Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Miles XS500 Electric Motor Vehicle

Miles Electric Vehicle Company has been working on a four door all electric sedan which is supposed to make its debut in 2010. It has been called the Javlon, XS500 and now their website names it the Miles Highway Speed Sedan. Whatever you choose to call it, the car promises to be all that.

The Highway Speed Sedan is a quantum leap for Miles as they currently market NEV's (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles), which are limited to top speeds of 25 mph. While these cars are great for running errands, you will tend to avoid busy routes with 35 mph posted limits. If you try to drive the NEV on these streets, you hold up traffic, get honked at and maybe even flipped off! Some states are revising the law to allow these vehicles to travel at speeds up to 35 mph and there is a growing aftermarket for kits that will override the 25 mph limitation. However, the new Highway Speed Sedan is going to solve that problem for you.

The Miles electric vehicle will have top speeds in excess of 80 mph and a range of 120 plus miles. The Miles website also claims a "run time" of 240 minutes, which if accurate, means you could conceivably drive 30 mph for four hours straight. If you live in town and work in town, then the charge should last you almost four days. If you have a 30 or 40 or 50 mile one-way commute, then this car is the one for you. The overwhelming majority of Americans have a commute distance to work of 40 miles or less (round trip). The only limit for this car is when a long drive is needed, greater than 120 miles. This limit is easily overcome with careful planning so that the car can be recharged while eating or at a hotel, etc. Most Americans only travel long distances once or twice a year, so that should not be a factor in deciding to purchase this vehicle. Some options for these long trips include using the family's second car or using a rental car for the trip.

Now for the bad news. The Highway Speed Sedan will be available to consumers at a MSRP of $40,000 to $45,000 depending on options. Most Americans like their options, so I am guessing the majority of these cars will be sold for $45,000. There is good news however. The US Government has already passed legislation that will give a $7500 rebate for the purchase of this car. Some are speculating that Obama will try and increase this subsidy to $10,000 when he is in office. For the sake of fun, let's say we bought the $40,000 model and received a $10,000 rebate. That would mean the car costs $30,000 plus tax. For a four door mid sized sedan, that is still a hefty pricetag, but I truly think it is worth the investment.

The Chevy Volt will retail at almost the exact same price as the Miles car, but the Volt has the advantage of an internal combustion range extender. With the Volt, you never have to worry about range as gasoline stations are ubiquitous. There are other considerations to take into account. An all-electric vehicle has very low maintenance costs and very few moving parts. An internal combustion vehicle has very high maintenance costs and a ton of moving parts. Over the life of the car, you will pay much more for the Volt than the Miles. Oil changes, radiator flushes, tune ups, belts and hoses, etc., etc. You get the picture.

So what do you think? Would you rather have a Volt or a Miles Highway Speed Sedan?

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