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#1 HollandPark

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 12:20 PM

A RACE across London in electric cars- was staged by The Sunday Times

Four Cars were involved:

Posted Image
1/
REVA G-WIZ (Emma Smith)
Price.........: Pds.8,299
Max.speed: 40mph
Range.......: Up to 40 miles
Run cost...: 4.4 miles per kWh (one kWH costs between 2.8p - 7.0p)
Recharge..: Six hours
City/ HTR..: 1hr 56min (from City airport to Heathrow)
website.....: http://www.goinggreen.co.uk

2/
MARANELLO 4 (Nicholas Rufford)
Price.........: Pds.9,950
Max.speed: 30mph
Range.......: 45 miles
Run cost...: 4.5 miles per kWh
Recharge..: Eight hours
City/ HTR..: 1hr 45min (from City airport to Heathrow)
website.....: http://www.sbsbsb.com

3/
AIXAM MEGA VAN (Andrew Frankel)
Price.........: Pds.10,950
Max.speed: 30mph
Range.......: 40 miles
Run cost...: 3.3 miles per kWh
Recharge..: Nine hours
City/ HTR..: 2hr 8min (from City airport to Heathrow)
website.....: 020 8574 3232

4/
TWIKE (Jeremy Taylor)
Price.........: Pds.15,000
Max.speed: 53mph
Range.......: 20 - 90 miles
Run cost...: 12.5 miles per kWh
Recharge..: Three hours
City/ HTR..: 2hr 8min (from City airport to Heathrow)
website.....: http://www.twike.co.uk


source: http://driving.times...50-2229156.html

#2 malco

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 10:01 PM

The Aixam van is available in Diesel or battery powered form.

These are the prices:

Diesel: £5,300

Electric: £9,999

Huh?

source: http://www.aixamatwh....uk/megavan.htm
Will economics be single-handed?

#3 HollandPark

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 10:08 PM

Why such a HUGE difference?

#4 malco

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 10:21 PM

I need to do a little adjustment to the licence in the claims for the efficiency of these vehicles. The best is the TWIKE, which claims a fuel economy equivalent to about 560 miles per gallon. This is misleading, as it neglects the waste heat that is inevitable when you use fossil fuels to generate power.

I'll go through the working.

The heat energy in a gallon of petrol is about 140 megajoules (MJ).

The manufacturer claims an energy consumption of 12.5 miles per kWhr. A kWhr is 3.6MJ of work by definition. To generate that in a thermal power plant and transmit the power down the National Grid would require 3.6/0.33 = 11MJ of chemical heat input to the furnace of the power station.

So the actual equivalent mpg of the TWIKE is 12.5*140/11 = 159 miles per gallon.

This is pretty good for a motor vehicle, but that is far and away the best of these vehicles.

I suppose comparison with a cyclist is tempting, but there you have problems too. You see, a bicycle is very efficient, but a human uses energy from food, and food is an oil product. As a rule of thumb I think it is correct to estimate that 10 calories of oil are required to produce 1 calory of food energy. So although I might manage 1,500 miles pergallon on my touring bike, that is probably not really better than the best electric cars in terms of thermal footprint.

But supporting electric cars requires all the infrastructure of power plant and the recycling of the batteries, so I suspect the cyclist still comes out ahead, but maybe by not as great a margin as you would expect.
Will economics be single-handed?

#5 HollandPark

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:31 AM

Why the price difference?
The batteries cost the earth:

"Reliability: battery life for the G-Wiz is estimated at two to four years, depending on usage. The car is covered by a two-year warranty but if the battery fails outside that, it costs £1,200. Twike says its batteries will last for 50,000 miles, with a replacement cost of £3,180-£6,980."

= =

Why the good mileage?: they are LIGHT: (Weighing in at about 230kg = the Twike)

"Sir Clive Sinclair’s C5 had a range of 20 miles and a top speed of 15mph. It was a flop. Makers claim to have increased range and performance with lightweight materials and improved battery technology: those advances mean the electric car is here to stay, they say. Perhaps. The truth is that just as the debate on global warming is hotting up, motor manufacturers are dropping out of the electric car market. Ford’s TH!NK city car was recently discontinued along with Peugeot’s Partner. The electric version of Citroën’s Berlingo was the latest to be unplugged. “We sold 11 in 2005 and 14 in 2004,” said a spokesman."

