Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Squeal Wheels Tour: The Top 10 Cutest Electric Cars

Squeal Wheels Tour: The Top 10 Cutest Electric Cars: [ By Steve in Art & Design & Energy & Fuel & Geography & Travel. ]

Electric cars are good for the environment, inexpensive to operate and are an ideal choice for busy city commuters. They’re often small due to the need for light rolling weight but do they have to be so cute? These 10 electric cars and electric car concepts add a fluffy dollop of squeal appeal to your sustainable, pollution-free driving experience.

The Electric One Person Car

(images via: Miikka Skaffari, Brilliant Michael and My Desultory Blog)

That’s it, “The Electric One Person Car”? Considering the $36,000 price luxury retailer Hammacher-Schlemmer has stickered this single-seat three-wheeler with, you’d think they would at least pay a marketing consultant a few bucks to come up with an attractive name to match its undeniably cute styling.

(image via: Yeeeeee)

The Electric One Person Car is made by Myers Motors of northern Ohio and is also known as the the NmG (No More Gas, duh). You may have seen a gaggle of them in Austin Powers in Goldmember. They’re available in your choice of White, Coral, Magenta, Red, Orange, Yellow, Lime Green, Green, Aqua, Dark Aqua, Teal, Blue, Lilac, and Purple… just like Skittles! Why just taste the rainbow when you can drive it?

Peugeot’s 1001 Nimble

(images via: AutoMotto)

Looking like an extra-large motorcycle helmet and not a whole lot larger, the Peugeot 1001 Nimble rolls along city streets on a quartet of rubberized spheres… not tires, spheres. That ought to give you a hint the pyramidal people-mover won’t be rolling anytime soon, or at least until Goodyear Spheres are sold at your local Wal-Mart or Pep Boys.

(images via: Gajitz)

On the bright side, the Nimble is able to spin a full 360-degrees, even while in motion. This attribute should provide endless snorts & giggles at the fast food drivethru or after being pulled over by the police. Oh, the hilarity!

Nissan’s “Smiling Vehicle”

(images via: E-News, InventorSpot and Trendhunter)

Cute cars are supposed to make you smile. When the car smiles back, on the other hand, either you need to see a shrink or you’ve just encountered the Nissan Smiling Vehicle. Yes, “Nissan Smiling Vehicle” is yet another unimaginative, dishwater-dull name for an eminently interesting car but it DOES really smile so all is forgiven.

(images via: Just Labradors)

The deformable polymer plastic in the Nissan Smiling Vehicle’s front end wasn’t designed to form a frown (that’s what Photoshop is for) but hey – you want drivers to express their real emotions or not?

Cestar’s Sunset & Felstar

(images via: Cestar)

The three-wheeled Sunset and Felstar made by Shandong Celstar Electric Vehicle Co Ltd may not smile when called upon like Nissan’s unique concept, but China’s just getting into the car biz and the tech know-how isn’t quite up to Japanese levels. Besides, these cars are made to be sold and as such, their “smiles” are forged in metal and screwed to their “faces”. Such is life in a Communist paradise, my friends.

(image via: Cestar)

All politics aside, there’s something both alluring and endearing about the grinning grills Cestar’s sedans so frequently flaunt. Complemented by a pair of round, eye-like headlights and a blue sky-painted dash background, these cars positively scream “CUTE!”

“BamGoo” Bamboo-bodied Car

(images via: Gizmodo and Colors Of Swallowtail)

Didn’t Cheech & Chong once build a van out of marijuana? The “BamGoo” follows the same sort of concept though instead of customs agents, drivers need only fear hungry panda bears. Hopefully their extreme case of the munchies isn’t the result of running into Cheech & Chong.

(image via: Japan Probe)

The BamGoo can travel 50 kilometers (30 miles) on a full charge and was developed by a team from Japan’s Kyoto University with sponsorship from the city of Kyoto. The project’s aim was to raise awareness of environmental transportation issues while promoting traditional Kyoto bamboo craftsmanship. Personally I’d prefer a nice, immobile wicker chair.


(images via: AutoBlog Green, Treehugger and GreenCar)

Having recently learned of one Saab story, is the world ready to give Scandinavian cars another shot? Perhaps, if the THINK City is any indication. Made in Norway, the zero-emissions, all-electric THINK City can run up to 180 km (108 miles) with a fully-charged battery and boasts a top speed of 100 km/hr (60mph).

(image via: MotorCarWin)

You can buy a THINK City if you live in Europe and they’re priced reasonably enough so that you don’t suffer a debt crisis… sorry, Greece. Driving a THINK City confers a few benefits as well, such as London drivers not being subject to the congestion charge. Get one charge, avoid another – works for me!

Electric Trabant

(images via: AllWorldCars)

Some people say the Ugly Duckling from Mother Goose was cute. Those people never saw (or smelled) the Trabant, the un-loved national symbol of the former GDR along with some very burly “female” Olympic swimmers. Is the Trabant ready for a comeback? At least with electric propulsion it won’t stink up the neighborhood. Is it cute? Definitely… if we compare it with the duckling ugly original Trabant.

Mega MultiTruck

(images via: Steck Automobile AG and StockphotoPro)

The Mega MultiTruck is one of a number of small vehicles made by French microcar manufacturer Aixam-Mega. While the company’s electric cars are certainly stylish enough, it’s the MultiTruck that epitomizes cuteness by reminding us of our childhood. The Mega MultiTruck not only looks like a scaled-up Tonka toy, it can be modified in a number of ways depending on the user’s preference… though probably not by snapping the parts together.

(image via: Araba Ruyasi)

You might think the term “electric truck” is a misnomer as trucks typically require both power and torque – not typical features of electric vehicles. Mega MultiTrucks are quite popular in the EU, however, appealing to buyers with economy, utility and their compact size perfectly suited for oft-narrow European city streets.

Chinese Chika

(images via: Gizmag, Automopedia and Electric For Car News)

Out to pick up some cute chicks? Better your odds by cruising in a cute Chika from China Automobile. Officially known as the Tang Hua XY08 Chika, the car displays generally pleasing curves with the only straight lines appearing on the horizontally striped grill. What’s up with that logo badge, though? Is that the company founder? Cheeky move, Chika dudes!

(images via: Automopedia)

The 4-wheeled, 2-doored Chika is China Automobile’s bold step towards creating an original styling theme and they may have just done it. Unless, that is, blueberries have something to say about it.

Japan’s Wrapping Electric Ad Cars

(images via: Tokyo Times)

You can’t buy one of these electric “ad cars” but would anyone really want to? If there’s such a thing as Cute Overload, this is it. Besides, by all appearances they come in threes. Operated by the Wrappin company and often seen rolling merrily through the streets of Tokyo, these cars are wrapped in vinyl anew for every ad campaign. By this point it would seem their original flimsy bodies have been significantly augmented by untold layers of ad vinyl.

(image via: Natebeaty)

There are plenty of reasons to buy electric cars. GM and the folks who work at the Chevy Volt manufacturing plant think so, but they may be a tad biased. Does the cute quotient of an electric vehicle factor into your decision to buy it – or pass it by? Considering the alternative to cute styling on a small car is something like a slab-sided golf cart, maybe going cute is the way to go!

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