Re: EVLN: That 70's nEV> Elcar.it in response2 OPEC oil, crisis r:55mi

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Re: EVLN: That 70's nEV> Elcar.it in response2 OPEC oil, crisis r:55mi

Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
The Elcar 1000 was a hoot to drive.  We definitely managed 40 mph.
Cornered like a bottom-weighted kid's inflatable punching clown.  I
think the center of gravity on the Elcar was about 9 inches off the
ground.  Barely wider than the big motorcycles of the time with the high
handlebars.  My 2013 Smart Fortwo is big by comparison.

The unsafe rating was fully deserved.  It ate Fiat 500 suspension parts
(which were hard to source in Canada), and the Maytag commercial washer
transmission could not handle the torque from the motor.  In the example
I know, the original motor was too weak to move the car with authority.
Eventually, I mated up a 200-amp aircraft starter generator to the
transmission, and that upped the performance.  We overcame the limited
range (about 30 miles reliably originally, never saw anything like 55
miles) by replacing the 8 buddy-paired 12-volt marine batteries with
golf-car batteries.  That did increase the weight a bit, which was even
worse for the suspension and steering parts.

The resistor and battery-stepping control system with field weakening
for higher top-end speed were ingenious for the time, having a 36-volt
step which was missing from other 48-volt contemporary vehicles doing
series-parallel battery switching.  The 'streetcar' style controller was
a conversation piece.

However, the 1970s were a different time.  People were curious about the
odd-looking vehicle, and more willing to accept travelling at posted
speed limits.  I would not drive it on North American roads today as a
regular road car, anymore than I would a Model T.  It's a product of the
times, 45 years ago.

I still have the body and doors tucked away mounted on a custom chassis
with VW Beetle running gear and a 96-volt GE traction motor in my
projects inventory, and copies of the original 'pink prints' of the
electrical schematic - in Italian.

Darryl McMahon

On 8/6/2018 4:08 PM, [hidden email] wrote:

> Message: 4
> Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2018 10:29:45 -0500 (CDT)
> From: brucedp5<[hidden email]>
> To:[hidden email]
> Subject: [EVDL] EVLN: That 70's nEV> Elcar.it in response2 OPEC oil
> crisis r:55mi
> Message-ID:<[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
>
>
> https://www.dallasnews.com/news/from-the-archives/2018/07/30/european-electric-elcar-zoomed-d-fw-1975-deemed-unsafe
> Drive to work for 7 cents? Italian electric car allowed Dallas motorist to
> do that in the 1970s
> 2018/07/30  Chelsea Watkins
>
> [image
> https://dallasnews.imgix.net/1531862495-1975-ELCAR.jpg
> Friends told W.B. Frazier that his car, which could only muster speeds up to
> 28 mph and had a 55-mile range, looked like "the front end of a truck cut
> off from the back end." (File photo)
>
> video
> https://youtu.be/ug200n14Euk
> 1975 elcar zagoto milano
> ]
>
> Though electric cars have jumped in popularity in recent years, it's not a
> new phenomenon for people to want to get away from gas-fueled vehicles.  The
> Italian Elcar was one of two mass-produced electrically powered cars  sold
> as an alternative to family cars in 1975 that came to the U.S. as a response
> to the 1973 oil crisis.
>
> W.B. Frazier purchased his Model-1000 Elcar from an Arlington dealership in
> 1975 for $2,645. Though the car could only go 28 mph and had a 55-mile
> range, he drove from his home in Red Oak to work in Dallas. We can only hope
> that he didn't hit much traffic in his 30-mile commute.
>
> His friends said the car looked like the front end of a truck that was cut
> off from the back end. See the video below to see the car in action.
>
> And though it was a smaller and cheaper alternative to a regular car, it was
> deemed unsafe by the Consumer's Union later that year.
>
> Though finding a place to charge his car wasn't easy, Frazier enjoyed his
> electric car because it saved him gas money  ? he could get to work on a
> whole 7 cents. His wife, however, still preferred her air-conditioned Malibu
> [ice] ...
> [? dallasnews.com  Dallas Morning News]

--
Darryl McMahon
Freelance Project Manager (sustainable systems)
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Re: EVLN: That 70's nEV> Elcar.it in response2 OPEC oil, crisis r:55mi

Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
Darryl McMahon via EV wrote:
> The Elcar 1000 was a hoot to drive.  We definitely managed 40 mph.
> Cornered like a bottom-weighted kid's inflatable punching clown.  I
> think the center of gravity on the Elcar was about 9 inches off the
> ground.  Barely wider than the big motorcycles of the time with the high
> handlebars.  My 2013 Smart Fortwo is big by comparison.
> The unsafe rating was fully deserved.

I agree. I test-drove an Elcar back around 1976, and it was indeed a lot
of fun. This was an "upgraded" model, with the bigger motor and some
extra bracing in the front suspension.

I decided not to buy it due to the flimsy low-quality construction and
sketchy dealership.

I don't think I would call it "unsafe". Safety is relative. It was
certainly worse than the cars of the day; but safer than a bicycle,
scooter, golf cart, or "meter maid" Cushman 3-wheelers on the highway.

--
There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a
little worse and sell a little cheaper. Those who consider price
alone are that person's lawful prey. -- John Ruskin
--
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
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