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Old 05-25-2017, 12:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
Lurking Eco-wall-o-texter
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: MPLS, MN area
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Neat, but I have some reservations...

Neat concept. I like the car-sharing concept in general, but without autonomous vehicles it is less useful than a good bus system or taxi system - how do you get to/from the shared car? If you can just park it anywhere, who gets them back to the starting points? The bike shares here have a truck that goes around every once in a while re-balancing the inventory levels at all the racks.

In general I've no issue with the car itself, except for how well it integrates with the existing vehicles on the road here in the USA. 80kph is roughly 50mph, so it can do the "minimum speed limit" on most freeways, and is too fast to be Federally classified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle. I'd not take one unless it could be proven to rate at least a MY2000 era 4*/4* crash rating if it can go that fast, but that's my limit - yours may vary. (I'll probably be selling my motorcycle that I've barely ridden - even though it is fun, I just don't trust the other drivers and my reaction times when I can only really use it half the year to keep my skills up.)

Everything I can find about NHTSA laws suggests that a complete kit with power source is a "motor vehicle" and is subject to the NHTSA laws in effect at the time the parts are made. If they want to sell complete kits with motors and not be crash tested, they are limited to 5,000 total vehicles per year manufactured worldwide and the vehicles must resemble a classic car. (2015 law that allows classic replicas. US based manufacturers are limited to 325 per year each.) If there's no power source - read motor here, laws were written when it was engines - it's not a motor vehicle and it is up to the individual states as to how it gets registered/regulated.

Here in MN it would be a "Specially Constructed Vehicle" and I'm having a heck of a time parsing the statutes in terms of safety equipment beyond the usual lighting, brakes, seatbelts, etc. (all of which must meet currently applicable NHTSA/VMSS/DOT regs) plus bumpers. The statute has this: "The commissioner of public safety, pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, may adopt and enforce rules in substantial conformity with federal motor vehicle safety standards established by the United States Secretary of Transportation pursuant to the national Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-563) with respect to any new motor vehicle or new item of motor vehicle equipment applicable to the same aspect of performance of such new vehicle or new equipment."

That "may" carries a lot of weight, and could easily change while a vehicle is being built.
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