Myers NMG2: Now We're Talking Seriously Sensible Commuting
By Bill Moore
Posted: 14 Nov 2009
When the Corbin family introduced the original all-electric "Sparrow" more than a decade ago, they hoped it would help revolutionize daily commuting. It would match the vehicle to the commute: one seat, one passenger and zero emissions. Produced in a rainbow of colors, the company sold a few hundred and then ran into financial troubles, and ceased production, leaving behind a enough parts to build a couple hundred more of the single-seat, battery electric three-wheelers.
That inventory was eventually bought by Dana Myers in Ohio who restarted production as Myers Motors, calling the vehicle the NMG, short for "No More Gas." While sales have been steady enough to keep cars coming off the line, it was obvious that for all its merits, the "Sparrow" had one major shortcoming: it was too small. It also needed more range: the car's original Optima Yellow Top lead batteries were sufficient to drive it only about 30 miles at highway speeds.
The company is planning to introduce the successor to the Sparrow/NMG, the two-place NMG2 starting, it hopes the 4th quarter of 2010.
I ran into Myers at The Business of Plugging In conference in Detroit last month where he hinted that he was about to introduce the new model, which stylistically improves on the 10-year-old design of the original vehicle. The NMG2 retains the "tadpole" layout of the original with two wide-stance wheels in front and single large wheel in the rear. It will now compete, head-to-head with the Aptera 2e, a similarly configured three-wheeler nearing production in southern California.
To control the costs of the NMG2, Myers is offering three lithium battery options: standard 60-mile range pack, a 80-mile range back for an additional $2,500 and a 100-mile range pack for $5000. The initial base price will be $29,995, but Myers plans to drop that price $5,000 for the first 1000 pre-orders. The company also notes that it qualifies for a federal tax credit of $2,499.50, bring the "after receipt of tax credit" price for the first 10000 orders to $22,495.50. The company will also offer optional air conditioning.
One thing I find curious, why is the tax credit only $2,500? If buyers of low-speed electric vehicles -- many of them just supped-up golf cars -- can qualify for upwards of $5000, shouldn't something like the NMG/NMG2 similarly qualify?
Dana, it's time to talk to your local Congressman, buddy. Ohio's an election swing state, after all.
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