Nissan takes its existing Cube city car and fits it with an electric power train. Japanese automakers are well-positioned to build electrics, as most have small city cars to use as a platform. According to Nissan, the Denki Cube concept gets a 100-mile range from its lithium ion battery pack, and has a top speed of 75 mph.

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The German-designed E-motion is constructed with production-grade components, making it a good candidate for production. The UPS-van-like four-seater is driven by an 8kW electric motor via a lithium ion battery pack, which gives it a top speed of 50 mph and a range of around 60 miles.

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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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The R1e is driven by a 40-kilowatt motor which can push it up to 65 mph. 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. Subaru placed two of these cars with the New York Power Authority for test marketing.

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Th!nk, which has already released its Th!nk City electric car, is working on this five-seat electric car. The Ox is based on a space-frame architecture with two lithium ion battery packs situated in lower compartments. The batteries drive a 60kW electric motor and will have a maximum range of around 155 miles on a full charge.

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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 75 mph.

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The Zeo is very much a concept vehicle. Dodge offers few specifications about the electric power train, other than that its lithium ion battery pack would give it a 250-mile range. That number is unrealistic with today's technology.

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Tesla is struggling to get its much-ballyhooed electric sports car into production. The Tesla Roadster uses a lithium ion battery pack to power its peak 185-kilowatt motor. Tesla claims a range of 220 miles and a top speed of 125 mph.

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