EV Digest 2394

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) Re: It's Dead, Jim...or is it?
        by "Christopher Meier" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  2) Re: Drill Press Fun (was Re: It's Dead, Jim (long) (part II))
        by Rod Hower <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  3) Re: Dual motors, wierd controller(s)
        by Rod Hower <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  4) Re: Dual motors, wierd controller(s)
        by "David Roden (Akron OH USA)" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  5) Re: Rudman Barbecue
        by michael bearden <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  6) Re: Dual motors, wierd controller(s)
        by Otmar <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  7) Re: Rudman Barbecue
        by "Lawrence Rhodes" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  8) Re: There's no stopping now!
        by "Lawrence Rhodes" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  9) Re: T-105 or simular being retired in the San Francisco Bay area?
        by "Lawrence Rhodes" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
 10) Re: Prestolite RPM working speed and RPM limits
        by Peter VanDerWal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
 11) Re: Measuring voltage during charging
        by [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 12) RE: Tango (very long)
        by Rick Woodbury <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
--- Begin Message ---
John, have you considered that the time may be right to form a
custom, high-end, EV conversion business?  With components
that are available now (Warp, PFC, Godzilla, Siemens, etc),
and your wonderful 'salesmanship' and design/crafting ability
and attention to detail, you could sell these types of vehicles
to the 'haves' and likely keep a whole team of people gainfully
employed crafting fabulous EV after EV...  you could even
form a program with the local technical colleges to have a
special course where you, Frank, etc, can train the young
adults to have not only the skills to create these EV's, but
at the same time instill in them a love for EVs (really nice
ones!).  In the wake of 9/11, I bet there are quite a few
non-college bound kids that are aching to do something
to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil, etc... and
such a program could ignite many of them...  and provide
you a well trained work force for the growing business...
a few magazine writeups and you'd have all the celebs and
Car & Driver (etc) types  buying your creations.  After all
the hottest vehicle craze in Hollywood is Prius ownership...
imagine them getting excited about supporting US workers
on top of it, and further reducing the oil dependency...

Imagine, years from now all the proud owners of Wayland EVs,
it could end up with as much 'brand' recognition as a Shelby
vehicle, for example.  Your trusty 20+ year old EV... imagine
dozens, hundreds, thousands of Wayland branded EV's,
when you're old enough to be rocking on the porch, and the
automotive magazine writers stop by to interview the
'Smokey Yunich'/'Carroll Shelby' of high-powered high-
quality EV's...

2 kids overheard at the local car wash...

kid1: "What you got in that thing"

kid2: "It's got the Waylandized Netgain Warp 9,
         the Signature Wayland Sound System, the
        Wayland "Suck My Amps" Traction Pack..."

kid1: "No way, not the Wayland Pack!??!?!"

kid2: "yup, and I can toast *any* ICE and hear every
         note of (insert latest smash hit audio release)
         while my tail-lights become a dot on the horizon"

kid1: "Where can I get one?   Heck that, I want to
         help design and make them; where's the factory?"

kid2: "The R&D shop is in Portland, and since the '10s
         there are satellite factories all over the US, nearly
         every technical college has a training program; and
         get this - the best students are recruited for the top
         positions at the factories and even the R&D shop.
         And there is a scholarship program funded by a
         portion of the business profits, that essentially
         guarantees this company will be around forever."

kid1: "That's just the career idea I've been looking for"

kid2: "The cleaning crew's done, want a ride?"

kid1: "You bet...."


----- Original Message -----
From: "John Wayland" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2002 10:55 AM
Subject: It's Dead, Jim...or is it?

