Electric Three-wheeler Suicide Car Makes Its Debut

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by protonaut, Nov 14, 2007.

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  1. protonaut

    protonaut Well-Known Member

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    "IAN A. BRUCE presses an Italian-made alligator-skin boot onto the accelerator of his three-wheel thrill machine and careens around a corner. The agile metal box tilts precariously to one side, leaving Mr. Bruce nearly horizontal to the ground.

    “The experience is like driving a jet fighter,” he shouts over the engine. “It’s truly a new kind of vehicle.”

    The machine, which has one wheel in front and two in back, is a hybrid of a motorcycle and a car, and it underscores a trend: vehicles of the future are as unorthodox as the entrepreneurs who are trying to create them.

    A generation of digital-era Henry Fords, unabashed and brimming with confidence, has emerged. Born of Silicon Valley and the dot-com culture, they are trying to apply to car making the same entrepreneurial spirit that built the information superhighway.

    Most of the inventors are not car makers by background or training. But they are cocksure, backed by millions of dollars in venture capital and cloaked in the righteousness of environmentalism. To their critics, they are flying at high speed around a blind curve, destined to become reality-check crash-test dummies."

    Read the rest of the article here.
     
  2. protonaut

    protonaut Well-Known Member

    For those of us who actually happen to value our lives, there are plenty of other electric vehicles in the works offering a better survivability factor on the open road. A lot of today's hybrids and various alternative fuel vehicles are best suited for city dwellers and short-range commuters, usually not the best choice for road trips, rough terrain, or the high speeds of the freeway. If your wallet is fat enough, there are probably some exceptions available. I'm personally more interested in the affordable alternatives, as I assume most interested in these vehicles are - we're usually trying to escape the high prices (and pollution) of the pump! Whether or not today's emerging projects will prove economically viable and environmentally-friendly, it's nice to see corporations embracing the "green scene".

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    "Inspired by the Samba microbus of the ’60s, the space up! blue microvan is powered by 12 lithium-ion batteries and a high-temperature fuel cell, driving an electric motor, which produces the equivalent of 61 horsepower. The batteries hold enough juice to last 65 miles. The space up! blue can be “refueled” by either plugging it into a standard wall socket or via fuel cell, which extends the microvan’s range another 155 miles, for a total range of 220 miles.

    But that’s not all. A solar panel on the roof of the space up! blue supplies up to 150 watts of energy into the battery.

    Although the up! name might not stick, VW promises to begin production of its new family of vehicles by the end of the decade. But don’t expect to see any solar panels or fuel cells. Early power sources for the up! series will likely be internal combustion engines fueled by gas and diesel. Word is that VW is targeting emerging markets with the up! so you can also expect the models to be light in weight and on the pocketbook."

    L.A. Autoshow
     
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