80-mph electric car to go on sale this summer in the US

May 08, 2008 by Lisa Zyga weblog
Green Vehicles´ battery-powered TRIAC can reach speeds of 80 mph. Credit: Green Vehicles.

Green Vehicles, a company based in San Jose, California, has recently revealed that it will begin selling two lithium-ion-powered electric vehicles early this summer. The three-wheeled TRIAC is a highway-capable electric car (or oversized covered trike, depending on how you look at it) that can reach speeds of 80 mph. There's also the BUCKSHOT, an electric all-purpose work truck designed for heavy-duty, durable use.

With the two models, the company hopes to liven up the electric vehicle market by focusing on being environmentally friendly and affordable. The TRIAC, which has a five-speed transmission, will sell for an estimated $20,000. Price information on the BUCKSHOT, which has a three-speed transmission, has not yet been released.

Both car and truck run on a 20kW AC motor, and have onboard chargers that can be plugged into a 120V or 240V outlet. Green Vehicles says that the TRIAC can run for about 100 miles on a full charge when driven at an average speed of 45 mph.

Regarding the BUCKSHOT, the company says that "this is a true work truck, with close attention paid to payload capacity, torque, and durability. For deliveries, the BUCKSHOT can come with a lockable cargo shell; for construction, a steel lumber rack; and for all-purpose functionality, a steel body with an extra-long bed and an ample passenger cabin." They suggest that the truck could be attractive to universities, businesses and municipalities.

Green Vehicles also revealed that they are working on two neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) called the Microwatt and the Moose. The company hopes to bring these low-speed, short-distance electric vehicles to market in the fall.

More information: www.greenvehicles.com (full Web site coming soon)

via: AutoblogGreen

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mrlewish
2.5 / 5 (8) May 08, 2008
While I applaud this seeming progress I think these vehicles will be used as an additional vehicle instead of a full replacement. This is not something positive for the environment is this is the case regardless of their "efficiency". One vehicle is always better then two even of that one vehicle is an older model "boat". Also since these are electric vehicles will they pay their fair shair of road taxes since they are not paying fuel tax for the upkeep of the roads?
Mayday
1.8 / 5 (9) May 08, 2008
Excellent points, mrlewish.
Shocking to some that the best green vehicle move is to buy an old large used vehicle and drive it very sparingly.
It's not about miles per gallon but about MILES per vehicle. And ANY new vehicle is an unneeded burden on the environment, however powered.
When a person buys a brand new hybrid or electric car they conveniently overlook the fact that their fat SUV usually gets bought by someone that really wants it(kinda obvious) and will probably drive it ALOT. If you think about it, this is the worst possible scenario.
A better scenario would be to make it hip to have an old car, tune it up and drive it very, very little. It's the old used cars and the energy needs of BUILDING new cars that're killing us. Not the difference between the 28 mpg new gas car and the 40 mpg new hybrid. That's more hype n' hip than smart n' green.
Pass it on.
dmia5
2.4 / 5 (7) May 08, 2008
Good points, mrlewish and Mayday.
Unfortunately, as more efficient automobile engines were developed, the public squanders this by wanting bigger, heavier cars and/or driving the same miles (or more) per year.
Mayday
1.6 / 5 (8) May 08, 2008
Exactly. In the nineteen seventies we learned that increasing fuel economy in cars just convinces people that it's okay to drive farther. So we ended up with exurbia and a population that "needs" to drive far every day. And now, guess what, the car companies are giving us(and we're lining up at the trough) cars with higher mileage. They have us right where they want us.
So, here's how it goes: the recession passes(as they all do after about 18 months), gas prices stabilize around $4.50 a gallon(after spiking just over $6), we all realize that we can buy a really cool giant house even further out, and since we all have these cool new high mileage cars, we all move and drive even farther every day. We sit fat and happy until the next economic burp. And then...
But the electric car will save us! Who cares what it takes to generate the electricity! It happens someplace far away where I can't see it or smell it! And the electric company won't take advantage of me and my family's dependence on them for EVERYTHING! Will they?
But all that really matter is how hip I feel until the lease runs out anyway. Sign me up!
DGBEACH
3.3 / 5 (6) May 09, 2008
I have started parking my '99 Altima at the nearest bus stop, 20 kms away, and now take the bus and metro. I no longer have to change my tires every year, and now only put $80 of gas into my tank every month instead of $450...my next move will be to retrofit it with an electric motor, with batteries charged by my roof-mounted solar arrays.
If we each did something more than just talking about the problems, and who we think caused them, then perhaps the world WOULD change.
We should all be ashamed of ourselves for misleading our children into thinking that we can have no effect on the slither of an atmosphere which surrounds our planet. We have been bad custodians of this beautiful planet we control, and will not survive as a species if we don't smarten up!
bpwilliams
2.8 / 5 (5) May 09, 2008
That car "sounds" hip! Sign me up. Vrooom...Vroom...wait no wrong sound...*insert electric motor sound here*?
Lord_jag
3 / 5 (8) May 09, 2008
This is a weak electric vehical. It's almost like it's been intentionally positioned to be an underpowered, low range and ugly car. It's following all the steriotypes that the oil industry wants to push on electric vehicles.

