Power in Flux
Likes Likes:  5
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Game changer

              
   
   
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    896
    Post Thanks / Like

    Game changer

    Luke et al,

    I love the new Zero S, and I really love what Craig and Terry have done to show the potential that light, efficient EV's have. As impressive as all this is, the market for motorcycles, and electric ones at that, is tiny.

    The market for electric cars is, in theory, huge. Elon Musk is a very clever business man, and may yet bring the world to electric vehicles. Lets say he does. What we will have is big, expensive, energy guzzling vehicles that, over their lifetime, only use 2/3 the energy of what we have now. They might run off PV. But the acres of panels, and many kWh's of batteries to power them will still eat up a tremendous amount of resources, and generate a lot of CO2 to produce. For most of us, our car will still be our second biggest expense, after housing. Electric versions of our current cars will never be the "freedom machines" we dream of.

    The cell phone is a great analogy for what is needed. As a phone, they are pretty crappy. You can't get through much of the time. You have to remember to plug them in. You run out of juice. The sound quality is awful. But they have almost completely replaced landline phones, because they allow you to do things you never could before. Things you didn't know you wanted to do.

    Do to an accident of history, we could have light, efficient, practical, reasonably priced vehicles. The law allows enclosed trikes, without the millions of dollars worth of heavy baggage that current cars are saddled with.

    I have $30k that I would give Zero tomorrow, if they will build a vehicle like this, based on the Zero S drivetrain.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5pUI...gWNs9ZAvRMhW2A

    http://www.trevipedia.net/index.php?title=Main_Page

    http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/6176

    http://w3.unisa.edu.au/solarcar/trev/default.asp

    http://www.zero-race.com/

    I know they wouldn't make any money on the first one. So I'll offer another $30K for a second one.

    The only other vehicles I would consider buying at this point are the Edison2,

    http://www.edison2.com/

    which will probably never get the huge funding needed to pull it off, and the BMW i3,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_i3

    which is as close as any OEM will ever come to a sensible vehicle, but because of the impediments I mentioned above, will never be the game changer we need.

  2. Likes Richard230 liked this post
  3. #2
    Senior Member billmi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL
    Posts
    762
    Post Thanks / Like
    Elio Motors (eliomotors.com) enclosed reverse trike looks promising in that: A-They're serious enough that they worked a deal to buy GM's old factory in Shreveport B-They've got a design that they claim meets 5-star crash test requirements C-They're claiming 85mpg and D-They're planning a price point under $7K. I haven't read anything about them planning to do an electric yet, but it seems a natural path once they're established.
    Sensei - Electric Ninja 250

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    896
    Post Thanks / Like
    billmi,

    Would you give a deposit to those guys? Do you know how many ICE trike start-ups there have been in the last 40 years? And now electric trike start-ups? The only reason I brought it up is because Zero has shown that they can actually produce a product, and put them on the road.

    The guys at U. of S.A. have shown it can be done. They went around the world with it. It will carry two people, or one with groceries. Does it have air conditioning?...no. Will it take four kids to soccer?...no. Can you carry a sheet of plywood from Home Depot?...no. Will it keep you in debt, working like a serf for the rest of your natural life?...no. It will get you to work, and the store in relative comfort for years...for pennies. Built in reasonable numbers, it could be purchased without huge government tax credits, by people who wouldn't qualify for them anyway. And, as Terry has demonstrated, you could get a reasonable charge rate on a 240 volt outlet. Zero could sell them with a 5 kWh pack, and the option of adding one, two, or three as your budget allows.

    There is no question it could be done. I think it would be a game changer. Who will get off the pot and build them? is the question
    Last edited by Warren; 23 June 2013 at 1448.

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    896
    Post Thanks / Like
    I could have bought one of these,

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_BjrEbM6EX1...ac_at_home.jpg

    for $12K after they went bust. It had a Geo Metro FWD transaxle, 30 kW AC PMSM, 48, 160Ah, CALB prismatic cells, and a leather interior. It had the same flaw as many of the EV trike start-ups. They were trying to build a car without having to go through the federal hurdles. It had poor aerodynamics, and weighed 2280 pounds.

    The game changer requires giving up the "luxuries" of AC, power steering/brakes/windows, a strict weight diet, and serious aerodynamics. But the payoff is huge.

    You can't start off thinking you want a car, and what can you do without. You need to start with a motorcycle, and think what would you add.
    Last edited by Warren; 23 June 2013 at 1612.

