Electricity has it’s attractions. Â Electric motors output maximum torque from 1 RPM, so you get maximum power from the get go. Â This meansÂ accelerationÂ off the mark, even if the vehicle doesn’t have a super top speed (well, not all are slow). Â Electricity can be produced cleanly, especially in New Zealand, where hydro power is our major electricity source, and wind turbines surround the city in which I live. Â Electric motors are also extremely quiet, and produce no pollutants.
Unfortunately, electricity also has it’s drawbacks. Â Range is a big one, especially in New Zealand where population density and terrain mean things tend to be far apart. Â Charging a battery also takes slightly longer than filling your average fuel tank.
However, sometime it just makes sense. Â Take the Italian Pasquali RisciÃ³ as an example. Â A shade over 1m x 2m and only 1.5m tall, one- or two-seater options, 40km/h top speed and a 50km range. Considering it’s meant for urban commuting, this is quite ideal. Â Even the 8hr (ouch!) recharge time isn’t too bad if you can just plug it in over night.
My own project won’t be designed to run on electricity per se, but since it will be designed in such a way as to allow a wide range of power options I can’t rule out someone else being crazy enough to try it in the future.