For years, it felt as though “Tesla” was solely synonymous with “innovation” in the electric vehicle market. While Tesla is still considered a trailblazer in the industry, there are quite a few new competitors who are encouraging growth and advancement as the Race to Electric accelerates.
As a well-established company in a small market, it may come as a surprise that Tesla’s Founder, Elon Musk, has intentionally allowed for open patents on his electric cars. But as the man who also founded SpaceX, Elon Musk is notorious for fueling healthy competition and Tesla’s open patents simply reinforce a cornerstone of his business mentality.
The Tesla Model 3 was recently rated as one of the “Top Electric Vehicles of 2017” by Car & Driver Magazine, so it seems that the manufacturer is enjoying a secure position at the top, but here are 15 companies fueling (er, charging) the race in the electric car sector of the Automotive Industry.
Lucid Motors is a new, up-and-coming player in the industry who is speculated to become Tesla’s top competitor over the next several years. They’re making waves by building a $700M production plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, and they plan to have over 2,000 workers employed by 2022. In addition to that, Lucid Motors is partially backed by Jia Yueting, who is also a named investor in Faraday Future (another Tesla rival).
Lucid Motors is scheduled to begin production of the Air in 2019 and, according to their website, they’re already “making unprecedented breakthroughs in the industry”.
The Air features a spacious interior and futuristic lines, and arguably exceeds the comforts currently offered by Tesla’s line of vehicles. Passengers will reportedly enjoy fully reclining rear seats, which give them a unique sky view during road trips.
A list of features you can expect in the base model Lucid Air, 240-mile range, 400 horsepower rear-wheel drive, support for autonomous driving, 32 Cubic feet of trunk space when you combined the front and the rear, and 10 airbags.
Now you can order options including, 400-mile range battery, all-wheel drive with up to 1,000 horsepower, an amazing glass canopy roof and executive seating in the rear.
The Lucid Air will start at $60,000 when it’s produced in 2019.
What is the ultimate off-road machine? There are hundreds of different vehicles that claim to be able to take you anywhere. We have compiled a list of the most interesting off road vehicles on earth.
Mercedes Benz G63 AMG 6×6
Featuring a 5.5-litre twin-turbo V-8 rated at 544 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, with a 6×6 portal axle giving it better ground clearance and featuring a luxury interior (perfect for all your off-roading adventures). Only 100 G63 AMG 6×6 were produced between 2013 and 2015, so this truck is a bit of a rarity.
The Mercedes Benz G63 AMG 6×6 allows you to adapt to any environment with an onboard air compressor that increases or decreases tire pressure to take you anywhere.
The Mercedes Benz G63 AMG 6×6 weighted in at 4105 kg and had a 0-60 MPH speed of 7.8 seconds. Originally this car sold for around $500,000, but one sold in 2015 at auction for $975,000.
Build by Howe & Howe Technologies and based on a high-speed tank prototype designed for the United Stats Army, the Ripsaw EV2 could hit over 60 mph.
Featuring a 600 horsepower diesel engine and 12 inches of suspension travel on each track.
This is a hand crafted tank for those extreme off-roaders. The manufacturers say it would take 6 months to build and cost well over $100,000 depending on the desire luxury and performance packages.
The Sherp ATV is a mini monster truck and can go anywhere for just $65,000. Built in Russia, this two-seater ATV is amphibious, using its huge tires to paddle its way through the water.
This mean looking ATV looks a bit like a Tonka Truck we all use to play with when we were kids. Featuring a 44.3 horsepower 4 cylinder diesel engine this is no toy. It can climb obstacles as high as 27.5 inches and hit 28 mph on land and 4 mph in the water.
Legacy Power Wagon
The Legacy Power Wagon is a completely modernized version of the 1940’s Dodge Power Wagon which has been completely restored from top to bottom.
It comes with your choice of either a 426 Legacy Magnum V8 or a 3.9 litre Cummins Turbo-Diesel, features 40” Goodyear tires, 4-Wheel disk brakes, 16,500 LB Winch, 4,800 lbs payload, and A/C for comfort.
This is truck doesn’t come cheap with prices starting at $185,000.
What if we threw away the tires all together?
A screw-propelled vehicle is designed to go through snow, mud, ice and swamps with ease. The weight of the vehicle and the spinning cylinders (one turning clockwise and the other counter-clockwise) propels the vehicle forward. Each While it might not be the fastest way of traveling it will certainly get you through many sticky situations.
LeTourneau Overland Trains
In the 1950s LeTourneau was contracted to develop a series of over-sized semi-trailer trucks. These trucks were designed to travel over almost any terrain in order to reach back-country areas that were not services by the rail system.
The United Stats Army ordered three experimental trucks build, with the largest reaching nearly 600 feet long and still holds the record for the longest off road vehicle.
Local Motors Rally Fighter
Local Motors is bit of a different car, it is a strange mashup of car parts with an engine from a Corvette, taillights from a Honda Civic and a body that is inspired by the look of a P-51 Mustang. Local Motors uses a crowdsourced model to design the Rally Fighter, getting design feedback from a global community of interested people via the internet.
With a top speed of 135 MPH and 20 inches of travel suspension this is a car that is built to be driven fast across the desert.
This $100,000 street legal car features a 6.2 litre V8 engine with 430 horsepower on a 4-speed automatic transmission.
The Gibbs Humdinga is a high-speed amphibious vehicle created to reach remote locations with ease.
With a push of a button the Humdinga retracts it’s wheels and disconnects power from the driving wheels to connect with the jet propulsion system, quickly transforming from land to water mode.