Electric does not need a 5 speed transmission. Look at the Tesla. If they put a big enough electric motor in it, the torque would move the car from a stop just as easily as it could from 100 mph to 120mph.

And they need more batteries too. Ranges of 100 miles is insufficent.

And why is it so ugly? Everyone knows how to make a sweet looking car, but they seem to have made it ugly just make it more undesireable. No don't get a chrome covered babe magnet that gets 2MPG when you can get something that will make sure you're still a virgin at 40, but you get 500mpg.

Come on. The car body is a plastic shell regardless. Why can't you make it look good and get decent milage?
AJW
1.2 / 5 (6) May 09, 2008
The issue is not just about power and pollution. It is world wide resources consumption. All public debate at this time is a distraction from a need to reduce personal and business consumption. Problem is no one is willing to reduce total consumption to a level needed.
Even if we develop solar power to a level that provides all our power needs, there is still the issue of resource division. With our current mental abilities it seems like we will keep going until we are replaced by an evolution to a new species that can better balance personal needs and common public needs. See you in a million years.
wylekat
1.8 / 5 (4) May 09, 2008
OK- instead of 80 mph, why not 80 mpg? I am getting a little tired of the 'need for speed' when there's obviously a 'need' for distance, longevity, durability, ect. Knock of the 'sexy' tech, and build PRACTICAL tech!
thinking
4.5 / 5 (2) May 09, 2008
Is this car good or bad?? I don't know and I would let the market decide. What I find interesting is that here is a potential part of a solution.. but since it is not the complete solution... environmental fanatics compain...The only way to completely remove congestion, pollution, and resource consumption is to eliminate all people...
marjon
5 / 5 (3) May 09, 2008
The bottom line is... the bottom line. If I can save money with an electric car vs gas, I will do it.
If people car pooled or if people were allowed to use their cars as taxis, taking money from riders to work, commuting costs would drop significantly.

Also, with an electric car, how will governments collect 'fuel' taxes?
Mayday
2.8 / 5 (4) May 09, 2008
Is it just too obvious that someone should put an electric motor in a pickup truck? Very popular model. Loads of room for batteries. The package seems ready made and ideal. And popular acceptance would be instant.
And is it also just too obvious that the greenest thing to do would be to retrofit used pickups rather than consume more resources building something NEW?
Is it just me?
Sweetcheeks
3.3 / 5 (3) May 10, 2008
If you retrofit a huge heavy car, it's still not going to get as good mileage as something built with a better designed lighter frame.
Mayday
4 / 5 (6) May 10, 2008
The primary thing that makes a small pickup truck "heavy" is the big motor and the drivetrain. Toss 'em. And don't forget the radiator, generator, transmission, transfer cases and battery. Then lighten what's left. Start by reducing the structure that was needed to hold the motor and drivetrain. Then lose the decorative metal that detroit dreams up to make the truck look like it was dipped in testosterone. Lighten the interior trim(Sorry but we're goona havta lose those lounge chairs. And if your arms are coming along for the ride, let's use 'em to wind down the windows). Reduce the HVAC capacity and weight(most current systems are powerful enough to cool a house). Lose the spare tire(my last car didn't have one, and I never missed it). Lose the car-crushing off-road wheels and tires and replace them with something light and efficient. And finally, toss the swimming pool of a gas tank. You won't need the rear gate either. And that's just off the top of my head. I'm sure an engineer would just be warming up about now. And give me credit for not tossing the gun rack.

