We have all heard of the Telsa Model 3, the Nissan Leaf, and the Chevy Volt, (some of us even own them). But have you ever heard of the Aptera Motors 2 Series, the Fisker Karma, or the Chevy S-10 EV? Unless you are a die-hard, electric vehicle (EV) enthusiast, and have been one for decades, probably not. Let’s take a look at five EVs that completely failed to spark any interest from consumers.
- ZAP Xebra
ZAP is the first Chinese company to attempt to import a car into the United States. The Xebra, a strange motorcycle/car/truck looking vehicle turned out to be a complete bust. With a Sticker price of about $12,000, ZAP did manage to sell around 700 units in the U.S. The vehicle featured a 5kW DC electric motor which allowed for speeds of up to 40 mph. In an effort to be coy with American regulators, ZAP classified their vehicles as three-wheel motorcycles. This “motorcycle” didn’t come with air conditioning, airbags, or even functional brakes. When the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) caught wind of this in 2013, all Xebras in the U.S. were recalled and destroyed.
2. Coda by Coda Automotive
California company Coda made some interesting decisions with its debut car when it hit the streets in 2012. The strange looking sedan was outfitted with a 31 kWh lithium-ion iron-phosphate battery system and delivered a range of 88 miles, not too shabby! The car also received good marks from the NHTSA for safety. Unfortunately, price seems to have been what killed the Coda. Retailing at around $39,000 for the base model, customers just weren’t willing to pony up. Coda filled for bankruptcy in 2013 after only selling a paltry 117 units.
3. Aptera 2 Series
The Aptera 2 Series was the first and last offering from the California-based Aptera Automotive company. While the 2 Series never made it to showroom floors, initial specs were promising. The 2 Series featured an 82kW electric motor which gave it a respectable range of up to 120 miles. In the end, a series of business blunders sunk the company and they closed their doors forever in 2011.
4. Fisker Karma
We here at enrg.io have a love/hate relationship with all things Fisker (you can read about it here and here). While we hate to see companies fail, we do love the wacky stories that come to the surface after they do. Despite not being a full-electric EV, we couldn’t resist the urge to include the Karma on our list. The Karma was a plug-in hybrid that featured a turbo 2.0-liter gas engine in addition to two electric motors. This allowed it to produce an impressive 403 horsepower…when it worked. The car had widespread electrical issues and was known to be extremely unreliable. A series of other unfortunate events resulted in the company declaring bankruptcy in 2013.
5. Chevy S-10 EV
In 1997, Chevy released an EV version of its compact pickup. The truck was powered by a lead battery that gave it a range of about 60 miles on a full charge. In 1998, Chevy began producing S-10 EVs with a nickel-metal hydride battery that virtually doubled the truck’s range. Even so, the S-10 EV never really took off. Chevy only sold about 60 units and subsequently leased another 400. When these leases expired, Chevy recalled the vehicles and destroyed them in an effort to protect the technology.
While we mourn for the EVs that didn’t make it, we can also thank them for being pioneers in the field. Who knows where EV tech would be without these companies and their failures?
Do our readers have a favorite failure in the EV world? Leave us a comment and let us know.
Source | Images: Wikimedia Commons