Last month, Ford ended production of its incredibly popular Ranger mid-sized truck, closing the book on another die-hard standby of the automotive world. Ford has no plans on bringing to America its diesel-powered global Ranger that the rest of the world will get to enjoy. I never had a chance to properly mourn the Ranger’s passing, though while on eBayI did come across one of just a handful of all-electric pickups Ford produced during the turn of the millennium.Back in the late 90’s, California demanded that any automaker that wished to sell cars in the Golden State had to offer alternative fuel vehicles, including electric cars. The most famous of these is GM’s EV1, but Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Ford all built EV’s of their own. Ford partnered with Siemens, who built approximately 1,500 all-electric Ranger pickups between 1998 and 2002.Most of these vehicles were leased, rather than sold, and almost all of these electric Rangers were crushed by Ford once the leases came up. However, a handful slipped through the cracks, as public pressure mounted on Ford to sell a few of these electric Rangers to owners who by most regards loved the little electric pickups. Cost estimates placed Ford’s price at around $100,000 per truck, though the above-the-line price (before incentives or tax credits) was about $52,000. The leases allowed people to pay as little as $155 a month for the Ranger electric.
These days, Ranger Electric pickups are hard to come by. I did see one at the garage of Gadget Abbott, who makes an appearance in the movie Revenge of the Electric Car (which goes on sale today!) And this morning I was scouring eBay after coming across a link on Green Car Reports to this Toyota Rav4 EV that was also up for auction. This Ranger EV was owned by Jungle Motors, specialists in converting gas-powered vehicles into EV’s and plug-in hybrids.The Ranger EV has not drawn a single bid as of this writing, perhaps due to the price tag of $15,995. Yet with a 65 mile range, a top speed of 65 miles, and an estimated recharge time of six- to-eight hours for the nickel-hydride battery, this Ranger EV is quite comparable to EV’s like the Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi i, but for much less money. Then again, it doesn’t have a warranty either, and finding parts might prove problematic.But it is a piece of automotive history that I wouldn’t mind owning as a daily driver. Too bad I don’t have $15,995 to bid on it.
- Green News Roundup: Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
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