If gasoline-power cars were as light, they would get better mileage too.

#6 dom

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 05:46 PM

As a rule of thumb I think it is correct to estimate that 10 calories of oil are required to produce 1 calory of food energy. So although I might manage 1,500 miles pergallon on my touring bike, that is probably not really better than the best electric cars in terms of thermal footprint.

I don't think it's that much. The average human consumes about 3.6GJ/yr, 1GJ/yr used by mechanised farming and the same per capita for fertilisers.

The over enthusiastic MPG claims by electric car manufacturers really need to be used in context, especially if the electricity is from hydro or wind with high energy pay back ratios.

#7 Wardrop

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 06:15 PM

Haven't looked at the figures, but this looked exciting for a 'leccy.

Tesla

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#8 OneHundred

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 05:30 PM

That TESLA CAR looks cool.
Where do I buy one?

Posted Image

The Tesla Roadster, powered by more than 6,800 lithium-ion batteries, can go zero to 60 mph in about four seconds. Top speed: 130 mph.

===========================================

Battery-Fueled Car Will Smoke You

By Joshua Davis, from Wired magazine 12:00 PM Jul, 19, 2006

Martin Eberhard holds the brake down with his left foot and presses on the accelerator with his right. The motor revs, the car strains against the brake. I hear ... almost nothing. Just a quiet whine like the sound of a jet preparing for takeoff 5 miles away. We're belted into a shimmering black sports car on a quiet, tree-lined street in San Carlos, California, 23 miles south of San Francisco. It has taken Eberhard three years to get this prototype ready for mass production, but with the backing of PayPal cofounder Elon Musk, Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and ex-eBay chief Jeff Skoll, he has created Silicon Valley's first real auto company.

"You see any cops?" Eberhard asks, shooting me a mischievous look. The car is vibrating, ready to launch. I'm the first journalist to get a ride.

Click here for photos of the TeslaHe releases the brake and my head snaps back. One-one-thousand: I get a floating feeling, like going over the falls in a roller coaster. Two-one-thousand: The world tunnels, the trees blur. Three-one-thousand: We hit 60 miles per hour. Eberhard brakes. We're at a standstill again -- elapsed time, nine seconds. When potential buyers get a look at the vehicle this summer, it will be among the quickest production cars in the world. And, compared to other supercars like the Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari Enzo, and Lamborghini Diablo, it's a bargain. More intriguing: It has no combustion engine.

The trick? The Tesla Roadster is powered by 6,831 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries -- the same cells that run a laptop computer. Range: 250 miles. Fuel efficiency: 1 to 2 cents per mile. Top speed: more than 130 mph. The first cars will be built at a factory in England and are slated to hit the market next summer. And Tesla Motors, Eberhard's company, is already gearing up for a four-door battery-powered sedan.

In an age when a car's electronics are worth more than its steel, it seems only natural that the tech sector would have its own car company. The question is, can Eberhard turn the digital era into horsepower, torque, and rpm?

Eberhard has never designed a car and has no experience building one. He created the Rocket eBook, a handheld digital book reader that came to market in the late '90s. But he insists his eBook background is relevant to starting a car company. The device used a rechargeable battery, and Eberhard -- an electrical engineer -- devoted himself to maximizing run time and minimizing weight. In 2000, his venture, NuvoMedia, was bought by TV Guide's parent company, which quickly abandoned the product.

But Eberhard was flush with cash and decided to buy himself a new sports car. He wanted something that was fast but still got good mileage. He quickly learned that high performance and fuel efficiency are mutually exclusive, at least when it comes to internal combustion engines. So he started researching alternative technologies and soon realized it was actually possible for an electric car to combine zip and efficiency. The problem: Nobody was making one. The EV1, General Motors' electric car, had failed, in part because it was expensive and poorly marketed. Most crippling, though, was the underperformance of the original lead-acid batteries and even the second-gen nickel metal hydride cells. Consumers wanted a vehicle that had a range greater than the EV1's (at best) 130 miles. The common wisdom was that batteries just weren't there yet.

