William MacNamara Green hotrods

The Prius paved the way for stylish green cars, but we are seeing the rollout of electric vehicles that would not be out of place in the opening scene of a James Bond film. Tesla’s electric Roadster has gotten rave reviews: “The car looks hot and rides hot. It’s a smile machine”, Scientific America’s reviewer says.

Morgan Motor’s fuel-cell electric prototype, the LIFECar, is now in prototype form eliciting reactions at a recent Morgan show in Pebble Beach. Morgan, the (cult) classic English carmaker that limits production of its 1930s-style roadsters to a few thousand a year, is developing the project in connection with Qinetiq. Very sleek, retro-chic (and, more than likely, prohibitively expensive), the Lifecar will set a new standard for green vehicles when it makes its long awaited debut.

The divide between fuel-efficiency and consumer has been bridged with such prototypes. Now the main problem is affordability. Both of these specimens will market at well over $100,000.