Electrum Spyder

Thousand Oaks, California-based UEV first unveiled its Electrum Spyder at the 2006 Santa Monica Alternative Car Expo. The company hopes to have the sleek if boxy (is that possible?) 2-seat convertible available in 2008 in a limited capacity, although they—like everyone it seems—have run into some delays.

by Ross Bonander, Contributing Writer

Type: Fully Electric (BEV)
Class: Sportscar

Manufacturer: Electric Vehicle Corporation

Electrum Spyder

The Manufacturer Says...

“Our vision is to produce alternative fuel vehicles that satisfy the needs and desires of the municipality market and the niche consumer market on a national and international level.”

The Critics Say...

“Another bit of California dreaming.” —New York Times

What We Like

The body. Originally we intended to put the body under ‘what we don’t like’, but the odd shape of the Electrum Spyder grew on us. It is a new design, built from the ground up, and in this respect it trumps the Tesla Roadster (which was born of the Lotus Elise).

What We Don’t Like

The battery upgrade option. For an additional $30,000, owners can ‘upgrade’ the battery system from nickel metal hydride to lithium ion. The difference in performance is substantial: with the ‘standard’ battery, the nickel metal, fully charged, one can hope for a range of about 150 miles, but with the lithium ion, that becomes 250. The Electrum Spyder has a target price that is already $70,000—why offer the lesser battery system at all?

The performance. The Electrum Spyder goes 0-60 in seven seconds, top speed 100 mph? Presumably the weight of the nickel metal hydride is party to blame, but these numbers are disappointing.

The efficiency. The company website says nothing at the moment about a regenerative braking system. While we hardly consider this ‘standard’ in hybrids and BEVs, its exclusion would be disappointing—the point of an electric car is fuel efficiency.

Electrum Spyder Specifications

Propulsion system:300 vdc
Top Speed: 100 mph
Zero-to-60: 7 seconds
Vehicle range: 150 miles on standard Nickel Metal Hybride battery system (250 miles with the lithium ion pack)
Fuel(s): Electricity
Tailpipe emissions: None


We have little choice but compare the Electrum Spyder to the Tesla Roadster, and in a number of categories, she falls short. If nothing else the Electrum Spyder should remind Tesla that they aren’t alone in the category of super-green sports cars; unfortunately for UEV, it may also remind Tesla of just how superior their product is compared to the competition.

More information on the Electrum Spyder at:



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Related Resources

greentechgazette.com: Electrum Spyder
Wikipedia: Electrum Spyder


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