A Feel Good Story
By Bill Moore
You can't help but admire Ian Clifford, the president of Feel Good Cars, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. What originally began as a program to convert a handful of 1960's Renault Dauphines to electric drive, has evolved into what could be one of the more promising stories to come out of ETIC 2002.
FGC's ZENN is the first US FMVS 500-class of low speed electric vehicle, more commonly referred to as a "Neighborhood Electric Vehicle" or NEV, not originally designed for dual use on a golf course. It is, instead, a French-built "quadraped" that is limited to 40 mph in Europe and can be driven without a license by anyone 15 years of age and older. The European version is powered by a small two-cylinder diesel engine.
Clifford and company have arranged to convert motorless "gliders" -- chassis without their engines -- to electric drive. As a result, the two-seater is the first truly automotive-class NEV to hit the streets of Toronto, or anywhere else, for that matter. The ZENN will come equipped with a phase-change material heating and cooling system, allowing it to be operated in more northernly climes. Expected sticker price is $13,000 US.
Ian talks about the car in this exclusive Ride&Drive video interview. We'll report more on the car when production begins in early 2003.
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