While it might appear you need a substantial amount of money to get into the EV game, that isn’t necessarily the case. If you look around there are some offbeat and interesting alternatives to the likes of the Volt and Leaf.
Take the case of a Solectria Force, an example of which recently surfaced on eBay. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Back in the mid 1990s, Solectria Corporation of Wilmington, Mass. developed an EV based on the then current Geo Metro.
Using gliders – rolling chassis with full bodywork and interiors – supplied by GM, Solectria installed a three-phase electric motor and 13 four-cell lithium polymer batteries, with an 11 kilowatt-hour capacity, calling the resulting creation the Force.
Thanks to a relatively bantam 2,300-pound curb weight, performance was fairly good, with 0-50 mph times of around 9 seconds and a top speed of 70 mph. Range, was pegged at a distance of 80 miles based on a constant speed of 45 mph.
The Solectria Force listed on eBay is a 1997 model in what appears to be very clean condition. Located in Glendale, Ariz. and fitted with a new lithium-ion battery pack, which reportedly enables it to still run a distance of 80 miles between charges, it can be yours for $9,000, though if you want a chance at owning a piece of EV history, you’d better contact the seller, as the auction listing closed yesterday, but the car is still up for viewing with the contact info there to e-mail for more details.