> Hello to All,
> Geoff Shepherd wrote:
> > (continued from "Rubber-burnin', Fuse-poppin', Clean-Meanin' Machine!")
> >
> > In a previous episode, our Blue Meanie test pilot found himself
> > in a mall parking lot on a beautiful crisp autumn afternoon in Portland,
> > far from the Wayland EV Juice Bar. ...There is
> > something just inspiring about driving a silent and clean EV through a
> > neighborhood in crisp fall weather. Nothing says autumn like the sent of
> > falling leaves, woodstoves, and tire smoke.
> As always, I loved having my close friend Geoff down for the day...we had
a great time,
> the three of us. I too, love Fall weather, and for some reason, driving my
trusty EV
> friend of 22 years now, on, as Geoff says, a crisp Fall day, is the
absolute best! One of
> the reasons I enjoy living in the Pacific Northwest, is that we have four
> seasons, and though I find things to look forward to and enjoy about each
of them, Fall is
> definitely my favorite one. Blue Meanie's royal blue with violet pearl
paint looks
> especially nice against the backdrop of the orange, gold, and yellow Fall
> I know others my not share my love of the old classic Datsuns I enjoy so
much, but one
> that was a hot topic, now seven years ago on this list (wow, how time
flies), was my '66
> Datsun minitruck project 'Purple Phaze'. This is not to be confused with
my '67 Datsun
> minitruck project 'Baby Blue' now owned by Portland EVer John Tuss.
Anyway....the '66 was
> to be a very special, very unique soundoff electric show truck with so
many mind blowing
> features it would be sure to garner magazine attention. The list went like
> (1) The uniqueness of a mint condition (after extensive restoration),
super cool looking
> '66 Datsun minitruck.
> (2) The uniqueness of an electric powered, mint condition, rare '66 Datsun
> (3) A complete change-over from a front engine, clutch and tranny,
driveshaft to the back,
> rear wheel drive platform, to a rear engine, direct setup with the
electric motor working
> into a backwards-facing rear end.
> (4) When someone should ask, "what do ya have under the hood?"...the
answer I'd give was
> to be "A V8!"....because this truck had a planned V8 subwoofer! Yes,
that's right, eight 8
> inch subs clearly visible under thick Plexiglas 'valve covers' that would
be a soundoff
> EVent treat to watch pumping away.
> (5) Custom 'Jam'n Salmon' license plates 'V8 BASS'
> (6) A genuine '56 Ford, real metal, large and chromed V8 emblem floating
in the clear
> plexiglas of the subwoofer.
> (7) With full sponsorship from autosound giant MB Quart, the interior of
the truck was to
> have a killer front stage setup.
> (8 Of course, a tilt bed to show off batteries and other EV goodies.
> (9) Exotic 7 inch round headlamps (today's models would have HID H4 bulbs)
with custom
> sequential amber LED's for turn signals, LEDS for sidelights and running
and braking
> lights.
> (10) The list went on...........
> Well, that was back then, but unfortunately, things kind of fizzled out,
and this was the
> one project I, regretfully, never completed. Still, Every now and then, I
have been
> stumbling across those custom, limited availability Salmon plates I
acquired and paid for
> 'V8 BASS', as they seemed to taunt me. After Frank the Metal God and I had
gone to all the
> effort to rework the rear frame section, cut away the tranny tunnel, build
a flat cab
> floor and a custom firewall, make battery trays, etc., the truck had gone
to an obscure
> body shop in the rural country outside Portland, and for reasons too
complicated to go
> into right now, there it has languished since '95, sitting outside a shop,
consumed and
> entwined by thorny blackberry vines, and infested with hornets.  In recent
years, the
> truck had faded away as a vague memory, slowly returning to the
earth....so I thought!
> Sunday, the truck was delivered to my house, as the shop owners had
decided to clean up
> their acreage and had figured that enough time had gone by....it's a long
> Yesterday, I took the time to open it up to allow the bees to vacate their
mobile home,
> and worked at clipping away what was left of the vegetation that had grown
in and around
> the body parts. Surprisingly, it's not all that bad. I put a few bolts in
to secure the
> bed to the frame. and for the first time, mounted the cherry condition
Datsun tailgate I
> had purchased back in '95 from a wrecking yard...suddenly, the truck was
beginning to look
> 'OK'....hmmmm....I looked around the Wayland EV shop (actually, upstairs
in the attic) and
> found the metal dash panel, the metal glove box door, the brand new,
sealed in plastic
> wrap but no longer available rubber door seals, brand new, sealed in
plastic wrap but no
> longer available aluminum door threshold moldings, and that super rare,
new, sealed in
> plastic wrap but no longer available stainless steel grill for a '66 only
> minitruck....hhmmmm.
> Maybe it's time to finish this thing!
> See Ya.......John Wayland
--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
Add me to the list.
I was drilling an Al plate for the Fiero
conversion at a drill press at Clark Material Handling
back in 1992.
I had heavy leather gloves on and was able to press the stop
button real quick.  Makes you think twice about careless drilling.
I have since developed a procedure for drilling copper ring terminals.
Drill lightly till 50% through, turn over and repeat.
Use a rat tail to clean up instead of taking the drill all the way through.