But what did Detroit know about batteries? Eberhard had squeezed 20 hours of run time out of the little power pack on his eBook. Battery efficiency was an obsession among computer engineers, who were extracting more power from ever-smaller cells with each generation of laptops. GM seemed oblivious to the lessons emerging from the electronics industry. Eberhard began to think that if anybody was going to build a viable electric car, it would be a Silicon Valley engineer. Then, after reading biographies of John DeLorean and Preston Tucker, and reminding himself that launching a car company was a crazy idea, he did just that.

-& IT CONTINUES: http://wired.com/new...tory_page_next1

#9 malco

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:42 PM

The Tesla car does look interesting and it may hold potential to be developed beyond an exotic market. The article says nothing about prices, recharge time, overall amount of energy required to keep it in batteries and so forth.

Electric anything have to be used gently to obtain reasonable endurance. As an example, the German Type 21 U-boat (which revolutionised submarine design, but was too late for WW2, thankfully), had a range of about 250 miles at 4 knots but only about 20 miles flat out at 16 knots submerged (running on its lead-acid batteries). I suspect this Tesla car will not have a range of 250 miles constantly blasting up to 60mph in 4 seconds. At a constant 50mph maybe.

If there was really anything in this idea I'd have thought the real money would be in the LGV sector, where large fleet owners would love to reduce costs via an electric delivery van. The designers of the Tesla are exceedingly canny people and would have gone for that market had they thought the idea had mass potential. But instead they opt for the high end exotic sports car niche. This I think tells us what we need to know about the potential to reduce cost to everyday levels. Is it not just an exotic plaything for someone bored with their Veyron?
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#10 2112

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 07:22 PM

I have been pushing my employer, Leeds City Council to look into more fuel efficient or alternative vehicles and bless them they are and as part of this got to test drive a Mega Van recently. Oh dear, 2/10 I am afraid. It was basically a 1970's milk float with a jack hammer style engine. Crude, noisy and lacking even the most basic of safety features, no airbag, crumple zone or even power assist on the brakes. It lists as a benefit 'engine soundproofing' in the brochure but my experience would suggest this was a lie. It was the most disappointing test drive I have ever had because the van actually looks cool.
Frankly, as long as fuel effiecent vehicles are built like this no one will buy them.
We are now looking at the dual fuel or engine management technologies in standard vans after all a 10% saving on diesel over 1500 vans and trucks is quite a saving!
LCC also had some of those Whizz Go electric cars available for short term hire by anyone who signed up to a scheme recently but the range was dreadful. They often ran out of juice in Headingley just 2 miles north of the city centre but up a long steep hill!
My Smart Forfour 1.1 petrol does 50 mpg around town and better on long runs if I keep my speed down, the diesel version does 65mpg officially (so you could better it). Why? because they are very light, mostly plastic and aluminium but still got NCAP4, shame Smart is losing money and has dropped the range.

#11 2112

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 05:06 PM

Times Online article - How electric cars came back from the dead.

"The big makers have dumped them, sparking conspiracy theories, but little firms have filled the gap, says Joseph Dunn of The Sunday Times

As conspiracy theories go it’s a cracker: in the name of profit the oil industry, politicians and car makers conspired to discredit and then kill off the GM EV1, an electric car marketed in the late 1990s by General Motors as the saviour of the planet but then suddenly withdrawn. Three years ago almost all remaining models were crushed in the Arizona desert.
Who Killed the Electric Car?, a new film set for release in Britain next month, claims to have uncovered a sinister plot to sabotage electric vehicles and ensure that eco-friendly motorists are forced to carry on using petrol.