But before we go "all electric" why not crawl before we learn to walk. Way back after WWII, Beechcraft(the aircraft company) built a prototype car with a small gas motor in the trunk that powered an electric motor at each wheel. Surely with today's technology we can do something along these lines that would rock.

Diesel-electrics can power railroad trains and massive ships. I see a TV spot every night that tells me how this gigantic railroad train runs more efficiently than a Civic Hybrid. Dah. Why not scale that technology down to something I can drive?

Considering the range of possibilities that can emerge in a casual forum like this, the current crop of electric and hybrids are distinctly un-inspiring.

Just thinkin.
aussiecarter
3.5 / 5 (2) May 11, 2008
Many people are quick to fault the usability of this electric car in comparison with the traditional gas powered vehicle. Those who are quick to judge will often fail. What they forget is the introduction of an electric vehicle to the market will spur the imagination of many innovators. There are are many experienced people in this world who do not work as part of the original design group. There are people who naturally feel the need to improve on products . Once this vehicle is driven by the public, it will reach some great minds who I am sure will have some contribution to the future development that is beyond our current imagination. We should appreciate the change in society this vehicle represents!
Soylent
1.7 / 5 (3) May 11, 2008
And is it also just too obvious that the greenest thing to do would be to retrofit used pickups rather than consume more resources building something NEW?
Is it just me?


It's just you. A pickup truck is hardly an efficient vehicle and in order to get a decent range you'll need hundreds of pounds of batteries. It's dubious whether most homes could even supply enough juice to charge that thing over night.
Mayday
1 / 5 (2) May 11, 2008
But a tiny key fob of a "car" that only has a 100 mile range can hardly be called "efficient." It'll be a novelty toy for people who can afford a third or forth vehicle as a token or trophy of their new "green-ness." It is essentially a waste of resources. Build something that works in real life. Something that goes the week on a charge and can haul what people generally haul. Start there. Not with something to hang from the cieling of a Sharper Image store(look what happened to them). I love change. And new thinking. But I truly believe the world is in danger. Let's stop with the toys already.

Just whinning.
CreepyD
1.3 / 5 (3) May 12, 2008
I agree.
The only thing that would make me even consider an electric car would be it's range per charge.
It's got to last at least 500 miles I would say.

Also, do these car batteries suffer like other batteries and hold less and less charge?
20 mile charge after 1 year be nice... lol
Mayday
1.7 / 5 (3) May 12, 2008
Not to "poke the gorilla" some more, but could someone please explain why the same idea that powers large railroad locomotives can't be scaled down to make a very efficient car?

I can imagine a very tiny gas or natural gas engine running generators that power two electic motors. One at each end. The engines could easily be muffled to make very little noise. It seems like this should even make a good race car.

Add some batteries, if you must, to clean it up a bit. But I don't like the weight. Battery technology is nowhere near ready for prime-time. But it seems there are so many other solutions that are being ignored in order to get us into micro-death-trap-electrics that can't get us home from a good road trip.

Just havin' fun.
snwboardn
3.8 / 5 (4) May 12, 2008
So up here in Alaska what are you supposed to do when it is 45 below outside?... Build a campfire in your middle console? Of course that's if the batteries don't get zapped by the extreme cold... Luckily up here we have 120V outlets in every parking spot. (there for your block heater).
minorwork
4 / 5 (2) May 19, 2008
Marjon makes the point of road use tax applying to the electric car. How is the Tesla paying for the roads it uses? Those in government will surely see to it that the electric car will be at least as expensive to drive as the liquid fuel models.
Lord_jag
4 / 5 (1) May 28, 2008
So up here in Alaska what are you supposed to do when it is 45 below outside?... Build a campfire in your middle console? Of course that's if the batteries don't get zapped by the extreme cold... Luckily up here we have 120V outlets in every parking spot. (there for your block heater).