David McAlister wrote:
Been there, done that.  Lived to tell about it.  In my case, it was a 2~3
pound box with hardened steel inserts used as a jig to drill holes in an
enclosure.  When it caught, it bent the 3/4" shaft of a 1/2" drill press.
Fortunately, the box flew off away from me when the bit broke.

Let's be careful out there, and listen to the small voice.

David (EV wannabe)

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Wayland" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2002 5:20 PM
Subject: Re: It's Dead, Jim (long) (part II)

Hello to All,


In a message dated 29/10/02 08:25:14 GMT Standard Time, [EMAIL PROTECTED]

The hole was just too small. John decided to use his
bench-top drill press with a twist-bit to enlarge the hole in the



This little voice kept saying, apparently only to him, "It's going to


and whip around, idiot." Yet, he ignored that little voice and instead

to hold the cable by hand while pressing the spinning twist bit into


existing, but too small hole. Sure enough, the bit bit, then bound,


instantly transformed the little drill press into a frightening


whipping machine: SMACK SMACK SMACK!
It often takes people a trip to hospital to learn that lesson!
OK, OK, I admit it, I was in a hurry and I knew better!

I usually have right lug with the right sized hole in the first place. If
I don't, I

usually take the lug with the hole that's too small, and secure it to wood
that's clamped

to the drill press base, with a snug-fitting rod inserted into the wire
end and clamped,

and with the whole affair securely clamped down and leveled before
drilling commences. I

also usually use a 'Unibit' to drill into soft gold plated copper or
brass, because it

resists grabbing and does a nice, clean job.

Yes, there are lots of things I 'usually' do when running into this
problem, but in this

case I had wanted to reuse the same ruby red clear car stereo 1/0 gauge
wire that still

had one gold plated end and merely needed to have a new one crimped onto
the end that

formerly was just a stripped end that was inserted into the old fuse
assembly and secured

with an allen clamp-down screw. I didn't check the hole size of the lug
'before' I crimped

it onto the cable. I screwed up next, when I even told Geoff that I
shouldn't do what I

was about to do, but being in a hurry and wanting to get the car back up
and running right

away, I then turned around and did it anyway! The only good thing I did,
was expect the

drill to bite in and grab the unclamped end and so I was ready to quickly
let go and watch

the thing flail about...which as Geoff so eloquently pointed out, it did!

We all do stupid things from time to time...this was one of those times.

See Ya......John Wayland

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---

* LP8.2: HTML/Attachments detected, removed from message  *

Ben, got the message above, but I viewed the source HTML.
Interesting control, don't know what it is, any labels?

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
The controllers look like Curtis PMC-17, PMC-21, or PMC-25 type.  These 
would be late 1980s vintage.  They chop at 2kHz all the time, so that's why 
they make the motors sing.  These are bipolar transistor controllers, IIRC.  
They require a 3-wire, 5k potbox.

The PMC-17 was 36-48v, 450a
The PMC-21 was 60-96v, 400a
The PMC-25 was 96-120v, 400a

There should be a nameplate on the end opposite the terminals. 

I had a PMC-25 in my Honda.  Twice it failed from a failure apparently 
caused by an undersized power resistor in the circuit that derived logic 
voltage from pack voltage.  

OTOH, the high power circuit never broke a sweat.  The case with its nice 
integral heatsink seldom got more than slightly warn, possibly because of 
the slow chopping.  Also, it was an excellent match to the Prestolite motor. 
 Accelerator action was so smooth and even that I could literally move the 
car a half-cm at a time.

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David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
1991 Solectria Force 144vac
1991 Ford Escort Green/EV 128vdc
1970 GE Elec-trak E15 36vdc
1974 Avco New Idea rider 36vdc
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--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---

Rich Rudman wrote:

> I HATE those 8 volt Delphi's batteries, every one who has used them has
> broken Regs and batteries.

