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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are a lot of very geeky nerds on this forum (me being one of them) that like to talk about various technologies (or toys, as my wife would call them).

So I wanted to start up a conversation about pure electric cars. I'm not meaning hybrids or fuel cells or anything, I mean PURE electric vehicles.

I'm considering getting one, if I can find something that suits what I want. My regular commute is 4.5 miles each way, no freeway, and it irritates me that I drive a full 5-seater SUV every day (not because of the gas prices, but because it's just plain irresponsible). Plus, it would help to keep the mileage low on my MO.

So far I've found a couple options:
The Gizmo (http://www.nevco-ev.com/)
IT (the car version: http://www.itiselectric.com/ which can be "hacked" to go significantly faster)
And while it's not truely electric, the Lean machine (http://www.3wheelers.com/gmlean.html) was a pretty cool option but I don't think it's possible to get them anymore.

Anyone know of other options? There are a lot of golf-cart types of these that don't have doors, but there are legal issues for driving them on the roads.

What I'm really looking for is something that is fully enclosed (can be used in the cold rain we're starting to get), has a heater, and has a radio (or has a PLACE for a radio). And I need it to go at least 40mph and legal to drive on roads up to a 40mph posted speed limit. Keeping it under $10k would also be helpful.
 

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I think this is what you are looking for.

Tango T600 (kit) Specifications:

(Subject to change.)

Width: 39" (5" narrower than a Honda Gold Wing)
Length: 8'5" long, allowing it to park perpendicular to the curb.
Height: 60"
Ground Clearance: 4"
Weight: 3,057 lbs.
Distribution: 44.3/55.7 (percent front/rear)
Batteries: 19 Hawker Odyssey's or 25 Exide Orbital XCD's or Optima Yellow Tops. Will accommodate Ni-MH and/or Li-Ion batteries in the future.
Nominal Voltage: 228 V with 19 Hawkers (300 V with 25 batteries)
Battery Weight: 988 lbs. (Hawker) or 1,025 lbs (Exide) or 1,125 lbs (Optima)
Charging: 50 amp on-board charger with Avcon conductive coupling. 200 amp off-board charger under development.
Steering: Rack and pinion with Cadillac CTS collapsible steering column and Momo Corse steering wheel
Front Suspension: Unequal length A-arm with coil-over Bilstein shocks.
Rear Suspension: Trailing arm with coil-over Bilstein shocks.
Controller: Zilla Z2K motor controller, providing up to 2,000 Amps at 300 Volts (600 kW). Designed and built by Otmar Ebenhoech at Café Electric LLC in Palo Alto, CA.
Motors: 2 Advanced DC FB1-4001 9" motors, one driving each rear wheel with over 1,000 ft-lb of combined torque at low rpms. 8,000 rpm redline.
Transmission: 2 direct drive gear boxes designed by Bert Transmission of St-Constant, Québec, the leading manufacturer of dirt circle track race car transmissions. Semi-quick-change with 10 available ratios from 2.92:1 to 5:1. Standard ratio is 3.25:1. Splined locker can be easily engaged by removing C-clip, sliding sleeve and replacing C-clip.
Wheels: 5.5 x 13, 3 spoke alloy, 5 bolt on 115 mm center
Hubs/Wheel Bearings: As used on the Pontiac Bonneville and some Cadillacs.
Front Tires: BF Goodrich Euro T/A 175/50R13 M+S
Rear Tires: Yokohama Advan A032R P215/50R13 (S Compound): Yokohama's ultimate DOT-approved racing tire.
Brakes: Acura Integra front disk brake calipers and Scorpio rear calipers (with integrated parking brake). Wilwood master cylinder and pedal assembly.
HVAC: 12,000 BTU Vintage Air air conditioning system driven by variable speed AC motor for predictable climate control. 3,000 W electric heater for instant-on, powerful heating.
Seating: Tandem Sparco Roadster bucket seats with attached 4-point harness structures. Passenger straddles the front seat and harness structures which do not interfere with the passenger's knees.
Storage: Passenger and a few bags of groceries with rear seat installed. Removed, it allows seven 10-ream cartons of paper with the driver's seat in extended position. (Rear seat with harness structure is removable through rear hatch.) Multiple compartments for smaller items.
Headroom: 39" driver and passenger.
Trailer Hitch: Accepts standard 1.25" hitch for towing generator cart for extended range.
Note: Projected performance specifications will vary depending on final weight, gearing, tires, and batteries used. Acceleration figures assume racing slicks are used on a drag strip.
Range: 60-80 miles maximum
Cost per Mile: About 1/2 the cost of a gasoline car for the average commuter. (See note.)
Acceleration: 0 to 60 MPH, about 4 seconds. 1/4 mile time about 12 seconds at a speed of approx. 120 MPH (See note.)
Top Speed: 150 MPH (See note.)


