Detroit's carmakers aren't the only ones that need some help in the down market. Smaller manufacturers, especially startup and mid-sized electric vehicle companies, are in tight spots as well. Tesla is in need of a cash infusion to build its Model S sedan, and now Wrightspeed, the company behind the X1, an electric conversion of the Ariel Atom, has canceled production plans.

The X1 is - or was - a truly inspiring EV. With 0-60mph (96km/h) times of just 3.07 seconds, 0-100mph (160km/h) in 6.87 seconds, 0-100-0 in 11.2 seconds, 170mpg equivalent and lateral g-rating of 1.2, the car was every bit the equal of its combustion-engined counterpart, and a supercar, at least in terms of performance, in its own right.

A return to cheap oil on top of the weak car market have driven the super-fast EV car into oblivion, though the company won't completely fade away, reports CNN. Ian Wright, the man behind the X1, has decided to instead move forward with production of electric powertrains, including the batteries, software and other hardware that can be used by electric vehicle companies in their own ventures.

"It's one thing to build electric cars, but it's another to go out and get some kind of respectable market size and funding," said Wright. "At this stage of the game, when oil is cheap and batteries still expensive, spending two to three times the price on an electric car doesn't really make sense."


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