AMEN, Bruddah....
A Former delphi driver and Reg killer....
--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
Hello all,
I have a 1995 Honda station wagon EV in my shop for repairs, and it's a
strange beast. ( The term 'rolling science fair project' springs to mind..)
The main motor which is connected to the transaxle appears to be a dual shaft
ADC 9 inch. There is a double groove pulley on the back of the shaft which is
connected by 2 standard 3/8 fan belts to what appears to be an ADC 8 inch
There are dual controllers in the car, a type I've never seen before.
I posted some pictures here:
The motors appear to be wired in parallel with both controllers, which I
didnt think was possible.
My question is; Has anyone seen this type of controller before? Are they any

I believe that is a Curtis PMC 21. 4 KHZ "whiner" I seen to recall 120V 400A rating. I may be wrong about the details. They should not be happy with parallel operation unless they were modified to work in synch. One on each motor should be no problem though.

They are decent controllers. People who move up to the 15 Khz units report much quieter operation, longer brush life and I believe maybe even longer range. (or was that only for moving up from the SCR controllers? )

I think the second motor is a 7" Prestolite.


http://www.CafeElectric.com/ Zilla "Got Amps" Shirts now available online.
http://www.evcl.com/914 My electric 914
--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
Well I plundered my Lectra to get a few more good batteries and after
clearing up the bad connections the Green Machine is a lot more peppy.  All
the batteries are comming up at a normal rate and now all I have to do is
find the one bad connection to the frame that the pack has which melts fuses
in the regs.  Rich may be getting a shipment of toasty regs to look over.
Lawrence Rhodes...Once the mistakes are taken out the Delphis work well.
It's just keeping em that way that is hard.  I think a lot of newbies got
these Delphis and didn't use regs and made other connection mistakes which
the Delphis don't like.  Have a loose connection.  Melt a post....etc.....
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rich Rudman" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2002 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: Rudman Barbecue

> Lawrence Rhodes wrote:
> >
> > Well there is one disadvantage of breaking the pack in the middle when
> > the cable and a wire to connect a Rudman Reg when the battery is on the
> > other side of the breaker.  Looks like I have to use two dedicated
> > When the main power is turned off 116v goes through it.  I thought the
> > breaker was sticking.  Usually when that happens I turn something on and
> > breaks the circuit.  WRONG.   The 16 gauge wire was even enough to run
> > lights and move the car with the Ebrake on, as well as toast the reg.
> > might still work haven't checked it yet.  Put 132v through another
one(MK I)
> > and it smoked but still worked afterword.  Now this is a MK I.  I
> > the MK II just didn't have enough capacity because it was blowing fuses.
> > DUH.  I noticed the 116v before and tried to figure it out.  Then it
> > away.  DUH.  I even watched the fuses melt.  DUH.   Lawrence
> > Rhodes....Electricity will find a way to complete a
> > circuit..............Just find a stupid guy.........Keep one hand in
> > pocket.....
> Umm so the Lawrence R. box is getting some additional installments....
> Boy you are VERY resourcefull in Killing Regs....
> I HATE those 8 volt Delphi's batteries, every one who has used them has
> broken Regs and batteries.
> --
> Rich Rudman
> Manzanita Micro
> www.manzanitamicro.com
> 1-360-297-7383,Cell 1-360-620-6266
--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
I might have a source for Gast vacuum pumps thru a friend that works at a
used medical equipment supply.  Lawrence Rhodes....
----- Original Message -----
From: "Victor Tikhonov" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2002 4:40 PM
Subject: Re: There's no stopping now!

> Richard Bebbington wrote:
> >
> >
> > Now I need a vacuum pump... and the nice small pump that Brusa sell
> > would be perfect. But Brusa seem to have almost doubled their price,
> > since the last time I asked, just because the new pumps have an
> > electronic switch in them rather than a mechanical one.
> No, this is incorrect info. Old 70/6 pump with mechanical switch
> was $218 (converted from CHF') and haven't changed. You probably
> looked at different model.
> > I noticed that Victor sells these too:
> >
> > So, Victor, can you tell me, how much for one of your vacuum pumps?
> The new ones I carry - 70/6E with electronic switch are $238,
> just $20 more. Available now.
> http://www.metricmind.com/pump.htm
> > And how much is the neat motor-shaft adaptor for the splined Siemens
> > motors ( thinking ahead to the Mini Cooper project ) ?
> $288 a piece, http://www.metricmind.com/shaft.htm
> > Reply off list if you like....
> That's no problem, others may be interested too...
> Victor
--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
Nice lobbying Bruce.  I should join an EAA chapter.  I would like to belong
to the one nearest me that can offer the best benefits.  I will consider you
recommendations.  Lawrence Rhodes....
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce EVangel Parmenter" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2002 2:23 PM
Subject: Re: T-105 or simular being retired in the San Francisco Bay area?