Notes:

Cost per Mile:

The average round-trip commute in the U.S. is 20 miles according to the 2000 report from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

For that average commute of 20 miles and up to 24 miles per charge, the total cost per mile of the Tango is approximately 30% lower than that of a Honda Insight. This includes battery replacement, maintenance, and the cost of electricity at $.05 per kWh (as in the Northwest). The Honda Insight has an EPA rating of 56 mpg city and 57 highway. Please see the Cost-per-Mile Spreadsheet for details. This spreadsheet shows how the Tango compares with other vehicles, both Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) driven and hybrid. It includes gasoline and recommended dealer maintenance costs for the gasoline cars and electricity, maintenance, and battery replacement costs for the Tango.

In California where electricity rates are nearly $.15 per kWh, the total cost per mile for the Tango becomes roughly equal to that of the Insight. Electricity cost per mile runs from 0.9 cents to 2.6 cents as cost per kWh goes from 5 cents to 15 cents.

Battery replacement is the largest portion of the cost-per-mile for an electric car. To demonstrate how this works, we use Optima's cycle life vs. depth of discharge graph. This graph applies to laboratory-controlled charge and discharge cycles, yet is quite indicative of the effects of driver habits. If the Tango were driven to 80% DOD (depth of discharge) or more (approximately 64 to 80 miles regularly between charges), the pack will only yield 250 cycles. This works out to approximately 16 cents per mile with current Optima Yellow Top prices of $100. However, if discharged to 25% DOD (20 to 24 miles between charges), the chart shows 4,000 cycles can be achieved yielding 80,000 miles with a cost of only 3.1 cents per mile.

Acceleration:

0 to 60 MPH, about 4 seconds. 1/4 mile time about 12 seconds at a speed of approximately 120 MPH. These figures are based on comparisons with other cars that hold official records with NEDRA (National Electric Drag Racing Association). Calculations have taken weight, motor torque, controller, voltage, gear ratio, and traction into consideration. They assume that racing slicks are fitted and driven on a drag strip with good traction conditions. For example, the world record held for a dragster used the same controller as the Tango in the Current Eliminator IV, with a quarter mile time of 8.801 seconds at 137.65 MPH. The Tango has the same motors that the Maniac Mazda used to achieve an 11.039 second quarter mile at 111.80 MPH.

Top Speed:

150 MPH. This is a limitation based on a practical red-line for the motors of about 8,000 RPM with the standard 3.25:1 gear ratio. Top speed vs. acceleration can be traded off by choosing any of 10 different ratios from 2.92:1 giving a top speed of 172 MPH to 5:1 which would give a top speed of 100 MPH. The 5:1 would give phenomenal acceleration if you could get enough traction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow. That's pretty cool.

However, the only one that is currently available is the T600, which is $85k!!!!!! Holy crap! And you have to finish the assembly yourself! WTF?

Eventually they're planning to release the T100, but that is still over $18k.

But a very cool find. Can you imagine being in one of those on a freeway, pull slowly up along side a Porsche, and then just scream away without any engine noise at all? Frickin' awesome! :)
 

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Corin

Do you know this car is made in Spokane, WA, a 300 mile drive from Seattle. Maybe you can see the car there.
 

