BIG IN 2008 – Next-gen cars

Cars didn’t quite live up to their green promises this year. Although we saw tiny diesel superminis that put out less CO2 than gerbils, Toyota&r

Cars didn’t quite live up to their green promises this year. Although we saw tiny diesel superminis that put out less CO2 than gerbils, Toyota’s electric hybrid Prius failed to find the rock to go with its roll, and biofuel hasn’t had a decent harvest yet. But for 2008, the green agenda is back on.

Legend has it that in 1909 a frustrated Thomas Edison handed a napkin to Thomas Ford containing the words ‘the electric car is dead’. He was right for most of the twentieth century, but this year will see the emergence of the world’s coolest electric wheels – the Tesla Roadster.

Tesla is far from the first manufacturer to build an electric car, but the Roadster is the first that feels and handles like a sports car. It also does 0-60mph in four seconds – not bad for something you can plug in next to your mobile.  

Not that it’ll be without competition – concepts like the Electric Lightning (pictured) will amaze and auto-corps will stick their necks out.

Tesla Roadster, Electric Lightning

Price: £49,000, £150,000

On sale: Currently US-only, TBA

Contact: Tesla Motors

Lightning Car Company