Most observers agree: the biggest challenge for electric cars is the limited range, with even the Nissan Leaf, the most mainstream of the fully electric vehicles currently (almost) available in Canada having a maximum range of 160km per charge. As usual, we regret to state, the Europeans are ahead of us. The Pininfarina BLUECAR is a fully electric production four door four seat subcompact sedan that claims a range of 250km per charge, enough for a family of four or fewer to take a trip to visit out-of-town family or from Toronto to see the fall colours in Muskoka. The BLUECAR has a claimed top speed of 130km/hr and offers decent acceleration for a family car of 0 to 60km/hr in 6.3 seconds.
The lithium polymer battery pack for the BLUECAR is reportedly manufactured by Bathium Canada Inc. at a purpose-built plant near Montreal but that does not give Canadians easy access to the vehicle. In Europe the BLUECAR is available on lease for around ε330 per month but there is currently no distribution in North America. BLUECARs are soon to be available through the car sharing program Autolib in Paris.
Specs and other information about BLUECAR are available in French at http://www.bluecar.fr/en/pages-accueil/default.aspx
Information about Bathium Canada is at http://www.bathium.com/
Information about Autolib car sharing and the BLUECAR is at http://www.autolib-paris.fr/spip.php?article101