The film, directed by Chris Paine, adopts the form of a murder investigation and takes on the car industry in the same way that Michael Moore took aim at the gun lobby in Bowling for Columbine and Morgan Spurlock nailed McDonald’s in Super Size Me. It has already caused consternation in America, where it was released last month, prompting howls of indignation from GM bosses, who claim the film is biased and inaccurate.

The story begins in 1997 when GM began to lease 800 brand new electric vehicles to drivers in California and Arizona. The cars were part of GM’s $1 billion development programme in response to a 1990 mandate that 10% of cars in California should be emissions-free by 2003. However, at the last minute the state backed off after the car industry, led by GM, sued. The company then began recalling the cars.

In the official version, put out by GM and largely echoed in the media, the electric car failed because it simply couldn’t attract enough customers. The battery didn’t give the car sufficient range and took too long to recharge.

In the film, which features interviews with former GM employees, environmentalists and celebrities such as Tom Hanks and Mel Gibson, Paine accuses the car industry and its suppliers of cynically killing off the EV1 to protect its existing models.

“The company made these cars because of the new law,” says Paine, “but behind the scenes they went after that law and succeeded in changing it so it said they only had to make cars in accordance with customer demand. Once this happened their advertising just flipped to discourage interest and suppress demand.”

It was no coincidence, Paine says, that the decision by the Californian Air Resources Board to ditch electric cars in favour of hybrid technology was taken by its chairman, Alan Lloyd, who was given the directorship of the new fuel cell institute.

The film will have some resonance in this country where no big manufacturer currently sells all-electric cars. All of their early efforts have been mysteriously discontinued. Ford’s Th!nk car was unplugged a couple of years ago. Ditto the Peugeot Partner and Citroën’s electric Berlingo.

The Th!nk was launched originally as a revolutionary form of private transport — an emissions-free, cheap-energy way of commuting to work. In 1999 Ford bought Pivco (Personal Independent Vehicle Company), the Norwegian firm that created the car, and trumpeted its environmental credentials. Three years later it dumped the project and destroyed many of the remaining cars. The move prompted criticism from environmentalists. Ford later sold the company, which continued as Th!nk Nordic until early this year, when it was declared bankrupt after building around 1,000 Th!nk cars.

Likewise the Partner and the Berlingo were hailed as new electric delivery vehicles ideally suited for stop-start traffic conditions in the city. With the growth in online grocery shopping and home deliveries it seemed as though they would revolutionise the market in small commercial vehicles.

So why were such promising projects junked? Ford said it was “uneconomic” to progress further. Citroën was a little more forthright. After some pressing it revealed that what it hoped would be a radical replacement for the white van had become a white elephant. It anticipated selling hundreds of the new electric vehicles but its sales forecasts were wildly out — in 2005 it sold just 11.

So it seems the electric car was killed by apathy, not conspiracy. Nonetheless, city traffic planners, most notably in London, are determined to tilt the market in favour of the electric car. Zero-emission vehicles are exempt from the congestion charge and an increasing number of councils are giving discounted parking incentives. The government’s recently announced road tax exemption policy for electric cars and the record price of petrol and diesel are also making electric vehicles suddenly more attractive.

So were the big manufacturers too quick in abandoning electric cars and will they rush to embrace them again? Among the hulks of horsepower on display at the British International Motor Show this week are an unprecedented number of new electric vehicles, and they are attracting a surprising amount of attention.

The unveiling of the Smart EV and Mega City Nice (No Internal Combustion Engine) as well as a first appearance at the show for the Reva G-Wiz is, claim the makers, confirmation that electric-powered vehicles really do have a future on British roads.

Smart, the embattled brand owned by DaimlerChrysler that just a few months ago was facing an uncertain future after poor sales forced it to drop two of its models, hopes the unveiling of an electric version of its Fortwo city car will boost its public profile.

The Smart EV, which has been developed in partnership with Zytek, a British-based electric engine specialist, is being leased to corporate clients such as the Knight Frank estate agency for £375 a month as part of a trial run with a view to marketing the car for private sales in the future. It has a top speed of 70mph and a range of 72 miles on one charge, making it on paper the most user-friendly and practical of all electric cars.