> [I have been afk (away from keys) for a while as my isp went
>  down. I have been trying to load a compatable linux for my
>  Omnibook 5500 to kill time until they came back up.]
> Larry, EAA chapters are worth the membership. Even if you
> use them once, the time = money they save you is great.
> The San Jose Chapter (my chapter http://geocities.com/sjeaa/ )
> has a battery exchange program. If you have the wheels, use their
> page to contact our battery man.
> The program works like this:
> -An EVr retired their dead pack to the battery man rather
>  than the battery company or recyclers.
> -The battery man goes through the batts to find the really dead
>  one for the battery company to use.
> -The batt man now has an inventory of used batteries with
>  know capacities (he tests them)
> When an EVr only has a few dying batts in his pack, he can get
> an equal cpacity used battery from the batt man and let his
> pack live another 6 to 12 months.
> Also, when the EVr replaces his pack, the batt company only
> gets 'dead cores'.
> Jim Ramos is our local SF area USBattery rep. 510-881-5122
> He goes out of his way to help EVrs. When our EAA members
> order a pack, Jim is willing to wait the little extra time
> to ge the dead cores from our batt man.
> It is a great program that can be copied by any chapter.
> Good for the EVr, and good business for the battery company.
>  -Bruce
> =====
> ' ____
> ~/__|o\__
> '@----- @'---(=
> . http://geocities.com/brucedp/
> . EV List Editor & RE newswires
> . (originator of the EV ascci art above)
> =====
> __________________________________________________
> Yahoo! - We Remember
> 9-11: A tribute to the more than 3,000 lives lost
> http://dir.remember.yahoo.com/tribute
--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message --- Check out this web site, it lists the gear ratios for various VW transmissions:

Making some guestimates here, your final drive ratio is probably about 3.89:1 and second gear is either 1.94 or 1.75. My guess is 1.75 since that works out to 5100 rpm at 52 mph (assuming 165/80R13 tires).

What's the max recommended speed for the prestolite? 6,000? 6,500?
Assuimg 6,000 rpm and worse case 1.94 in second, that works out to a top speed of 55mph.

But here's the thing, at 6,000 rpm the prestolite's efficiency has fallen over the knee and is on it's way down. It's somewhere around 75%. To get max efficiency out of the motor you want to keep RPMs high, but below ~5200 rpm at full(or nearly full) throttle. If the motor's voltage (not pack voltage) is below ~50V then max efficiency is around 2500 rpm or less.

Generally speaking you want to keep the RPMs somewhere between these two points and motor voltage somewhere between 50 and 100V. There is a slight (3 or 4%) edge to keeping the motor voltage up around 100V.
If you don't have a meter to measure motor voltage, but do have one to measure motor current...keep motor current above 100 amps and below 300 amps. This is pretty much the sweet spot on the prestolite regardless of voltage. Below 100 amps and efficiency starts to drop off quickly, above 300 amps and the motor(and controller) starts to overheat.

In simple terms, my advice is to shift to third at around 40-45 mph, assuming you are not climbing hills. If you are climbing hills keep it in second until 50-55 mph.

Prestolite motor charts: http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Vines/5565/tech.html and a special thanks to Mike Chancy for putting these up on the web.

Roger Daisley wrote:

I have a Prestolite motor in a '76 VW Rabbit and had problems with
controller overheating.  Following the advice of this board, I changed my
shifting and virtually run in second gear most of the time.  Now I'm
concerned about max. RPM limits.

There is no tach in the car.  The speedometer has shifting marks for 1st
geat at 26 MPH and 2nd gear at 52 MPH.  Does anyone have any rough idea how
these points relate to motor RPM and how fast I should drive in 2nd before
shifting to 3rd?

