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Group Description

When we started this group, back in 2004, my final project, for my Industrial Drafting class, had been to design an inexpensive car, that could be built for under $5000. It was overly ambitious: I knew nothing about electronics (hence this group, a call for help), but I was at the top of my class, and have a tendency for overkill when it comes to achievement. The concept did away with the heavy, expensive, efficiency-robbing transmission, replaced the motor with a generator, a lead-acid battery bank, and two electric motors to drive the rear wheels via pulleys.
I am not taking any credit for Tata introducing a sub-$5000 car years later, nor am I taking credit for being a catalyst in the market for similar hybrids coming out after that. I'm just saying when I went public with what I liked.

The concept was simple: fashion the power and drivetrain on the old proven locomotive design. And make it really simple.

I just refused to believe, at the time, that it was impossible to offer the consumer a car for under $10K. Interestingly enough, when the car makers got into trouble, again, and got bailed out, again, suddenly cars started appearing under that threshold.

Our Prototype-1 had all-aluminum tubing welded chassis and suspension linkage, a small engine coupled to a DC motor for power generation to charge batteries that supply 2 electric motors which also do some regenerative braking, 4-wheel disk brakes, and a very simple body. It can seat 4, 3 or 2 plus lots of storage space (as for delivery or maintenance applications), but it will definitely NOT be expensive and short on space like a "smart" car (or the 250mpg 1l/100km VW-1 shown here). We have a modest goal of 100mpg initially... afterwards working on the design to move towards a 200 mpg hybrid.

Everything has moved to our facebook group. See you there.

Group Information

  • 694
  • Concept Cars
  • Mar 29, 2005
  • English

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