“I think we have reached the tipping point with these vehicles now and there is a market that will sustain them,” says Jeremy Simpson of DaimlerChrysler. “The increased congestion charge and high fuel prices as well as talk of air quality targets make them more viable than ever. I have had more interest this year on the back of the EV than at any other motor show for the past five years.”

The Mega City Nice, also launched at the show, is an ultra-lightweight model with a range of 50 miles and a top speed of 40mph, while the G-Wiz is Britain’s bestselling electric car. Built by Reva in Bangalore, India, and distributed here by GoinGreen, 600 have been sold since it was launched in 2004. It costs £7,999 and GoinGreen is anticipating another slew of orders after its high-profile appearance at the show.

“In some ways I am surprised it has been left to small companies such as ours to create the market for electric cars, and I think you have to ask why it hasn’t happened before,” says Keith Johnston, managing director of GoinGreen. “The answer is that it is not in the interests of auto companies and certainly not in the interests of oil companies — there are huge vested interests to maintain the status quo. When the whole industry is based on the internal combustion engine it is hard to suddenly turn that around and reinvest in something else, especially for public companies which look for short-term profit.

“That’s why it has been left to someone like us to come in fresh and effect the change. The market might still be small, but the electric car genie is out of the lamp now.”


http://driving.times...2280024,00.html

#12 No6

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 10:32 PM

A BBC radio 4 programme this week on the Tesla car.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...nbusiness.shtml

http://www.teslamoto...hp?js_enabled=1

#13 Mabon

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 10:53 PM

My Girlfriend used to drive a Citroen Berlingo Electric van when she was a home delivery manager for a Wholefood company.

It was a really good vehicle as far as they went, really weird being sat in something that has no engine noise as you go glooming through the landscape.

Worked fine with her driving it at 150 pounds in weight probably got 70-110 miles per charge with a full load of food in the back and doing average delivery circiuts of 30 miles.

Unfortunately one of the delivery drivers they hired was 300 pounds in weight and the van ran out of juice 15 miles from the depot and had to be towed back to base.

So the moral is Electric Vehicles are great for standard weight to height ratio people, but pants for those who veer more to the inflated.

Also the servicing and repairs infrastructure Citroen had for these vans was basically non-existing, if it knackered, it had to returned to the manufacturer (just like a bog-standard computer guarantee), really woeful.
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#14 No6

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 12:10 PM

Unfortunately one of the delivery drivers they hired was 300 pounds in weight and the van ran out of juice 15 miles from the depot and had to be towed back to base.

So the moral is Electric Vehicles are great for standard weight to height ratio people, but pants for those who veer more to the inflated.


Which means they will probably never be popular in the US.

#15 Mabon

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 09:38 PM

Which means they will probably never be popular in the US.


Lol. Electric SUVs???
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#16 P.V.Power

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 03:09 AM

Among private cars, electric vehicles still make gimmicky headlines, and most stories (except maybe from Mitsubishi) relate to prototypes, one-off conversions, or small quantity localised sales. But there is some real solid progress taking place at last in the area of electric delivery vehicles.

I know the electric Berlingo/Partner had only limited success, but up in the north-east UK, Tanfield Group (TAN) have been making serious headway with bigger vans. Their Smith Electric Vehicles division (who have been making milk floats since forever) launched a 7.5tonne all-electric delivery truck (the Newton range) in Amsterdam a fortnight ago, in the livery of TNT parcels. Sainsburys are also trialling them. And the company has secured government funding for promotional trials in several UK cities. Ken Livingston is doing his bit to encourage zero-emission delivery vehicles in inner London (and wants to see them well established in time to show off during the 2012 Olympics).

The firm has recently renewed its contract with Dairy Crest to maintain (and sometimes renew) its fleet of 2600 milk floats - half of which are electric. And Dairy Crest last week won approval for its takeover of Express Dairies - bringing more vehicles into the deal. The real significance of this is that it involves a nationwide (UK and Ireland) network of Dairy Crest vehicle service centres which will now be operated by Tanfield who can use them as an infrastructure base to serve all electric road vehicles, not just Dairy Crest ones - making it easier to market electric vehicles in all regions.