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I suspect that you couldn't see this car if you were in the same room.

150MPH ? Bull Feathers.


Homer
 

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Electric cars do not save pollution if the power comes from coal or natural gas power plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
sctb1 said:
Electric cars do not save pollution if the power comes from coal or natural gas power plants.
Incorrect.

It's true that there ARE still emmissions to consider related to eletric cars, but the polution created to power an electric car is much less than the total polution caused by a gasoline car.

Power plants are highly regulated. In fact, most fixed sources of polution are highly regulated. Much more so than mobile sources. Even coal power plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting. Never really thought of a conversion vehicle. The Fiero would be cool! :)

But the problem with many of the vehicles that are built for the original purpose of being an electric vehicle is that they are limited at 25mph or not available (yet) in the US. Or, like the Tango, are just too flippin' expensive. That doesn't work for me.

I've done several searches, and have found lots of options, just not practical ones. The Gizmo, the IT (if illegally modified to go faster than 25mph) and the Sparrow (which is REALLY expensive).

The Zap site has thrown me another one, though, now that I look at it. The Xebra might be an option (http://www.zapworld.com/cars/xebra.asp) but I don't like the idea of only 1 wheel up front. Having the 2 wheels in front and one in back is much more stable, especially when we're talking about going 40mph...
 

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Corin said:


Incorrect.

It's true that there ARE still emmissions to consider related to eletric cars, but the polution created to power an electric car is much less than the total polution caused by a gasoline car.

Power plants are highly regulated. In fact, most fixed sources of polution are highly regulated. Much more so than mobile sources. Even coal power plants.
There is quite a bit of research on this subject. I'm sure we can both find research to go either way, but here is one example. It's not an easy answer.

http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~wilkins/writing/Samples/policy/voytishlong.html

"Conclusion
At present, for the vast majority of the country, neither electric vehicles or comparable gasoline-powered vehicles holds a solid advantage over the other in cleanliness. This balance will probably not change any time in the near future as the problem with electric vehicles is not inherent to them, but rather to the means by which we generate our electricity."
 

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Does it *have* to be pure electric? I've been studying veggie oil conversions for a few years now, and have recently been spending a lot of time at Seattle's own frybrid.com.

I'm also of the opinion that the Left Coast obsession with electric cars is just transference of the responsibilty for creating pollution from drivers to electrical generation plants. The whole "hey *I* didn't cause that pollution!" thing.

I would feel much better about myself running a vegoil conversion kit on a 50mpg Jetta TDI. Unfortunately, I don't have the room to scrub WVO (I don't even have a yard!) and would have to run a filtration system in the bed of a pickup truck. If I had the $$$ to buy a diesel pickup, the SVO kit for the truck, a custom-built WVO scrubber for the bed with a 100-gallon tank and transfer pump, ANOTHER, high mpg car to serve as my commuter ride, the SVO kit for *that* car, and the time to drive around sucking WVO out of trash bins, I would be SO there!

The pollution created by the electrical generation plants plus the environmental DISASTER waiting to unfold with all the battery systems is just not worth it to me. Consider veggie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, bio-diesel has become very popular over here, and it's a very cool idea. There are still some issues, of course, but so far people seem to really like it.

The battery issue you bring up is a HUGE issue. However, that's why you see so many of these vehicles using lead-acid batteries. They're not technically the most effecient batteries, but they're almost completely recyclable. Not perfect, but helps a great deal.

My interest in a pure electric car is really 2-fold (and in this order):
1) It's a cool and unique toy
2) Since my commute is 4.5 miles each way on local roads (no freeway) it would be much more environment-friendly and cost much less gas than my Murano

Even with the current argument about whether the power plants produce as much pollution to run an electric engine as a gas engine produces, you have to admit that the polution used to power a small one-person electric car would be much less than running the Murano's big V6...
 

