Forget a Prius or the mundane hybrid Civic. There are some designer electric cars out there that are really far-out. This is real fantasyland stuff. But there are ideas here that are worth thinking about. Why not have micro-cars for tooling around a city? Can these expensive rich folks toys be simplified for regular people? And why not have a really cool looking car to drive back and forth to Safeway?
While staying in Santa Barbara recently, our hotel had a very upscale mag called Broughton Quarterly and in that there was an article about the latest in electric cars.
(The link is to the index for the issue, click on Electric Vehicles under the Contents tab pulldown menu)
My favorite, since it already exists, at least in a trial form, is the Tango. This is a one person commuter that’s the size of most motorcycles. One idea I like is that they build it around a protective cage similar to those used in race cars. It claims to hold two people, one behind the other. Just looking at it I’d have to try that out to believe it. But it can certainly carry one person and a bunch of stuff to and from work or shopping.
The version they’re working on first is the super tricked out $100,000 version. But they also have $40,000 and $20,000 versions in the works as well. The range varies depending on the batteries but it’ll do fine for around town trips.
Then there’s the Twike, a Swiss electric/human powered tricycle/car that requires a lot of slashes to describe. It can range up to 80 miles at 53 mph on one charge. And it allows the passengers to contribute some muscle power to the equation through a pedal arrangement inside the car. Two people can sit side by side. It looks a little like too much work to me in the way it’s set up. I don't picture myself pedaling a car up the mountain to my house. But I like the creativity in it’s design. Here's an article about it.
The Zooop is a very fashionably weird French item by designers Maison de Courreges. Who knows if something like this will ever see the showroom floor. But there’s an annual new-auto rally in Paris every year where it was the wildest thing on the road. Cars have looked the same for ages. It’s time for new ideas.
Finally, if you’ve got a spare $100,000 lying around, there’s the Tesla. This goes 0 to 60 in 4 seconds with top speed over 130 mph. And it can travel 250 miles between charges putting it far beyond the commuter distances of other electrics. This is a real rich-guy’s toy.