News, Robert Frost Edition: Miles and Miles To Go…


Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there’s some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-Robert Frost

When talking about electric cars, there seem to be two kinds currently dominating the playing field. There are the LSVs, such as Zenn manufactures, which cater to a decidedly niche market. And then there are the high-end performance vehicles like the Tesla Roadster and the Fisker Karma, which cater to an admittedly different niche. Rather disappointingly, both ends of the electric car range feature some definite cons: those that get sufficient range on a single charge for an average daily commute (including errands and so-forth) tend to have top speeds which disqualify them from anything but city and very local driving. Those that can reach higher speeds have limited ranges on a single charge, so you’ll have to find somewhere to top up your battery along the way to get through your day. And then there’s the cosmic joke that is the Chevy Volt. So what is everyone else who’s stuck in the middle to do if they want to reduce emissions and yet go about their daily routines in a practical fashion?

Enter the Miles Electric Highway Speed. Born from the humble beginnings of a Hafei Saibao sedan, which itself utilises Mitsubishi components and Pininfarina consultation on styling, safety standards, and overall engineering with an eye toward becoming a global player, it appears that the first practical electric vehicle aimed squarely at the masses to be released in North America may, in fact, come from China.

Of course, this may be quite upsetting to some consumers, who would much rather support local efforts—or, at least, the efforts of those who haven’t had scads of “accidental child poisoning” incidents reported in the news in the past few years. But from a purely practical perspective, this car has got quite a few things going for it. Its range is 100 miles on a single charge, and it can be charged using a standard 220V three-prong socket, much like many refrigerators and other similar household appliances. Its top speed is 80 MPH. And it’s not bad to look at, either! Granted, it’s nowhere near as gorgeous as the Fisker Karma—but it’s also going to cost about half what the Karma will, at $40,000-$45,000 depending on options.

With a small but growing dealer network in the US, Miles is angling for a 2010 release of this wonder-sedan. They’re also counting on Green-intiative incentives being passed by various governments that will encourage consumers to take the leap and purchase one of these cars. Although their dealer network has not yet extended into Canada, they seem like a sure bet for inclusion in the ecoAUTO incentive once they cross the border. And for those with concerns about expensive repair bills once the battery pack breaks down, Miles is also including a 100,000 mile warranty on battery pack. Obviously, it still remains to be seen whether they can live up to all they promise, but it’s nice to see that the future does indeed look rather promising. [via Hybridcars]

Now let’s see if this Californian upstart can keep its promise of electric miles. -PD