That Newton van range (which is additional to its existing Edison and Faraday ranges) involves buying in readymade mass market chassis/cab from Avia - a Prague-based firm which has just been acquired by the Indian truck firm Ashok-Leyland - owned largely by the Hinduja Brothers. They have major global expansion plans and expect to compete strongly in Europe/UK. This potentially opens seriously big channels for bringing Smith electric vehicles to wider markets.

Tanfield's main website is http://www.tanfieldgroup.co.uk
Website for the Smith Electric Vehicles division is http://www.smithelectricvehicles.com/

Alert viewers watching Channel 4 tv news on Monday, in a feature about the Stern Report on global warming, will have seen the boss of another electric vanmaker - Coventry-based Modec - showing off their latest range. They are not stockmarket listed. The company is run by the same team that successfully developed the familiar TX1 London taxicab. Website is http://www.modec.co.uk/

An image of the 7.5tonne Smith/Avia truck in TNT colours is available at http://www.tnn.co.uk...0-20.0542067639

PVP
(I hold shares in Tanfield group)
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#17 P.V.Power

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 03:11 PM

For the true green of course - the electricity used to charge these zero-emission vehicles, need to have itself been generated by green means.. Though it is all usefully a move in the right direction. B)
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#18 DrBubb

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 01:07 AM

"The real significance of this is that it involves a nationwide (UK and Ireland) network of Dairy Crest vehicle service centres which will now be operated by Tanfield who can use them as an infrastructure base to serve all electric road vehicles, not just Dairy Crest ones "

Very interesting. I will start a thread on Tanfield - in the Green Energy/ Power Alternatives section
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#19 P.V.Power

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 05:35 PM

Serious progress:


Phoenix Motorcars Books Orders for All-Electric Truck
12 January 2007
Posted Image
The all-electric Sport Utility Truck (SUT).
Phoenix Motorcars has received 75 fleet orders from several municipalities and one utility company for its new zero-emission, all-electric, freeway-ready sport utility truck (SUT). The company, which is on target to manufacture and sell 500 fleet-ready vehicles by year’s end, will produce 16 pilot-build vehicles next month.

Some of the 16 vehicles will be used to continue validation of the federally mandated safety test process. The company is working with Boshart Engineering, an Ontario, California company that specializes in vehicle certification services, to gain its Federal Motor Vehicle Certification.

The company also confirmed that in consideration for a three-year exclusivity agreement within the US, Altair Nanotechnologies has received a 16.6% ownership in the company. The three-year exclusivity agreement provides Phoenix with limited, exclusive use of Altairnano’s NanoSafe battery packs in four-wheel, all-electric vehicles having a gross weight up to 6,000 pounds.

Phoenix must meet minimum battery pack purchases, annually, to maintain the limited exclusivity agreement. The minimum commitment to maintain exclusivity for 2007 would provide $16 Million in battery pack sales to Altairnano.

The Phoenix Motorcars sport utility truck combines the Altairnano 35 kWh li-ion battery pack with a 100 kW peak, 55 kW continuous motor from UQM Technologies. The motor develops peak torque of 550 Nm (406 lb-ft). The SUT can cruise on the freeway at up to 95 mph while carrying five passengers and a full payload. It exceeds all specifications for a Type III ZEV and has a driving range of up to 130 miles.

The battery can be charged using an off-board high-power 250 kW charger in less than 10 minutes to 95% SOC. Charging with the on-board 6.6 kW charger takes 5 to 6 hours. The battery has a life-span of 12 years or more.

Phoenix Motorcars’ 2007 market strategy targets operators of fleet vehicles, such as public utilities, public transportation providers, and delivery services. A limited number of vehicles will be available to consumers in 2007 with an expanded-consumer launch scheduled for 2008. Phoenix Motorcars will introduce a SUV model in late 2007.
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#20 Macaque

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 10:02 AM

It always surprises me that electric cars get such a good press. They are horribly ungreen unless the electricity is generated from a renewable source.




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