Tom Hanks is a big fan of electric cars. Back in the day, he was one of the first celebrities driving around in GM’s ill-fated EV1. ( You can check out a clip of him exalting the virtues of this electric car on Letterman here.)Â He also owns a hybrid and has invested in a company that takes hybrid cars and converts them to all-electric.
So, it comes as no surprise that Hanks was one of the first people to drive away (quietly) in a brand-new all-electric Scion XB. Unfortunately, you won’t find these down at your local dealer. Hanks had his specially made from a company called AC Propulsion that converts the Scion XB model using a system called the Ebox. From the article,
“The eBox is a conversion by AC Propulsion costing $55,000 not including tax or the Scion XB that is required. The vehicle uses an AC motor driving the front wheels, and uses 625 pounds of lithium-ion batteries that enable the vehicle to run for 140-180 miles between charges. The top speed of the vehicle is 95 mph, and charging the 355 volt pack takes between 2 and 5 hours depending on the mode you choose and the available voltage to charge from. The vehicle also supports vehicle-to-grid power sharing”
Before leaving the dealership, Hanks (who is a space buff) had this to say,
“There are three electric cars sitting on the moon, and now another one in my garage. The eBox makes even more sense in Los Angeles than in the Taurus-Littrow Valley of the moon. I can drive all weekend, hauling dogs and helping my friends move, and the only reason I’ll need to stop at a gas station is for beef jerky and lottery tickets.”
Yea, and unless I grab a winning lottery ticket, you won’t see me driving around in one of these anytime soon! That range is nice, but for more than $70K, I’m almost in the Tesla Roadster price bracket.Â I still believe we’re about 3-5 years from affordable electric vehicles with decent range and charge-time. Till then, I applaud people like Hanks for taking the first steps in supporting the industry. After watching ‘Who Killed The Electric Car‘, the whole thing seems a little like dÃ©jÃ vu.