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    20
    Post Thanks / Like
    What problem do these trikes solve, though? They only seem to be practical for very short trips in areas of dense population (cities). There are lot of solutions to that problem already, almost all of which are more efficient and practical (motorcycles, scooters, public transportation, bicycles, velomobiles). In sprawling cities, suburbs or rural areas, the distances are too large to comfortably drive in something that small. Also, most cars do double or triple duty. They commute, they get multiple weeks of groceries, they haul furniture. Storage capacity is important in a daily driver. It also has to work in all temperatures and climates (from -40 to 100+, heavy rain and snow). The only real exception to this is if it's cheap enough to use solely for commuting or if it's fast enough to be a "play" vehicle. Anything outside of those three roles are solidly outside of the mainstream (aka: niche, or enthusiast), in the US at least.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a small, efficient reverse trike vehicle. The XR-3 is my favorite right now because it's completely enclosed. The Translogic Torq looks pretty cool, if you're lucky enough to live someplace it doesn't rain. I also have delusions of taking a piaggio mp3, converting it to electric and putting a vetter style fairing on it. Efficient, narrow, (relatively) stable. It would make a cool, efficient short distance commuter. But that doesn't help a large chunk of mainstream drivers in america, who are commuting 70+ miles each way every day.

    http://www.rqriley.com/xr3.htm
    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/04/18/t...d-ev-roadster/

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pacifica, California
    Posts
    3,063
    Post Thanks / Like
    I saw this unusual 3-wheel reverse trike today. It was powered by a 1978 water-cooled Honda 500cc V-twin and used the bike's stock shaft-drive rear end and rear wheel. What was interesting about the vehicle is that it was completely covered with removable fabric panels over a thin tube frame that made up the skin of the body.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Spaceweasel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    447
    Post Thanks / Like
    Don't forget that the reason trikes can be so light is that they don't have to meet the same safety standards as automobiles. Most people won't sacrifice that when their family is involved in the equation. And, it seems unlikely that the entrenched interests won't successfully lobby for trikes to meet those same standards if it ever looks like they will gain anything resembling significant market share.

  9. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    896
    Post Thanks / Like
    Every one of the current crop of halfway affordable electric cars is being sold at a loss. And then the government is giving a $7500 dollar tax credit, which comes from borrowed money. Does that sound like a long term solution to anybody here?

    I confess to once having a 120 mile per day commute. But even in this economy, most people are not commuting more than 40 miles. Otherwise none of those EV's, would be of use to anybody.

    The Trev, like Terry's Zero, gets much better range than any of the affordable EV's. They are getting 124 miles on something like a 9 kWh pack. It weighs 660 pounds. That is less than Terry's Zero. It has more frontal area, but the Cd is better, so total drag is abut the same. With a stock 2013 Zero S drivetrain, and the 11.4 kWh pack, it would far exceed even the BMW i3's range. The i3 is going to run over $40K with the federal tax credit. If a 660 pound electric trike can't be sold at a profit for $25K, at reasonable volume, then something is totally out of wack with EV's.

    As for safety, a good share of the people in my county don't even where their seatbelts!
    Last edited by Warren; 23 June 2013 at 2047.

  10. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    896
    Post Thanks / Like
    Richard,

    The cyclecar you saw looks like a replica of the Velorex.

    http://inventory.dezercollection.com...awa--c-384.htm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPg717gLy88

  11. Likes Richard230 liked this post
  12. #10
    Senior Member protomech's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    215
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren View Post
    Every one of the current crop of halfway affordable electric cars is being sold at a loss. And then the government is giving a $7500 dollar tax credit, which comes from borrowed money. Does that sound like a long term solution to anybody here?

    I confess to once having a 120 mile per day commute. But even in this economy, most people are not commuting more than 40 miles. Otherwise none of those EV's, would be of use to anybody.

    The Trev, like Terry's Zero, gets much better range than any of the affordable EV's. They are getting 124 miles on something like a 9 kWh pack. It weighs 660 pounds. That is less than Terry's Zero. It has more frontal area, but the Cd is better, so total drag is abut the same.
    I think Trev has a little worse aero. They say 6.2 kWh/100 km at speeds of 80-90 km/h. http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/6176
    Terry's Vetter Zero requires 7.5 kW from the batteries at 70 mph, or 6.7 kWh/100 km at 112 km/h.

    People that refuse motorcycles because they're inconvenient or odd probably won't consider a non-airconditioned trike either.

    What would Zero do differently to make a trike a success where Aptera failed?
    2006 Suzuki GS500, sold
    2012 Zero S ZF9
    http://protomech.wordpress.com/

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •