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Photos: Electric cars in New York

At the 2008 New York auto show, the race is on to offer a production electric car. Major automakers Nissan, Subaru, and Mitsubishi showed working vehicles, while an upstart brought in a conversion with impressive stats.

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The Cube is an existing gas-powered Nissan model sold in Japan. Nissan converted it to an electric drive for the Denki Cube concept, using a lithium ion battery pack which gives it a 100 mile range. Its top speed is 75mph.
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As a concept, the Denki Cube gets a futuristic dashboard, with an LCD instead of an instrument cluster, plus a center display with icons for navigation and other car functions. A big display also shows whether the car is in Park, Drive, Reverse, or Neutral.
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Subaru announced it will put two R1e electric cars in service with the New York Power Authority for test marketing. The R1e is driven by a 40 kilowatt motor which can push it up to 65mph. Its lithium ion battery pack gives it a range of 50 miles and can be charged to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes, using a special quick charger.
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Mitsubishi's iMiEV is an electric car built on the company's i car platform. The i car will be marketed in the U.S. by 2010, although the electric iMiEV is only a test vehicle at this point. It can go for about 100 miles on a full charge with its lithium ion battery pack.
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Being an electric vehicle, the iMiEV has a simple, one speed transmission. The spacious interior includes a stereo, air conditioning, navigation, and a digital speedometer.
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Hybrid Technologies uses its proprietary battery management technology to convert existing cars, fitting them with lithium ion battery packs and electric drive units. The Liv Wise is converted from a Toyota Yaris, and has a range of 90 to 100 miles, with a top speed of over 75mph. The company has converted many other vehicles, including a Mini Cooper and a PT Cruiser.
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The Liv Wise has a touch screen in the dashboard that monitors the car's power, and includes a range meter. When the car only has 25 miles of range left, it flashes a warning on the screen, and again for every 5 mile increment left.

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