I'm sorry for sounding so mean, but what on earth are you living in Alaska for? I visited Fairbanks for a month and I must say, there is no reason to live there. Alaska has to be the worst for recycling practices and total waste of resources. Other than the Military base, an oil pipeline and some weak tourism, what are the rest of the people doing up there except drinking yourselves to death? (For the rest, Alcoholism is a massive problem throughout most nothern communities.)
Lord_jag
4.5 / 5 (2) May 28, 2008
OK- instead of 80 mph, why not 80 mpg? I am getting a little tired of the 'need for speed' when there's obviously a 'need' for distance, longevity, durability, ect. Knock of the 'sexy' tech, and build PRACTICAL tech!


Um... If you look at the cost equvalent of miles per dollar at todays electric and gas costs, this car doesn't get 80 mpg, it'll get closer to 200 mpg. You get an awful lot of kW from the $4 it costs for one gallon of gasoline, and that will take an electric car much further than that gasoline does.

And even if you put that in a far more powerful electric car, you'd get a nice sporty feel of a Porche, but still get 150 mpg or so.
paulo
4.5 / 5 (2) May 28, 2008
Not to "poke the gorilla" some more, but could someone please explain why the same idea that powers large railroad locomotives can't be scaled down to make a very efficient car?

I can imagine a very tiny gas or natural gas engine running generators that power two electic motors. One at each end. The engines could easily be muffled to make very little noise. It seems like this should even make a good race car.

Add some batteries, if you must, to clean it up a bit. But I don't like the weight. Battery technology is nowhere near ready for prime-time. But it seems there are so many other solutions that are being ignored in order to get us into micro-death-trap-electrics that can't get us home from a good road trip.

Just havin' fun.


There's a British car company doing the locomotive style hybrid drivetrain thing in quite possibly the sexiest package I've yet seen - www dot lightningcarcompany dot co dot uk - 700bhp, anyone?

- now THAT is what I want to see more of please physorg, not well-meaning plastic tricycles.
Lord_jag
not rated yet May 29, 2008
Damn that Lightning is one sweet car! It will give the Tesla a good run for it's money. They dont give any specs on range or curb wieght though. I wonder how it will compare.

3 hour charge too (on 3 phase power) Nice.

15K GBP as a deposit. I wonder the final price.
Zapp
not rated yet Oct 24, 2008
It is totally amazing to me to read the comments posted here. Why is everybody so out of touch? 95% of us in the US drive less than 25 miles each day, mostly to work or errands. 80 mph will keep up if the traffic is light, electric will not pollute when it isn't. An electric car, even if it is a second car, will keep the gasoline car in the garage most of the time. A gas powered car is still necessary to drive to see grandma, but hey, that's only for Thanksgiving, saving WAY much fuel and pollution. The gas hog won't be causing damage sitting in the garage!
This car is part of the new thought that we are bringing to the world, "how can we help the planet survive?". It's an important step. A three wheeled car can be licensed as a motorcycle, and drive in the carpool lane in cities. Even better! Electricity does need to be generated, but there is an economy of scale. Even a coal fired electric generating plant is more efficient than a automobile engine in terms of pollution and efficiency.
gen
1 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2009
If the US govt would quit interfering with the market, we would reach the optimum products for the market. They interfere in one sphere, which necessitates further interference. The govt destroyed the diesel car industry decades ago, otherwise, we would be in 50 mpg rabbits. Now they have destroyed the large car industry with cafe standards. Of course, we spend trillions in the Middle East subsidizing the oil industry through unnecessary defense expenditures. The US is already talking about taxes per mile which will eliminate fuel savings. People, don't think for one minute you are going to get a deal here. Go to zero US govt interference and let's see what happens. The govt cannot improve on the free market. It would require a supercomputer that doesn't exist to try and predict what humans will do in a free country. Now, in a command economy, it's a different story, but maybe that's the ultimate point of the interference.
lengould100
not rated yet Jul 07, 2009
Way off, gen. US is as dramatically far from any sort of government controlled system as it is possible to get, exept perhaps for Somolia, where there simply is NO government. Think about that, so, why is it no-one in Europe or N America would choose to live in Somolia again? Ah ha, you got it. No GOVERNMENT. Period, no doubt about it.

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