In addition to changing the car’s name from the Miles XS500 to the Miles EV, Miles Electric Vehicles was apparently listening to me when a few months ago, I politely said this car needs a makeover. (I doubt it though) The new model? Well, the digital rendering definitely looks unique. It seems as though they lowered the fenders to give it a sportier look and gave it an aggressive looking snout in the middle of the hood. And, oh yeah, there is no more grill. A grill-less car looks awkward at first, but the change should definitely help the drag coefficient and also give it a distinction that makes it look different from your average Hyundai or Kia, which was my complaint. So, yeah, I’m satisfied.
The Miles EV will have a top speed of over 80 mph and a 120 mile range. The EV will be priced between $40,000 to $45,000 before government incentives. According to the Miles EV site, “With passage of legislation by the US congress in the fall of 2008, ‘Miles EV’ customers will recieve between a $5,000 to $7,500 tax credit for their purchase of the ‘Miles EV’” They still call it the Miles Highway Speed Vehicle on the site. There may also be state incentives. The Miles EV is targetted to hit US markets in early 2010.
There are a lot of things I love about this car: $30,000-$40,000, highway speed ev, 120+ mile driving range. But most of all I love the completely traditional styling. No wings, wheel covers, space age moldings, or anything that screams “I’m different!”. But therein lies the problem with this car; it looks exactly like a 2004 Kia Rio:
Well gee, I can get one of those for $4000 dollars on eBay. Over 30 mpg, not bad. Do you want to spend ten times that much on a car of similar performance and identical looks? One that you have to explain to skeptical women that it is indeed electric, $40,000, and that you are environmentally compassionate. Now I’m the biggest electric car proponent there is, but I think Miles needs to rethink the exterior of this vehicle that they are raising so much funding for. This car is set to release in late 2009, and has the price and performance to be huge in the American market. It just needs to distinguish itself a little more ala the Zap-X concept or the Th!nk Ox if consumers are going to cross that $30,000 barrier.