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Old 12-17-2006, 10:17 PM   #11
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That's why I like the Zapp Xebra. At least you can legally take that one on the highway, even if it may only do 45 mph. This grants it much more practicality and utility than an NEV. The Xebra is also about the same price as a typical NEV. If I had my way with one, in would go a WarP 9", 156V+ pack of AGMs, and Zilla... *evil grin*
Yes, I should have mentioned this caveat. An electric that can sustain 45-50 MPH becomes more practical because I can take it on conventional roads, not just "local town stops". Not ready for freeways, but neither are mopeds.

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Old 12-17-2006, 10:21 PM   #12
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If they built a bare-bones EV that could get to 45 mph with a range of 50 miles and keep the costs to a minimum by stripping the car of everything unnecessary to driving, I would probably be first in line to get one. What's a shame is that even though EV's cost more to make due to the lack of the market to support mass-production, so seeing one that will end up being cheaper than an ICE car even without features probably won't occur any time soon.
When I looked in the rear floor of the Zenn I imagined a row of high-performance "next-gen" batteries that could extend the range. A beefier electric motor and a safety roll cage could just make a car like the Zenn viable.

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Old 12-18-2006, 12:10 AM   #13
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If they built a bare-bones EV that could get to 45 mph with a range of 50 miles and keep the costs to a minimum by stripping the car of everything unnecessary to driving, I would probably be first in line to get one. What's a shame is that even though EV's cost more to make due to the lack of the market to support mass-production, so seeing one that will end up being cheaper than an ICE car even without features probably won't occur any time soon.
There's one thing you do have wrong. The market for EVs is huge. It just so happens that the major automakers ignore it because meeting demand for them would shift sales away from vehicles with higher profit margins.

According to a study titled "The Current and Future Market for Electric Vehicles", the market for an electric car with 80 miles range(and an acknowledged reduced range in cold), highway speed capability, and comparable cost to gasoline powered cars was 12-18% of new car sales with a 95% confidence interval. This was just for the state of California, which would amount to over 150,000 electric cars in that state per year.

Today? The technology exists for 200-300 miles range with no range loss in the cold, fast acceleration to match or beat comparable gas cars, ability to have a top speed to match any gas car with proper gearing, and comparable cost to gasoline powered cars.

If the market for an electric car with 80 miles range was 12-18%, one must wonder what would it be with 200+ miles range and greatly increased performance.


There's a large enough market to support mass production. However, those with the economies of scale to do mass production refuse to make EVs. Those small businesses willing to make EVs just don't have the money to mass produce, and meet a huge demand that they certainly know exists.
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by The Toecutter
That's why I like the Zapp Xebra. At least you can legally take that one on the highway, even if it may only do 45 mph.
I also like the specs & price (relative to NEVs). But ... 45 mph as long as you don't have to turn!

The 3-wheeled delta setup is questionable. I don't know firsthand whether the battery pack is placed properly to stabilize these cars.

In the UK, there's a well known ICE powered delta 3 wheeler about the size of the Xebra called the Reliant Robin.

Here's one rolling over at low speed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr8SvdSzs7c
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:18 AM   #15
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25 MPH max? DOA. Might as well get a moped for a grand and go 35 MPH when it's not raining.
Or too cold 3 months out of the year, or you have to carry stuff, or take a passenger

But here's something I have not seen mentioned yet:

All these cars are *electronically* limited to 25 mph. They're all capable of higher speeds.

Anyone with a minimum of mechanical/electrical experience could either : replace the controller with an unrestricted one; install a controller bypass "high speed" circuit.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that if you asked the right person at the dealer, the car might leave the shop with its stock controller tweaked a little bit...

In fact you could probably just plug a laptop into the stock controller and do it yourself.
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:45 AM   #16
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I also like the specs & price (relative to NEVs). But ... 45 mph as long as you don't have to turn!

The 3-wheeled delta setup is questionable. I don't know firsthand whether the battery pack is placed properly to stabilize these cars.

In the UK, there's a well known ICE powered delta 3 wheeler about the size of the Xebra called the Reliant Robin.

Here's one rolling over at low speed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr8SvdSzs7c
Yeah, the 3 wheels scares me too. Just from a selling POV, people are used to 4 wheels.

In the mini-pickup, the batteries are located just behind the cabin, under the cargo bay. Dead center low COG :



Compromise : How about a set of training wheels up front that don't normally touch the ground? Trading aerodynamics in exchange for safety?

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Old 12-18-2006, 09:24 AM   #17
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I also like the specs & price (relative to NEVs). But ... 45 mph as long as you don't have to turn!
Depends on the COG, but I also have questions as to its handling capability.

Quote:
The 3-wheeled delta setup is questionable. I don't know firsthand whether the battery pack is placed properly to stabilize these cars.
IMO, the 3-wheeled tadpole setup is far superior, from both a stability and an aerodynamics standpoint(unless the vehicle is designed for the absolute extreme in efficiency using laminar flow, in which the delta setup would actually be better, but then practical limitations set in).


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But here's something I have not seen mentioned yet:

All these cars are *electronically* limited to 25 mph. They're all capable of higher speeds.
Well, I did hint at this in an earlier post in this topic.

I know of Cushman NEVs that get like 250 Wh/mile at 35 mph(these examples have had their governors tampered with to allow over 25 mph), which is what a midsize car would get at about 60 mph!
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:38 AM   #18
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Well, I did hint at this in an earlier post in this topic.
Whoops, yes you did.

When I read "Cushman", I immediately had a brain fart and missed the word "NEV".

The brain fart was an immediate mental picture of the 1960's era electric 3-wheel work carts that used to run around in a plant I once worked in.

Surely there must be NEV "tuner" shops in towns where these things are common, where you take your car to get it "chipped".
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:19 PM   #19
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By the way, what is the cheapest new street-legal ICE car you can get in the US these days?
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Old 12-20-2006, 05:35 PM   #20
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I think the Kia Rio is. It's around $9,000. Usually, it will be marked up to over $10,000.
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