Roger Daisley

"Where Revolutionary New Ideas Are Not Always New Or Revolutionary"

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* LP8.2: HTML/Attachments detected, removed from message  *
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> Well, then, I'm confused.  I must have misread the text.

Not at all. Much of the Tango was buit in Quebec, however, it is licensed in
the state of Washington.

The modifications to the Tango to make it a pre-production prototype were
done primarily by SLP, Bert Transmission and Camoguide in Quebec, building
body, drivetrain, and Chassis respectively. The car is licensed in
Washington state, USA. It can drive legally in Canada, of course, like any
other car from the U.S.

As it is a kit, it can be registered pretty much anywhere in the world that
way, just like a Lotus kit for example. We will probably be certifying the
car for regular production in the U.S. First, then Europe, Canada, and the
rest of the world as demand and funding become available. If there is
immediate interest in a specific country and the money to manufacture them
is available, we'd be very open to manufacturing there. If you like the
idea, present it to your government. There has been a lot of interest here
from Capital Hill and elsewhere.

The following is an AP article that was in the Oregonian as well as many
other papers.        

Tiny car made in Spokane could be big answer
September 21, 2002    View for printing
Electric vehicle Tango may be a solution to urban gridlock

Rep. George Nethercutt calls it a 21st-century solution for commuters: a
tiny electric vehicle that zips in and out of traffic with the ease of a
motorcycle but the comfort of a car.


Nethercutt, a Washington state Republican, gleefully scooted around crowded
Washington, D.C., streets this week to demonstrate the battery-powered car
he hopes will become an answer to urban gridlock.

The Tango, invented by a father-and-son team from Spokane, is designed to
carry one or two people to and from work, or for cross-town errands. It can
travel as far as 80 miles between charges.

The car is just 8 feet long and 39 inches wide.

It can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in four seconds, faster than the Dodge
Viper, according to its creators, Rick and Bryan Woodbury.

"It's fast, it's efficient, it's a beautiful car," Nethercutt said after his
brief test drive around the Capitol and a nearby traffic circle. "It's safe.
It's the best. I love it. I wish I had one." The fact that the car was made
in his hometown is all the more reason to support it, he said.

Other federal officials also were impressed.

Kelly Lugar, a congressional liaison for the Energy Department, took the car
for a spin with a department colleague in the back seat.

The two emerged smiling.

"That was fun," Lugar said. "It drove like a real car."

That's because it is a real car, said Bryan Woodbury, who touted the Tango's
steel-tubing chassis and cab-centered design, which enhance its stability
and meet standards of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.
The only thing big about the car is its price. With just one demonstration
model in existence, the Tango would cost about $80,000 -- if it were for

Rick Woodbury, president of Commuter Cars Corp.,
http://www.commutercars.com/ the Spokane company that markets the car, said
officials hope to build at least 10,000 vehicles per year, bringing the
retail cost per car down to about $18,000. If the company can get enough
financing to build 100,000 cars a year, the retail cost would drop to about


The following are excerpts from a letter to one of our potential investors
containing a letter of support from WA Governor Locke as well as comments
from various Congressmen who drove the Tango on Capitol Hill.

Just thought Iıd bring you up to speed a few of the Tango highlights since
we met with you, August 1.

... The Governor saw and discussed opportunities for the Tango during his
visit to Spokane for the signing establishing the Northwest Energy
Technology Collaborative (NWETC), August 21. The result was a letter of
support to accompany us to Washington DC, in which the Governor states:

 ³ Šin the state of Washington and throughout our nation, a good
transportation system is critical to the livelihood and well-being of our
citizens. We are taking a number of steps to put into place major
improvements to our stateıs transportation systemŠ

³In addition to such measures, we must also use our transportation capacity
more efficiently. One intriguing approach to improve efficiency is the
narrow car concept, exemplified by the Tango. This approach has the
potential to increase roadway and parking capacities with minimal
infrastructure investment. The Tangoıs design may prove especially valuable
to urban traffic management where congestion, parking, air quality, and land
use issues are particularly challenging. It represents the kind of
innovative thinking that we need to add to our tool kit for addressing the
nationıs transportation challenges.²

