NMG (Sparrow) owner "first 1000 miles" report - Fuelly Forums

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Old 03-25-2007, 07:20 AM   #1
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NMG (Sparrow) owner "first 1000 miles" report

Posted to the EVDL today.

(Really I should be working on the ForkenSwift instead of posting messages, but....)




Quote:
First 1,000 mile report.

Heidi’s new Myers Motors NmG, “Tweety” arrived home just after Thanksgiving 2006.

We have learned a lot from Tweety:

The old adage, “Seeing is believing” is an understatement. We have found that describing electric vehicles to people is typically a hard sell, however, if they see it, or especially if they drive it, it is a totally different story. Everywhere we go Tweety draws a crowd. It takes much longer going to the store now because of all the people gathered around asking questions. So far, not one negative comment from a gawker. This is in stark contrast when trying to describe Tweety, or any EV, for that matter. Often people will struggle to keep up with Tweety as they hope to follow along to the destination so they can find out what it is. They are always drop jaw amazed that it is electric.

Many exclaim they did not know an electric car was possible, much less one with so much go.

We purchased Tweety in an effort to help support EV marketing in Texas. We bought the first NmG sold from the first EV dealer in Austin Texas. We have since learned that it is far more practical than we originally thought. It is now driven daily. We take turns driving it to work, but, regardless, it is driven every day. Usually no less than twenty miles per go.

After announcing our purchase of Tweety, last Thanksgiving, we were promptly flooded with warnings of problems and suggestions how we could have done better. I did expect many issues and was eager to tackle them. Actually, the only issues with the car have been minor quality control issues such as cross threaded screws and miss-aligned door hinges, etc. We were prepared for much worse. A tap and new hardware from Myers has taken care of that. Support from Myers has been excellent. The design and components seem to be quite sound. It even has a Zilla! The biggest mechanical issue occurred within the first week. The drive belt broke while Heidi was going to work. The dealer paid for the towing and replaced the belt. Heidi retrieved the belt from the street and noted that it had cracks. The new belt looks quite fresh and has stood up to some heavy acceleration and a few (actually, quite a few) burnouts. Did I mention it has a Zilla?

The driving experience is such that we can’t tell it is a three-wheeler. We have driven it in aggressive traffic, heavy rain and even some ice. We do realize, however, that it is a three-wheeler. We know not to turn sharply while backing up and to be conscious of turning speed. We know better than to try “drifting” a corner! We really appreciate the heater, CD player, dry cabin, ample trunk space and its interstate performance. Instead of, “Please go around, it’s electric”, it is, “Yes, you were just passed by an electric vehicle”!

Heidi just loves her commutes down IH-35. The expression on motorist’s faces as she passes them is priceless. For my personal driving experience, I am becoming more skilled in straddling pot holes. That is when I get reminded that it’s a three-wheeler. I have learned that I can straddle a large manhole cover by just missing it with the inside edge of either front wheel. My other driving issue is still a mystery to me. I find myself tail-gating really bad when driving Tweety. While cruising 70 MPH down the freeway I will suddenly realize that I am about three feet from the bumper of the vehicle in front of me. Even if it is a tractor-trailer semi! I really have to work on that one!

We are having a lot of fun adding upgrades like an extra cooling fan for it’s DC/DC converter, replacing the belt guard mounting screws with studs, installing a keyless entry system. Next on the list are battery equalizers… Heidi is researching a trailer so we can take it to car shows beyond its driving range. In fact, Tweety is in a car show today as this is being written! We are absolutely having a blast with this car. It is exciting to drive, it draws attention like we never imagined. Tweety educates the public about the possibilities EV’s offer like we never imagined. It was a hard purchase to afford on our budget, but well, very well, worth it!!

Ken & Heidi
Sold through: http://www.myersmotors.com/
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:28 AM   #2
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Looks great, how about some gov't subsidies to bring down the $24,900 price tag.
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:52 AM   #3
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There probably are incentives in some states.

At $25k I wonder if it's the cheapest freeway-capable EV available today... Can't think of any others.

EDIT: I should say cheapest "commercially produced" EV (before Toecutter rightfully jumps in and tells us how you can build a much faster and cheaper conversion out of an ICE glider).
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Old 03-25-2007, 02:08 PM   #4
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Hey that's in my home town I'll have to keep an eye open for it but if he doing 70 mph it will just be a little yellow flash as he goes wizzing by me. I'll be interested how the next 1000 miles go. He bought it when it cool and the batteries have not had to go through the weeks of 100 degrees we even have periods were it's 110+ for a few days. Which brings me to a question. Can EV have AC or is it to much of a draw on the system?
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:06 PM   #5
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For those of us who are somewhat EV ignorant, whats a "Zilla" ?
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:36 PM   #6
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The Zilla is a brand of controller (the box that sits between the batteries and the motor and delivers power to the motor based on what the driver's right foot asks for).

Zilla's are known for their high output specs - they can send a LOT of juice to the motor when asked (thus the burn-outs). A car with a Zilla is no golf cart!

The guy who makes Zillas is interviewed in this interesting YouTube clip (it's not about controllers - it's about EVs in general, and you also get to see him smoke the tires on his 914 conversion):

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Yl9uejKnMFQ
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zpiloto View Post
Can EV have AC or is it to much of a draw on the system?
Not sure about the NmG, but EVs do have AC. (EV1, RAV4 did I believe.) Even the little ZENN can be ordered with air. It does eat into range (edit: just like on an ICE car ).
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:47 PM   #8
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I remember reading from people who got to lease an EV1 that AC ate ~2% of their range. But the EV1 was designed to be efficient, including special glass to help prevent the interior from heating up. From what I can tell of conversions, AC will usually take about 5%.

Heating will eat a lot more of an EV's range, usually around 10-15%.
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Old 03-25-2007, 08:22 PM   #9
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I saw one of these last sumer at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair they look awsome, and it looks like NMG has improved the design that Corban came up with back in the '90's by useing better batteries, better controlers, and making sure that they sold them at enough of a profit to be able to handle fixing any problems that came up for "free" and being able to pay off debt, and continue research.
If I was in the market for a new car, I would get one.
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