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Old 06-03-2008, 02:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My First Electric car Experience

Sunday evening, my wife and I were driving to go have dinner to with my parents. We passed a little red car on the street and suddenly I turned and almost snapped at her "That's electric!" She nearly slammed on the breaks - I was so excited that she thought she was about to hit a dog or something (much like yelling "LOOK OUT!"

The little red car:

she eyed the car quickly and then tried to dismiss it but her interest was peeked. On the way back to our house I (surprisingly easily) got her to swing down the access road and let me take a look at it. I don't know how i knew, but i did know. It was electric - you could see some of the batteries through the hatch back. She parked the car and i went up to the door and gave it a knock.

After a few minutes I was greeted by an elderly white gentleman named Bob who - at first cautious of a stranger knocking at his door - soon exploded with excitement as he gave my wife and I a tour of his car. It was a 90's Yugo that no longer ran because of transmission problems. But his love for the car was bubbling over.

The car was a 120V 90's Yugo that he bought from an EV guy that left town.
It contained 6 batteries in the hatch and 4 under the hood with a small 10HP motor. He loved the little car and even though it it didn't run i don't think he would of sold it for anything in the world.

While we were discussing the car my wife mentioned something about another project in the driveway. He soon wisked us both over to something hidden under a blue tarp, peeled back the tarp and displayed his pride and joy:

A 1979 Citicar!
I was so excited that I actually forgot the name of the car!

He provided us a tour of this car.
When he'd bought it the wiring was shot. He'd documented all the wiring and then ripped it out to restore it ----- Then lost the documentation.
It sat for several years before he re-found the documentation and says that eventually, if god graces him with a few more years of life, he may retake the task of restoring the Citicar to drivable condition.

My wife LOVED the Citicar and wishes she had one of her own - i don't blame her!

We exchanged e-mails and down the road - if ever again i manage to have spending money, i may just try and buy the little thing and give a shot at restoring it.

Although the cars weren't in running condition, the experience was very refreshing and exciting for me and my wife both. It may of provided some extra steam for me and my wife to finish our (very) stuck EV project.

I've told my wife several times "I saw an electric car today!" i could tell because of the sound, the plug hanging out of the gas tank, whatever. She only half believed me. but now her faith in my EV spotting is devout.

The ironic thing:
If i realized that little car was a Yugo then i wouldn't of stopped. Yugo's have a very high Weight/Size ratio because of how they are so cheaply made. I would of guessed the weight to be too inefficient for electric.

All pics from the day:

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Old 06-03-2008, 10:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like a good time. Thanks for sharing the pics.
Current project: A better alternator delete
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ive never seen a citi car until now..

very cool, looks like something out of Tron

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Old 06-09-2008, 08:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If I had a place to plug in an EV, I would seriously consider building one. However, until I'm out of apartments and into a house with a garage, or just a house for that matter, an EV is kind of impractical.

Great pictures though, and great story, thanks for sharing. I really wish more people around where I lived cared about conserving fuel, but everyone around where I live drives SUVs like there is a giant ravaged animal chasing them, so I never get to see any EVs where I live.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I found a site with quite a few pictures of the Citicar, and the three relays they used for supplying the motor with 12, 24 or 48 volts (a rudimentary speed control, I guess). Its at http://www.bjharding.com/citicar/moreev.htm
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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thats cool
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Old 08-24-2008, 02:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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So don't plug in!

Originally Posted by NoCO2 View Post
If I had a place to plug in an EV, I would seriously consider building one. However, until I'm out of apartments and into a house with a garage, or just a house for that matter, an EV is kind of impractical.
NoCO2, who says you have to plug in? If you get enough insolation where you park, put PV panels on the vehicle and let it graze. That is , if you don't mind folks staring!

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Old 09-05-2008, 12:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The really really fun thing is when you get to a stop light and just sit there, in a car that is totally dead. It's not gently vibrating, spewing anything into the air. It just sits there dead! It's the weirdest thing I have ever experienced! Then, you just have to trust that the accelerator will do something when you press it.
kits and boards
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You get the same effect with a steam car. While sitting at the stoplight, the engine is sitting motionless at 0 rpm and as long as the steam pressure is at normal levels, the burner doesn't fire. Steam cars produce ungodly amounts of low end torque.

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120v, brushed, citicar, phoenix, yugo

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