Electric car


Kalashnikov Electric Motorbike, Anyone?

Harking back to an earlier Garth Owen book These bikes are just the sort of thing the characters in Pickers would have been riding around on.

Kalashnikov company, the one that makes AKs, started making electric bikes. They have been already ordered by Russian Army and Moscow police. Till next year fifty or more electric police bikes gon

Source: Kalashnikov Electric Motorbikes | English Russia


Think Small

Amongst my many tried and tested work avoidance techniques is trawling eBay for things I can’t afford or don’t need. This morning I hit a cool seam of small cars in the classic car section.

$_57It started with this a “Mini EL” electric trike, which has a sort of ’80s vision of the future’ vibe to it. A more practical (but still single seater) Sinclair C5. Needs work to get running, and then lots of forms filling out to register to drive on the road.

lambrettavanThe Mini EL led me to this Lambretta micro van, which looks just like a yellow version of Postman Pat’s van. Ugly but endearing, and sort of practical.

vespamicroThe micro car theme continued with this Vespa, which has the cutest little face and rear opening ‘suicide’ doors. It needs a lot of work, with the floor all but gone and engine seized, but it’s just begging to be lowered a little, painted a deep glossy red or blue and powered by a new bike engine.

goggoThis Goggomobile isn’t as cute as the Vespa, but it’s in better condition. Again, it needs a new engine, but if you’re already on eBay, that shouldn’t be a problem.

So, that’s how I waste time on a Sunday morning. These are just the cars I looked at that I could string together a theme about. I expect one of you with more money, space and mechanical ability to take one of these and produce an awesome miniature kustom car. Or wait until I’m selling enough books to afford to do the project myself.

(All images taken from the relevant eBay listings, therefore belong to the sellers. I’m sure there’s some version of fair use I could cite if I knew more about that sort of thing.)


C,mm,n- the open source eco car

C,mm,n (pronounced common) is a Dutch project to design an intelligent electric car which can be built, and modified, by anyone. Some of the pages haven’t been translated yet, so I don’t know whether some of my questions have been answered or not. I’d like to know if they’re working on a drivetrain that could be transplanted into other bodies, ripping out the fossil fuelled motor and putting an electric one in its place, or whether the car only really works as a whole.

And if you built one of these for personal use, would you still get the government’s proposed grant for buying an electric vehicle?

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The Ampera, Vauxhall’s electric car

Vauxhall have unveiled their planned electric car, the Ampera. It’s actually a hybrid of sorts. The wheels are driven by electric motors and an overnight charge will be enough for a journey of around 40 miles, after which a petrol powered generator takes over.

It’s certainly better looking than a Prius, in concept car mode anyway. What they really need to do is give it a felx fuel engine, or one of the multi fuel motors Lotus have been working on.

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Hot Rodding for the Environment

If you must use a car, then you should at least try to use it as efficiently as possible. Jalopnik has some simple suggestions for improving mileage. Obviously, I would have put “Don’t use your car when you don’t have to” at the top of the list, but I don’t have a car, so it’s my only option.

Should I ever need to get a car I’ll be looking for something I can run on biodiesel, or possibly a biodiesel/ petroleum diesel mix because you can’t always get to a green fuel pump. I hanker for a Volvo estate or small van to cart my bikes around in. Efficiency isn’t such a concern with a closed circuit fuel supply like biodiesel, but VCACarFuelData.org.uk, allows you to search for your next ride by this and other criteria. If I could forgo the space considerations then the Citroen C1 would be worth considering, the most efficient of the cars currently listed on there.

Of course, another option is to do something as inventive as this Russian driver, who replaced his Opel’s engine with a 50kw motor and filled all the spare space with batteries.

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The 200mpg supercar

The Velozzi is a concept car promising supercar performance- 0 to 60 in 3 seconds and a 200mph top speed- with 200mpg fuel consumption. It achieves this by recharging its batteries with a micro-turbine which can use any “heavy fuel”- such as gasoline, ethanol, methanol, diesel or bio diesel. It’s also super light, being built out of composites and liquid metal.

The research and development company behind the concept wanted to produce the most spectacular demonstration of the technology possible. The use of a turbine to charge the batteries means the car isn’t tied to electrical supply points and the versatility of teh fuels means it can use the existing petrol infrastructure. Everyday production vehicles are going to be heavier and less efficient, obviously, but still a vast improvement on current motorcars.

via Jalopnik

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