According to Car And Driver, the acronym “SUV” dates back to the year 1974, when it was used in brochures for a then-new Jeep Cherokee model. Now, a new three-letter acronym is on the rise: “NEV,” which stands for “neighborhood electric vehicle.”
With the proliferation of new models like the Wink Mark 2 Solar, a sporty four-door with both solar panel and plug-in charging that is ideal for short trips, NEVs may someday rival SUVs in popularity.
Though Wink’s models almost resemble golf carts, they are packed with many of the same features you’ll find in larger, more expensive vehicles, including air conditioning and heating, power windows and door locks, four color media display screens, and rearview cameras, just to name a few.
And the best part? The Mark 2 Solar can charge with completely free solar energy. Using a traditional EV battery, the car is able to charge for up to a 60-mile range, but its roof-mounted solar panel adds up to 15 miles of additional driving, with the battery charging as you drive.
And at a price of only $11,995, it’s priced much more like a used car than a new one.
As all of Wink’s models are smaller (and, frankly cuter) than traditional automobiles, they have a government-limited top speed of 25 miles per hour. However, they are totally street-legal and can be driven on roads with speed limits of up to 35 miles per hour, which makes them perfect for getting around small communities or running errands.
The FAQ page on Wink’s website says the company plans to “scale up” production early this year in order to deliver more vehicles. In addition to the Mark 2 Solar and the non-solar Mark 1, Wink offers two-door models like the Sprout and Sprout Solar, the latter of which is equipped with a large, roof-mounted solar panel similar to that of the Mark 2.
All of them come in under $12,000, and they can be reserved with just a $250 deposit at winkmotors.com.
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