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Old 01-02-2013, 09:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
mechman600
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Wow....super cool...and rare. I believe they were a converted Subaru 600 Kei van by Jet Industries.

I dug this up from the EVDL list:
Quote:
Yeah, I can throw a few history bits at you. About 3
decades ago I went to Austin, TX to visit Jet
Industries. A young fellow met me at the airport and
gave me a ride to the shop, which was an old bus
factory or garage about 10 miles away. He was driving
an ElectraVan 600. Jet's first product (I think). It
was a converted Subaru microvan. Very nice. Had the
4 speed manual w clutch. He drove it just like
normal. Even a few freeway miles at speed just like
the traffic flow. (It was 55 mph national speed limit
back then, but it was TX, so I think we were over 60)

This guy's dad owned Jet, Bill Bates. The two sons
ran the operation. Fairly meager. Maybe had a few
dozen of these vans in various stages of conversion.
There was a pile of engines in the corner. Pretty
straight forward conversion. 16 GC batteries for 96
volts. Prestolite MTC-4001. PMC mosfet controller
(pre-Curtis days). Really not much more. Simple and
sweet. I was impressed. How often do you hear me say
that?

That is about the end of my dealings with Jet. They
did come out with a few more models with the same
basic system. I think they got a little bigger in
sales. GE came in with a motor/control package IIRC.

Always looked to me as if they ran on private money.
I am speculating that when gas prices came down and
the oil embargo memory faded, people stopped buying
electrics. And Jet stopped making them.

I think that ElectraVan was the best EV one could buy
at that time. Other choices were CitiCar or
LectricLeopard.

Hope that helps the history lesson.

Jeff M
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