Car Expo in Santa Monica last December, it split opinion into two camps: those who thought it was a funky and fresh departure from the standard box-style electric car design; and those who thought that it looked like a cheap mini-rip-off of a Ferrari 360/Toyota MR2/probably a bunch of other stuff as well.

Unlike the Elise-based Tesla, the Electrum is a new design from the ground up.

UEV promises a range of up to 150 miles (dependent on 'driving habits' - take heed all you heavy right-footers) when the Electrum is fitted with the standard nickel zinc batteries.

However, spec your UEV with lithium ion batteries (that's Li-Ion in trendy So-Cal speak) and you'll get a range nearer 300 miles. The drawback? It'll add another $30,000 to the Electrum's $70,000 base price.

That puts the Electrum firmly in Tesla price territory - but it doesn't quite have the grunt to match. UEV is quoting performance figures of 7.0 seconds to 60mph, which is respectable if not spectacular, but a top speed of just 80mph. Which is a bit rubbish, frankly.

Such sedate performance is partially down to the Electrum's 1,400kg kerb weight, making it a proper porker in roadster terms: battery weight is still a massive hurdle in producing a viable electric car.

As is crash testing. Concerns have been raised that the Electrum hasn't yet been formally crash tested yet. However, UEV vice-president Greg Lane says digital crash modelling has already taken place and that the company is in negotiations to provide formal testing before the first vehicles go on sale early next year.

The Electrum looks likely to remain a rare vehicle, though: just 150 will be built in the first year, with production rising to 900 units within three years.

Nonetheless, it's good to see some competition for the Tesla cropping up... if the UEV makes it to production, that is. That electric car war ain't won yet, Mr Musk.

© Source: topgear
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