With about 120 made during its complicated history, a range of ~40 miles, and top speed of less than 50 mph, there’s a good chance you won’t be spotting an Enfield 8000 in the Goodwood Festival of Speed paddock…unless it’s the 8000 recommissioned and rechristened as “Jonny’s Flux Capacitor”. That one will tick off a quarter mile in less than 13 seconds, at more than 100 mph.
AC Propulsion tzero
Don’t confuse this car with the also electric, interesting, and similar-looking Renaissance Cars Tropica or Zebra Motors Tango. The AC Propulsion tzero, named after t0, was built in three copies. Think of it as a technology demonstrator that impressed a number of people, including a young Elon Musk.
Each car is noticeably advanced for their time; in 1997, the first prototype was doing 0-60 mph in four seconds and had a range of ~90 miles and could be recharged within an hour. Once updated to lithium ion batteries, the car was 500 lb lighter, did 60 in 3.6, and had a top speed of 140 mph.
The only problem was its price: $220,000. As you’d expect from a company far ahead of its time, its final tzero was just as fast but pulled a gasoline-powered generator behind it to recharge the car while on the move. Range? As far as you’d want to go.
Anything classic, small, with a broken engine
It’s not like decades of small city cars haven’t been accumulating in the smallest corners of people’s garages and yards.
Since the UN’s Paris Climate Agreement has been widely supported, figure on—eventually—cities starting to adopt the triple threat of trouble for drivers: congestion charging, restricted access for vehicles with internal combustion engines, and restricted access for commuter vehicles. Wide adoption of autonomous cars could also drastically change something people say there’s not enough of already: parking.
I’m not saying you should run out and buy the Goggomobil you see and turn it into a Tesla-hunting wasp, but that’s exactly the challenge a guy like Carlo Abarth would have tackled head-on. (For that matter, if Fiat hasn’t already trademarked “Ebarth”, it’d better get on that boat before someone else makes a Tesla Model S-hunting microcar that appeals to driving enthusiasts.)