San Fernando Valley

REVVING UP: The brightly colored, bubble-like vehicles may be the first electric cars whose sticker price won't shock consumers.

"This is one of the first cars [built] especially for electric car use which means that they can be produced for more affordable prices," said Michael Gage, head of Calstart, a Burbank group that promotes the manufacturing of electric cars.

Introduced Tuesday in Burbank by Calstart and PIVCO, a Norwegian consortium, the new line of two-seat electric automobiles, called CITI cars, is designed for the budget-conscious and environmentally sensitive commuter, with a sticker price of $10,000.

It's designed for those who want a second or third family car that can scoot about town. Although there's a slight delay and jerk forward when you hit the accelerator, the car quickly picks up speed.

The car can go for about 65 miles before it needs to be recharged.

PIVCO officials expect to begin manufacturing the cars in California by 1998.

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