Seattle Times (thanks Rajesh). Introducing the Tango. Electric. Top speed of 130 mph. 0-60 mph in 4 seconds. 80 mi per charge. 3 hr recharge. Mass produced at ~$20k.
Engineers and executives at GM's Research and Technology Division, ecstatic when they first saw the Tango, tentatively offered parts at cost, distribution through a GM dealer network and $5 million to get started, pending a solid business plan and market survey. Backing the Tango could have given GM credits under a California state law requiring 10 percent of cars sold by major automakers to meet zero-emission standards. But they rescinded the offer this past spring. GM's lawyers are suing California over the 10 percent rule.
The three things that are exciting about this vehicle are: 1) 3-4x angled parking spaces in place of parallel parking for a single normal size car (that is attractive), 2) more flexible parking at home (a single car garage would do for 2 Tangos), and 3) 2x lanes on major highways (although the benefit of that would be years and years away and would require wide adoption — I wonder if a portion of breakdown lanes could be converted). A major problem with all electric cars (and laptops) like this one is battery life. 80 mi isn't a long distance. Another great idea that probably won't see the light of day despite the benefits. [John Robb's Weblog]