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Especially a VQ35 in cold start mode. I swear, it takes 1/3rd of the way to work for me before my torque converter locks up. I'm as gentle as possible getting onto the freeway when it's cold like that, but it's really rather unavoidable in my commute, and I'm sure that's where a big chunk of my gas mileage goes.
 

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A few year ago

Only about 7 I had a Mercedes Turbo Diesel. I quickly got tired of the terrible Diesel Knock and the high price of Diesel fuel. No Bio Diesel Fuel around here. If the price of the Toyota's Pirus not such a rip off AND the Occupant comforts were better I could be tempted to make my one car the Pirus. I hope that when the competition finally arrives that the price will get better and so will the economy.

As I drive so very few miles a year it doen't make much sense to let the fuel economy drive my decisions

G.
 

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Corin said:
My interest in a pure electric car is really 2-fold (and in this order):
1) It's a cool and unique toy
2) Since my commute is 4.5 miles each way on local roads (no freeway) it would be much more environment-friendly and cost much less gas than my Murano

Even with the current argument about whether the power plants produce as much pollution to run an electric engine as a gas engine produces, you have to admit that the polution used to power a small one-person electric car would be much less than running the Murano's big V6...
Definitely a unique toy, and it is certainly friendly to your local environment. And if you could do wind generation (or pedal a bicycle stapled to a generator like Ed Begley, Jr), much less expensive. Wasn't there a massive energy crisis out there in recent years, or was that only limited to California? (being serious, not snotty) And yes, the pollution (air particulates) generated by a plant to charge your batteries should be less than what a single Murano would put out. It is, of course, impossible to get a plant to generate enough electricity to power just one car.

Charging the highly-recyclable batteries you mentioned with a truly green energy source (like wind, don't start me on solar panels -- and some people don't even like wind), then yes, for a 4 1/2 mile commute, its not so bad. But with an older generation plant charging environmentally unfriendly battery systems -- please don't do it for the environment.

Before getting into veggie, I was excited about Honda's CNG line. I wanted to buy a house with a garage just so I could get their CNG adapter and replace my wife's Sonata with a Honda CNG. :) Alas, pricing has finally caught up with natural gas, and now I'm wishing I landed an assignment for the winter far from home just so my wife and I can shut down our place for the winter and move into a corporate apartment! Hell, I'll even take St Louis at this point!

I do applaud your efforts and interest. I'm just leery of anyone more than 2,000 miles away from NYC, especially when it comes to social and environmental issues. Anyone see those dirtbags from Virginia on last week's Wife Swap?!?! YEEEESH And Grip, I'm sure that wasn't you and the Gripee on this week's episode trying to replace food with "Sun gazing"! Where do they find these people??
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
EasternPA said:

Wasn't there a massive energy crisis out there in recent years, or was that only limited to California? (being serious, not snotty)
Yes. This last year we had a minor energy crisis, and actually had to buy some energy from California, if I remember correctly (usually it's the other way around).

Here in Washington we use hydro-power quite a bit. It actually makes up a pretty large percentage of our overall power. Last fall/winter/spring we had very little rain and snow (well, little in comparison to normal) so the water shortage caused all kinds of problems including a shortage of power.

Seems to be over this year, though! All our ski resorts are opening up early! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Since this thread has turned more into a topic of the environment, thought I would post this:

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsA...NE573047_RTRUKOC_0_US-ENVIRONMENT-CLIMATE.xml

Quick snipit of the beginning:

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five million tons of carbon dioxide, a gas linked to global warming, was successfully stored in a Canadian oilfield while doubling the field's crude oil recovery rate, the U.S. Energy Department said on Tuesday.

The promising technology in the multi-national project could be used to capture and store carbon dioxide in geologic formations, U.S. officials said.

"By applying this technique to the oil fields of Western Canada, we would see billions of additional barrels of oil and a reduction in Co2 emissions equivalent to pulling more than 200 million cars off the road for a year," U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman said in a statement.
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Seems cool, but kind of like sweeping the dirt under the rug.... :)
 
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