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A rare Sparrow, one of 285 of the eye-popping electric cars ever made, was recently spotted in Encinitas. The owner wasn’t around to provide details, but an internet search revealed that the car was a “Jellybean” model. The other style manufactured by Hollister-based Corbin Motors between 1999 and 2002 was dubbed the “Pizza Butt” (because Domino's Pizza placed an order for some of the vehicles).

Thanks to enthusiasts such as the Electric Vehicle Association of San Diego, Sparrows have survived. In 2001, the group sponsored a charitable electric-vehicle-awareness-raising drive. The tiny, zero-emissions Sparrow made the 709-mile trip to Hollister and back, according to the group's newsletter, but it did necessitate 18 stops for charges.

When Corbin went bankrupt in 2003, Myers Motors took over the Sparrow, improving battery life, safety features, and seating capacity. The car was renamed the NmG (“no more gas”).

Myers Motors recently unveiled the next generation: the three-wheeled two-seater NMG2. It can travel at freeway speed, goes about 60 miles per charge (compare to the original Sparrow’s 30), and can use the carpool lane as well as motorcycle parking spots, the manufacturer says.

According to http://green.autoblog.com/tag/Nmg2/, "The car's base price is $29,995 but, if a thousand people drop $250 on a pre-order, the price for everyone will drop by $5,000 (actually, for every 200 people who pre-order, Myers can get volume discounts and so will drop the price by $1,000). Myers will wait until June 5, 2010, to see how many pre-orders they have and set the final price then."

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