With seating for six the Humdinga is four wheel drive and has a top speed of 30 MPH.
The SkyRunner is a dune buggy that can fly, taking your off road expedition to new heights!
The car is powered by a Ford EcoBoost engine with 123 horsepower and can hit a top speed of 115 mph.
You will need a pilot’s license to use the paraglide which can help the car soar up to 10,000 feet in the air.
Lamborghini is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think off road vehicles, but between 1986 and 1993 Lamborghini produced 328 LM002 which were dubbed the “Rambo-Lambo”.
With its powerful V12 engine and all-wheel drive, the LM002 can reached a top speed of 118 mph, with an acceleration of 0-to-60 in 7.7 seconds.
Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector
The U.S. Marines are able to think outside the box. the Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector or UHAC is am amphibious vehicle designed to go from ship to shore with heavy loads.
The Marines build a half-scale prototype which featured an air-filed track system which made it buoyant in the water and able to propel itself on the land through sand, mud and marshland.
No decision has been made if a full scale UHAC will be manufactured.
This is not your typical motorhome! Based on a heavily modified Unimog tractor, this fully custom beast will take you anywhere. The KiraVan was designed by Bran Ferren who is the former President of Research and Development of Walt Disney Imagineering for his 7-year-old daughter Kira.
The KiraVan is powered by a Mercedes-made 6-cylinder turbo diesel engine with 260 horsepower and 700ft-lb of torque. The trailer has its own drive system able to work in tandem with the tractor to offer 6-wheel drive at speeds up to 25mph.
The cab is more like a cockpit of a spaceship with 22 cameras, radar, communications equipment, 11 touch screens and more sensors than we can list.
The trailer has 3 sleeping areas, a full kitchen, a server-based media library, two computers with satellite internet connection and a custom build diesel-powered motorbike to act as a lifeboat in case the trailer gets stuck. The KiraVan is perfect for video shoots, research teams, a mad scientist, or just a really posh camping trip.
Motoped Survival Bike
The Motoped Survival Bike is a stripped down bike that will take you most places. Powered by a 4-stroke engine, the bike has a 400-mile ranges on it’s 3-gallon tank. The bike is equipped with either 49cc engine making 2 horsepower or a 125cc engine making 7.78 horsepower.
This bike has a lot of connectors, allowing you to outfit gear like a crossbow, one-gallon gas pack, a survival shovel, a tomahawk, a harpoon, a fixed blade saw, a lighting system, carabiners and climbing rope, a flashlight, a multifunction knife/light, two multi-tools, a neck knife, and your smartphone.
What if you could turn any vehicle into an off-road monster? Mattracks allows you to replace your traditional tires with rubber tank-like track allowing you to go anywhere.
Mattracks is the result of the imagination of a then 11-year-old Matt Brazier along with the innovation of his father, Glen Brazier. “My son came to me with a drawing,” Glen Brazier said, holding the sketch of a large truck with tracks instead of tires. “He said, ‘Dad can we make something like this?’ and we went from there.” Glen Brazier formed Mattracks Incorporated and after three years of engineering, development, and testing, the first set of Mattracks named after the young boy, “Matt”, went on sale in 1994.
Traditional tires are not good for traveling through mud, swamps, and the arctic tundra. The reason why is because they are distributing a large weight on narrow wheels.
The Rolligon solves this problem by creating large, wide almost bag like low-pressure tires that increase the amount of surface area each tire is in contact with the ground. This distributes the weight of the load a lot more which decreases the chance the vehicals will get stuck.
The Rolligon are so effective that the inventor William Albee use to demonstrate them by allowing them to drive over himself.
The Ariel Nomad is built by the same team that built the high performance Ariel Atom. This two-seat off-roader is powered by a Honda 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine, which produces 235 horsepower and 221 pound feet of torque.
This lightweight monster weights in at 1,500 pounds and can hit 0-60 in 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 125 mph.
The DTV Shredder is a Jet Ski on land! It is a combination of a tank, skateboard and motocross bike all into one amazing toy.
The rubber tracks are driven by a 200cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder engine that generated 14 horsepower. Similar to a Jet Ski, you shift your body which controls the steering.
I would love to get my hands on one of these, but first the EPA needs to do some testing. The DTV Shredder is expected to sell around $5,000.
GHE-O Rescue is a cross between a Hummer and an Ambulance. Built by GHE-O Motors a Romanian company, the Rescue can be customized depending on your needs for fire-fighting, medical support or transportation across any terrain.
This truck is 17 feet long and nearly 9 feet wide and can take you across rivers, through snow and concern anything you have to throw at it. Powered by either 500 horsepower gas engine or a 300 horsepower diesel motor this 4×4 ambulance is the kind of thing I would like to know is coming to save me if I was in an emergency.
When set up to fight fires the 3.2-ton GHE-O Rescue can transport nearly 200 gallons of water along with all the pumps and hoses that a firefighter would need to combat a forest fire.
Avtoros Shaman 8×8
At nearly 20 feet long, 8 foot wide, 10 feet tall and weighing around 4.8-tons the Avtoros Shaman 8×8 is not a compact car. This 8 wheel drive car is designed for a Russian climate.
The Shaman has three different driving settings, on road which is 4 wheel drive, off road which engaged all 8 wheels, and crab more which allows it to spin in one place.
Powerd by a 180 hoursepower turbo diesle engein which can help the Shelman reach a top speed of 50 mph.
The Chainlink 4×4 is a monster. This custom built rock crawler features a 5.0-litre Ford V8 engine and hydraulically actuated swing arms that will take you up a wall.