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Old 06-16-2008, 01:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TomEV View Post
The problem with modifying the ZENN is that it is a NEV, and legally can't do more than 25 MPH (35 in some places). Why spend time modding a car that will get you a ticket for going 26?

IMHO the reason NEVs are limited is not really for 'safety' (how many motorcycles are produced?) The real reason is that if a microcar such as the ZENN were legally allowed to go 45+ MPH, and had an actual, no BS 45 mile range they would be an ideal city-class vehicle, and would probably sell like hotcakes. Particularly in light of gas prices these days... Where are these microcars produced? I'll give you a hint - NOT the United States!

Since US manufacturers would rather fight the future, and seem unwilling to produce anything electric that has a chance of public appeal (the GEM etc. have their place, but too golf-cart like for most people to even consider), they continue to produce much the same thing they have been building since the '50s -AND make sure new city-class vehicles are prohibited by legislation.
You think the automakers are the ones who encouraged the safety equipment that makes "cars" much heavier than the NEVs, that are exempt from the regulations? The automakers fought, tooth and nail, every safety and emission requirement we forced on them, just as they have fought every mileage standard. The only time they produced high mileage cars in the mid 1980s was in response to consumer demand. When that waned, they produced what consumers were demanding, which were bigger, "safer" cars and trucks (and with oil at $13 a barrel, that kind of decision makes sense for those not concerned about the environment or national security).

The fact that these forums are full of people now is only in response to higher prices. Get gas back down to $2 a gallon, and everyone will be buying big trucks again, and the market for high mileage vehicles will once again tank.

Anyway, I doubt you mod a Xebra carry enough batteries to give it a 100 mile range at highway speeds. I haven't seen one in person, but one person I corresponded with bought one, and said you wouldn't feel safe going over 30 MPH in the thing. I seriously doubt you could add a few hundred pounds to it to extend the range.
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