With manufacturers falling over themselves to provide green, environmentally friendly alternatives to gas powered vehicles, the electric car may finally have arrived.
Some manufacturers have taken a step further by rolling out electric vehicles that leave their gas-powered competitors in the dust - either in terms of cool design or hot performance. Or both.
Here are ten of them.
1. Ultimate Aero EV
Release Date: Fourth Quarter 2009
Billed as a "Tesla destroyer", this 1,000hp monster looks like a supercar should. Claims to have a drive train under development that will feature a power source that allows for extended time between charging - up to several years! Price details are unavailable, however one thing is for sure - the term "cheap" is unlikely to ever be associated with this car.
2. Tesla Roadster
Manufacturer: Tesla Motors
Release Date: Available Now
Performance: 0-60 In 3.9 Seconds
What can be said about the Tesla that hasn't already been said? Revolutionary roadster that kicked the doors wide open, and proved that "electric car" didn't have to mean "crap golf cart". 0-60 in 4 seconds is fast enough to leave a Ferrari in the dust. The waiting list stretches from here to eternity. And round the corner a bit.
Release Date: Summer, 2009
Performance: n/a - As an aside, this mod achieved 0-60 in 4 seconds
Even Mini USA were repordedly caught somewhat by surprise by the announcement that BMW would produce an alt- powered mini, but VP Jim McDowell confirmed that all-electric Minis will be on the road in the USA - well, California, at least - by summer of 2009.
4. Lightning GT
Manufacturer: Lightning Car Company
Release Date: Late 2008
Performance: Top speed 130 mph (limited), 700+ bhp
The electric car goes a bit Aston Martin in the form of the long-snouted, ludicrously expensive Lightning GT. The full package, which includes leather, air conditioning, sat nav and electronic door entry will set you back £120,000, or around $240,000 US. You might need to create another Digg and sell it to Google in order to be able to make this baby yours.
5. Porsche Panamera Hybrid
Release Date: 2011
Well spotted. Of course, this is not an all-electric vehicle, but a hybrid. However, it is rumored that the driver will be able to dictate which energy source provides the power - gas, electric, or both. The hybrid system will see the V8 engine up front and the batteries under the floor in the trunk.
6. Fiat e500
Manufacturer: Fiat/Micro Vette
Release Date: n/a
Performance: Top speed 60 mph
The Fiat e500 is set to go all electric. Who cares about top speed when you can buzz around in this classic 60s city car, looking uber-cute.
7. Wrightspeed X1
Release Date: n/a
Performance: 0-60 in 3.0 seconds
No clutch, no shifting, and first gear takes you to 112mph. Not available as a production car as yet, but claims to have a range of 125 miles and can be fully charged in 1.25 hours.
8.KTM Electric City Car
Release Date: n/a
In a move that will surely corner the orange-and-black electric vehicle market, Austrian car maker KTM is rumoured to be building an all electric city car. If it looks anything like the KTM X-BOW pictured above, electric cars will no longer be described as "kinda-dull-looking".
9. GM Volt
Release Date: 2010
Performance: 40 mile range all electric
The odd styling is a mattter of taste, but perhaps the most interesting thing about the GM Volt is the fact GM are teaming up with major US power utilities to ensure that electric vehicles have the power they need, when they need it. The Volt is designed to run purely on electricity from on-board batteries for up to 40 miles, then kicks over to 1.0L turbo 3-cylinder for longer trips.
Release Date: Available now.
Performance: Who cares
We're joking, of course. Sorry GWizz fans, but to us, this thing looks like a rubber boot. And would probably be overtaken by a pair. Sans wearer.