The R-EV-olución Spreads!
By EV World
These three gentlemen have a secret. They are planning to bring affordable electric cars to the rest of us.
The group that is working to bring Mexico City a thousand or more converted electric Nissan Tsurus (See "Viva la R-EV-olucion!"), is also quietly working on a new program, this one tailored specifically for United States drivers. While I am not at liberty to disclose all the details of the program, Electro Autos Eficaces de Mexico's representatives have granted me permission to release some generic information about it.
Victor Juarez and Xavier Niebla, who is one of the partners in EAE in Mexico City, were in Portland last week to arrange for MetricMind, a small, but highly-respected conversion shop, to convert what Juarez describes as a "modern, 3,000 pound, four door, family sedan with full services" from gasoline to all-electric drive. And it won't be a bare bones model like the Tsuru's in Mexico City. It will have the usual options most U.S. drivers have come to expect in an automobile: air conditioner, power steering, power brakes, electric door locks, stereo sound system.
EAE has already identified a specific make and model. They have directed Tikhonov to utilize a proven, liquid-cooled electric drive system from MES-DEA, developers of the ZEBRA battery, although this will not be the battery used in the candidate vehicle. Instead EAE will offer three battery options: advanced pure lead AGM's from Enersys, advanced bipolar NiMH from Electroenergy, advanced lithium superpolymer modules from Electrovaya.
Once the prototype has been completed and validated, future conversions of the target platform are slated to be done in Florida and Oregon.
The plan is to not sell the cars, but to lease them for as little as one-year, essentially to help overcome any lessee concerns about the viability of electric car technology; the theory being that if they know they won't be stuck with a car that they don't like or doesn't meet their needs, they will be a bit more willing to try it out. The first completed vehicle will be unveiled in Florida in early November, with leasing to follow shortly thereafter as cars become available from the conversion shops.
Specifics on the model to be offered, performance capabilities and lease payments will be published before year's end.
Mexico City Update
EAE's second prototype all-electric Tsuru (Sentra) is slated to be completed by the end of this month. While the first Tsuru conversion used an AC drive system from Azure Dynamics, the second car, which is being converted by "GrassRoots EV" in Fort Pierce, Florida makes use of a high-performance DC-based drive that utilizes a Zilla 2K controller and NetGain drive system based on Warp electric motors.
Watch this space for more information about both of these programs.
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