Electric luxury: Sweet rides that need no gas

If you’re looking for a practical car that’s inexpensive to operate, you may be checking out some of the new generation of electric vehicles: Though they’re still a bit pricey, cars like the Nissan LEAF are designed as solid, day-to-day transportation. But if you want something sleek, or something sporty, something that turns heads… you’ve got to go for something that runs on gas, right?

Yep, EVs suffer from the perception that they’re totally lacking in the sexiness department. And while that’s largely true for vehicles aimed at the middle market, electric car makers haven’t given up on the need for speed — or design that can seriously wow you. Here are just a few examples:

1. The Nissan LEAF limo
An electric limo sounds like either a contradiction in terms or a vehicle that doesn’t actually go anywhere, but an Embassy Suites hotel contracted with a company in Missouri to create a stretch LEAF for shuttling guests around town. Lots of leg room here.

2. The Tesla Model S
The creator of the original electric luxury sports car, the Roadster, Tesla knows how to build a car that turns heads. The Model S, which hit the road this summer, is a four-door luxury sedan that, well, kicks ass: It does zero to sixty in 5.6 seconds.

3. The Venturi America
Think this one looks a bit like a dune buggy? Well, that’s the plan. French auto maker Venturi claims this sports car (which, unfortunately, is still just a concept) was born from the vision of “flying hair flying through the fantastic scenery of [the North American] continent.”

4. The PG Elektrus
German designer Michael Fröhlich will only make 50 of his PG Elektrus, which is based on the British Lotus. That smiling grille almost makes it worth the $320,000 price tag.

Electric dream cars — who’d have thought? If you know of another hot EV out there, share it with us.


Photo credits: Nissan USA and Tesla Motors