Tango Sells 15,000 EVs in New Zealand … Really!


Tango Electric Car

Remember the Tango? That narrow, weird-looking, over-powered electric car was the fastest EV money could buy back in 2008, and looked hilariously weird in California’s nicer neighborhoods. Six years on, I hadn’t heard much about the Tango, and assumed the tiny EV maker had been killed off by the credit crunch and bigger, badder competition from cars like the hot-selling Nissan Leaf and JPM-approved Tesla Model S.

I was very, very wrong. Tango been quietly delivering its stonking fast electric cars this whole time- and, as of February 20th, the company is staring down a $435 million, 15,000 unit single purchase order from Auckland, New Zealand.

The Auckland deal is far from final, but it has powerful backers behind it who are hoping the Tango will help ease traffic congestion while reducing harmful carbon emissions. At just under 3 feet wide, two staggered columns of Tango electric cars could, in theory, safely use the same lane on a road, just like lane-splitting motorcycles. In addition, many more could be fit into a given area for parking, shipping, etc.

We’ll keep following the Tango stories out of Auckland as they develop. Until we hear more, we should see this news as a reminder that anything is possible, and that nobody should count out a small, weird-looking car that can run a 13 second 1/4 mile.


Source | Photos: AutoEvolution, Stuff, Tango.

About the Author

I’ve been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • egogg

    They want $200K per unit. I’d rather have two Tesla’s. Or a Telsa, and a couple of Brammo Empluses, for lane-splitting purposes.

  • Jason Carpp

    What the hell is this? I’ve never heard of the Tango.

    • Yeah, it was one of the weirder responses to the gas crisis in 2008. George Clooney had one, I think. Faster than a Corvette or Porsche 911 in a straight line, and about on par with a Viper.

      • Jason Carpp

        Just another attempt to reduce emissions. I’m not against the elimination of harmful greenhouse gases, but this is unrealistic at best.

        • egogg

          I drive a Coda. People called it goofy/boring looking and partly blame the company’s failure on that. I look at this and wonder how they can possibly still exist if Coda had such a hard time. Never before has there been such a combo of goofy and boring.

          • I never had an issue with the Coda- wasn’t it Suzuki-based? At any rate, the main difference is that the Coda doesn’t run 12 second 1/4 miles out of the box.

          • egogg

            If it’s in limp mode, the poor Coda makes about a 120 second 1/4 mile. But that’s only for the last 5 miles of range or so. 0-60 in about 8 seconds most of the time.

            The Coda was based on the Mitsubishi Mirage. The Chinese bought the production equipment and rights, and started making a knockoff. Then, Coda bought gliders from them added some custom body stuff, and crammed a bunch of American made drive components in it.

            It’s kind of funny. I could sell the battery out of it for $12,000. The controller and motor for $10,000 and the car and assorted other drive crap for $3500. But put all together, and running, it was ~$17K.

          • Don’t get too excited about that battery. Replacement Volt batteries are retailing for about $2000.

          • egogg

            Damn. Well, back in the bad old days of high WH costs… 🙂