Electric vehicles are a hot topic these
days in the automotive world. Nissan recently announced pricing for
its all-electric LEAF -- the vehicle
will retail for $32,780 before a $7,500 federal tax credit.
Additional credits and rebates can bring down the price by up to
another $5,000 depending on the state.
General Motors is also turning
heads with its Chevrolet Volt (which also happens to qualify for
the $7,500 federal tax credit). The vehicle can travel 40 miles on a
full charge, but that range can be extended to over 300 miles thanks
to its onboard 1.4-liter gasoline engine/generator.
According to patent
drawings uncovered by AutoCar, the Volt will soon have a
sibling that will share its platform. The vehicle appears to be a
variant of the upcoming
Chevrolet Orlando, albeit with a Volt-derived front and rear
Jon Lauckner, GM's vice president for
global program management, foreshadowed
this development back over a year ago. "I would point out
that the Chevrolet Orlando is built on the same basic vehicle
architecture and component set as the Chevrolet Volt," said
Lauckner. "So if it makes sense, it's certainly something we can
take a look at."
The vehicle is expected to be revealed
at the Beijing auto show next week.
In other electric vehicle news,
Volkswagen is showing off another concept -- the
Milano Taxi. The tiny vehicle is just 147 inches long and weighs
3,300 pounds. According to AutoCar, the vehicle can travel up
to 75 mph and has a driving range of 186 miles.
VW plans to market the vehicle in 2013.