LEVitating Your Ride

Street-legal Light Electric Vehicles offer super-cheap, super green way to get around.

By Charlie Wojciechowski and Zach Christman
|  Tuesday, Apr 7, 2009  |  Updated 2:57 PM CDT
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If you drive one of these Matra Light Electric Vehicles, you'd be paying only 2 cents per mile.  And you can take a bike with you!

If you drive one of these Matra Light Electric Vehicles, you'd be paying only 2 cents per mile. And you can take a bike with you!

If you're looking for a cheap, energy efficient way to get around the city, an electric vehicle may be just your (canvass) bag.

The Illinois Institute of Technology showed off some so-called Light Electric Vehicles Monday, and even offered test drives.

Light, or neighborhood, electric vehicles run entirely on a battery and have a range of about 30 to 40 miles per charge. They are street legal, but you can't take them on the highways.

IIT showcased LEVs from Global Electric Motorcars and Matra (GE's partner in France).

Matra's concept model even has a bicycle with an electric motor that folds up into the LEV, so you always have two options to get around. Both the LEV and the bike recharge with through a solar panel on the LEV's roof.

If you're thinking seriously about getting an LEV but are worried about the cost, don't forget the 10 percent federal tax credit you'll get if you buy one before 2011.

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