Notes on Electric Vehicles
There are so many electric vehicles, small and large, that have come and
gone over the years, and new ones appearing all the time. There never
seems to be a practical one, but i keep notes here about them.
- EVAA: the Electric Vehicle Association
- only talks about cars from the big manufacturers
- Tesla Motors
- Their first model, the Tesla Roadster, is 'now in production' as
of July 2008. Hundreds of the cars were pre-ordered at the
price of $100k. 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds, "256 mpg equivalent", 220 mi (350 km) on
a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack
- Model S, a family sedan, is supposed to cost around $50k in 2012
- a cute skinny car that, yes, takes two passengers
- they are aiming at the market of commuters, especially in California
where it benefits from the zero-emission vehicle laws
- the other benefits include less road space and much less parking
- as of 2004, they were looking for funding for an initial production
- as of 2009, you can order a kit for $10,000, "Batteries and
drivetrain are not included"
- Phoenix Motorcars
- Intended to produce two models, a SUV and a truck, at around
- they are gathering interest, "Phoenix Motorcars will release a
consumer version of its zero-emission, freeway-speed, green vehicle
in late 2008."
- uses an "Altairnano lithium titanate battery", expected 100 mile
- Not much news since 2008. Announced a truck version in
- The EV1. Was $30k for 3-year lease only. GM killed it off, see the documentary
Who Killed the Electric Car?
As of 2006, GM was working on the Chevy Volt.
- Chevy Volt
- "extended-range electric vehicle", 40 miles electric, then
gasoline motor kicks in for total range of 640 miles
- as of 2008 the claimed goal is "to complete the vehicle by the
end of 2010"
- as of 2010, the price is roughly $40k, with a production of
10,000 cars planned for 2011
TH!NK City Car
- produced by a Norwegian
Think Global, which
was a branch of Ford between 1999 and 2003
- 50-mile range at 55 mph, under 10' long, seats 2, uses NiCads
- It is "the world’s only crash-tested and highway-certified
- As of 2007, it appears the company is still alive, with a new
model due out in Fall (2007) which will share battery technology
with the Tesla Roadster.
- As of 2008, about 100 vehicles have been completed, for sale in
Norway only, at the equivalent of $32,000 each. There are
plans to sell it in other European countries, but not the US.
- The battery, as usual, is the expensive part. They could
sell the vehicle at $15-17,000 and lease the battery.
- In April 2010, they planned to sell the car in the US "in 2010".
BugE electric NEV
- design goal was to create a simple, low cost
personal mobility vehicle that could function in a four-season
environment on city streets.
- 3 wheels, weighs 350 lbs, goes 40 miles @ 30 mph, kit will sell
for approx. $3000
- one builder
reports: "If the vehicle is built as per the manual, the vehicle
will travel 30 miles at 30mph using a DC motor, a motor controller
and 4 lead acid batteries. The total vehicle cost for a stock BugE
is around $6000 or more "
- hybrid electric/gasoline
- 1.5-liter, four-cylinder gas engine
- overall claims 55 mpg
- went on sale in the USA in summer of 2000, cost around $20k
- Honda Insight
- 2-door, 2-seater, manual transmission
- primarily relies on a 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder VTEC™-E gasoline engine,
with an electric motor "assisting"
- 61 mpg/city and 70 mpg/highway
- regenerative braking
- aluminum body is 47% lighter than a comparable steel body
- low drag coefficient (0.25)
- MSRP of $18,880 when it reaches dealerships December 15, 1999
- MDI / CQFD Air Solution Zero
- claim to run for 200 km using "electronically
injected compressed air"
- However, the website
isn't really clear on how it works, refers to "combustion" but doesn't
say what combusts.
- Several years
later, they are still not on the market. WTF?
Bikes, Scooters, etc.
- Electric Bicycles is a
great big site which actually covers all kinds of electric vehicles in addition
EVT (Electric Vehicle Transportation)
- The 4000e and 168 models have been sold for many years (top
speed 30 mph, 25-35 miles, 1500 Watts/48 Volts)
- new in 2008: R-30 and
Z-30 (top speed 45
mph, 30-45 miles, 3000 Watts/60 Volts)
- i want one, but need to know it can go up hills.. i asked, and
they said it does easily
- price is around $3000
- Aloha E-Bikes (Honolulu,
- a whole range of bikes/scooters with rage of power: 350W, 500W,
- The top of the line,
DMB09A, has a
max speed of 30-35mph.
- Price is around $2000 ($1690 + ~$200 charger)
- Local (big island) outlet is at Kona Moped Center, 74-5543 Kaiwi
St., A-105, 331-8258
- Electric Scooters Fun
- online store, sells a whole range of electric scooters, from $200
and up, plus electric bicycles
- PET (Personal Electric Transports, Inc.)
- formed by previous employees of Suntera
- based in Kailua, Hawaii
- plans to make electric scooter/motorcycles
- no production vehicles yet, organizing support for their concept
- website disappeared, did the company fold?
- ZAP World
- most prominent electric bike company
- sells electric bikes for around $1000 and conversion kits for $500
- many other companies (eg. see
yahoo) sell less expensive bikes and kits
- I'd try one out before buying...
- The main problem with electric cars on the Big Island of Hawai`i
is that it's a BIG island - it takes a full battery charge just to drive
from Honoka`a to the nearest city.
- Solar panels don't really give enough juice to impact the battery
range, but it's a nice idea.
- Solectria Flash
- The Solectria Sunrise was a previous design which did not reach
production, only a few built.
- very long range claimed, 100 miles (lead acid), 200 miles (NiMH)
- very pretty
- estimated price around $20-30k
- From Suntera, a company that was located in my old hometown of Honoka'a, Hawai`i
- I got a ride in one of their prototypes once, in the mid-90s, by wandering into
their shop and asking questions. It looked great, and seemed to drive
- The founder Jonathan Tennyson died in 1997, leaving a very interesting
- It was reported, "Suntera has moved to upstate New York
and is awaiting reorganization. Interest continues to be high."
- only around 4 cars were ever built
- the long and terrible contractual and legal story (1993-1997) (offline as of 2004)
- Honda's EV plus
- apparently, they made 300 cars in the 1990s, but stopped
- was $30k for 3-year lease only
- utilitarian appearance, not sporty and 'cool' like the EV1
- i got to be driven in one at a commuter event at Intel.
- no mention on the current Honda site, but
EV+ owners have their own site
- Zebra Motors Inc., "Z roadster."
- 2-seat convertible, around $20k
- range of 60-125 miles, top speed of 80 mph
- company and production is based in Alameda Air Station's hanger
- was involved in a project called Electric Islands International,
- Corbin Sparrow [filed
for bankruptcy as of March 2003]
5.05 Fetish column:
"The problem with electric cars like GM's EV1 is that they're,
well ... cars. Current battery technology can't provide adequate support
for such large vehicles. If you're interested in the other side of the
horizon, check out the Sparrow. Designer Mike Corbin has crafted this
single-seat runabout to cruise for 60 hours [!!! they mean
1 hour] at 60 mph, and it recharges in 6 hours from a
standard 110-volt socket [or 2 hours from a 220-volt socket].
Worried about the price? You can buy the Sparrow for about a third of
the cost of leasing the EV1 for three years. Sparrow: US$12,900