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alternatives to regular cars

 
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are there alternatives to regular cars? an example would be more like say an electric car that is made by some non name brand or a name brand that could be like a hybrid between a scooter and a car. needs good fuel mileage and cheap. highway legal and not to expensive. if you know of such a thing let me know. please is you know of such a thing or not sure give examples and a name for such a vehicle. i seen once a small carriage car thingy that sounded like a go kart but not sure what it was.
 
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I don't think there exists anything that fulfills all your requirements… Electric vehicles need batteries, and they are everything but cheap.
A cargo bike might be an option … but if you want an electric one, the price goes up quite fast.

EDIT: I have run some numbers for an electric cargo truck… Batteries alone are 10k.
 
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here is a quote from another forum

"Eric test drove the Chevy Volt at the invitation of General Motors and he writes, "For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine.”  Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery.  So, the range including the 9-gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles.It will take you 4.5 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph.  Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours.  In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.According to General Motors, the Volt battery holds 16 kwh of electricity.  It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.

The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned, so I looked up what I pay for electricity.  I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh. 16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery.  $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery.  Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine that gets only 32 mpg.  $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.The gasoline powered car costs about $20,000 while the Volt costs $46,000-plus.

So the American Government wants loyal Americans not to do the math, but simply pay three times as much for a car, that costs more than seven times as much to run, and takes three times longer to drive across the country."
 
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The world is full of golf carts. I’ve seen a few used in town. I’d be perfectly happy going a little slower, but such a compromise is unexceptable to my county men. We have to have trucks and sports cars. We lack imagination. No matter the cost.
 
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Dennis Mitchell wrote:The world is full of golf carts. I’ve seen a few used in town. I’d be perfectly happy going a little slower, but such a compromise is unexceptable to my county men. We have to have trucks and sports cars. We lack imagination. No matter the cost.


If a golf cart would work for me, possibly. But I need 100km range + climbing 1000m at full capacity. I am fairly sure the battery of a golf cart would quit far, far before that.
 
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I think that these are some pretty neat alternatives to regular cars!

ELF, which is a solar electric-bike-car hybrid:



Bio-Hybrid seems like a pretty nice alternative to a regular car, in my opinion:



VeloMetro's Veemo, which is an electric assisted velomobile:



Virtue Schoolbus, an electric-assist cargo bike, seems like a reasonable alternative:



An Xtracycle electric cargo bike also seems to be a reasonable alternative

 
pollinator
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You might also search for "velomobile".  Basically, a bicycle or tricycle but enclosed against the elements and streamlined.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velomobile

With the growing number of electric bikes, you could easily electrify one.  (Though personally Westerners could always use a little exercise, so I wouldn't.)

(I've always wondered if you could make one with a more tent-like shell out of fiberglass poles and ripstop Nylon to reduce weight, but that's a project for another day.)
 
pollinator
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I was in the EV industry about 15-20 years ago and I tested many different EVs at the time.  Most were in the  same vein as the vehicles Dave posted (thanks for that, Dave), but they obviously  could not meet the safety requirements of standard vehicles.  

At the time, several states toyed with the idea of allowing these EVs (most of which topped out around 50-60k) but, in the end, I think only a few made any concession and that was to allow them in gated communities.  GEM car was the big winner of that, I think.  Now, the EV and hybrid market is geared to your everyday Joe.  The cars are designed to perform much like other cars, so the tech is hamstrung by huge weights and unnecessary power.

I think what you may be interested in, besides the vehicles that Dave posted, is something like the Kei cars in Japan.  Here in Canada, we can import any vehicle that is over 15 years old, even if it failed to meet our standards.  I occasionally see the little 3-wheel pickups.  I think they'd be great for deliveries and that's something that I'd look to convert to electric.  

A word of caution on 3 wheelers: They can be very prone to tipping.  I've almost tipped a few 3-wheelers while doing trials, including the Sparrow, that was very low to the ground.  If buying one, I'd make sure they've been designed to be stable.  The tall designs with a short wheel-base and single rear wheel concern me.
 
pollinator
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I like the tiny import trucks you see, often right-hand drive. I think I have seen them under several different names, usually just a tiny two-person (tiny people, or one of me) cab on a flatbed chassis. Everything about them is tiny, including the wheels and tires. The narrowness and short body suggest a height that might prove tippy, so I think electrification, preferably with wheel hub electric motors and the battery banks mounted in a layer underneath or on top of the bed, would be best, both electrifying it and lowering the centre of gravity considerably.

julian Gerona wrote:here is a quote from another forum

"Eric test drove the Chevy Volt at the invitation of General Motors and he writes, "For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine.”  Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery.  So, the range including the 9-gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles.It will take you 4.5 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph.  Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours.  In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.According to General Motors, the Volt battery holds 16 kwh of electricity.  It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.

The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned, so I looked up what I pay for electricity.  I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh. 16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery.  $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery.  Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine that gets only 32 mpg.  $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.The gasoline powered car costs about $20,000 while the Volt costs $46,000-plus.

So the American Government wants loyal Americans not to do the math, but simply pay three times as much for a car, that costs more than seven times as much to run, and takes three times longer to drive across the country."



As to your cost accounting, julian, the cost of electricity here in Ontario, off-peak, when most regular commuters would be charging, is $0.065, or 6.5 cents, a kilowatt hour. The peak is 13.2 cents a kilowatt hour.

Using your metric, it costs 96 cents to charge the car off-peak, and just under $2.12 on-peak. That gives us a cost per mile of 3.84 cents using off-peak rates, or about 8.4 cents at peak rates.

Does it really cost that much for electricity where you are, julian? Why is it so expensive?

-CK

 
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