The trip to Washington, DC was a result of a visit from Congressman George
Nethercutt (Spokane). He stopped by our facility, August 20, and drove the
Tango. After the drive, we talked about the challenges facing transportation
officials and options for relieving the stress on our highway
infrastructure. That afternoon, his office called and asked if we could
bring the car to Washington for ³presentation of the Tango to members of
Congress² the week of September 16-20. In a letter dated, August 26,
Congressman Nethercutt offered:

³ŠI am impressed with the Tango Commuter Car and commend your ingenuity and
entrepreneurial vision. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, your
innovation could have a profound impact on the future of our transportation

³I look forward to your pending visit to Washington, DC and am eager to help
you gain exposure among my colleagues in CongressŠ²
September 4, prior to leaving for Washington, DC, Mayor John Powers of
Spokane publicly designated the Tango as a primary focus for economic
development in the Spokane area. The pronouncement was made from the stage
of the Spokane Opera House, as part of ³One Spokane,² the launch of the
cityıs mission to build a ³sustainable, equitable, regional community using
the dynamics of community economy, ecology, and equity.²

In conjunction with that event, we were introduced to William A. McDonough.
(McDonough information can be found at: http://www.mcdonough.com/)
At our initial meeting, Mr. McDonough indicated strong interest in the
Tango. In subsequent conversations that interest has continued. We had
occasion to meet with Rob Cooke, COO/CFO, McDonough, Braungart Design
Chemistry. Although no agreement is imminent, there is very strong interest
from both McDonough and Cooke in the Tango, and how it can be developed and
marketed. We are optimistic about the potential of this alliance and feel it
would introduce us to many innovations and areas of expertise that will
amplify and enhance the uniqueness, earth-friendly image, and
cradle-to-cradle service of the Tango.


September 18 ­ 

Congressional Drive and Ride ­ Garfield Circle, 8 AM to 5 PM

The response was enthusiastic and sometimes surprised.

The One of the first to ride was Congressman Tom Sawyer, D-OH, who wrote:
³This car performs! Great adhesion, serious brakes, and it does zoom. Itıs
tight, comfortable, and feels very secure. Thumbs up on every street

Consistent with reactions throughout the day, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-MD,
³The Tango should meet a number of commuter needs. A Tango like car should
be part of the solution to our present congestion problems. In addition, the
Tango needs no oil supply for energy. It can be charged by the sun or wind
or any other energy source for generating electricity.²

Numerous House staffs and two DOE staff drove the Car, as well. Typical of
their responses were:

³Unbelievable! I felt as though I was in a regular car except it was more
fun. Any concerns about safety were erased once I drove it.²

³Great speed and size. Perfect for parking in the city. With the federal
credit, it will be very affordable.²

³Wow! What a wonderful car! Iım so glad I had the chance to drive an
electric car. Keep me posted on what happens with it!²

³Very impressive. I would love to be able to use something like this around
the city.²

³It drove wonderfully. What a great concept & neat little car. I think these
would be a great solution to traffic congestion, b/c they are so small.²

Later in the afternoon, Congressman Nethercutt came down for a scheduled
drive. The press, photos and video were set to coincide. What went unseen
and unreported happened following the press moment. Congressman Nethercutt,
with Rick in the backseat, drove the car up to and inside the gates of the
Capitol and had the car waiting there as House members returned for an
afternoon vote. The Tango attracted the attention of literally all who were
within eyeshot. It was in that beyond-the-camera moment that Congressman
Nethercutt publicly announced and began recruiting support to have ³lane
splitting,² along with appropriate funding for signage and striping, be a
part of the Highway Re-Authorization Bill due up for a vote next session.


I am currently in Minnesota working with Lee Hart to install the new
charging system that he designed. Chris Meier is programming the network
between the individual chargers and the MoTeC instrument panel. The chargers
are based on a Vicor Bat-Mod and a processor and network card for each
battery. It will continually monitor all batteries and the pack as a whole
can charge the weaker batteries even while driving. The Bat-Mods by
themselves can charge at 15 amps and can use most any charging algorithm
that you care to program into them. If you wanted to experiment with
different algorithms you could have half the pack on one algorithm and the
other half another. You could then after a time check the capacities of the
batteries to see which one fared better.

The chargers can work from any voltage from less than 90V to over 250V. The
bulk charging will be done by a PFC charger that is modular in 50 amp units
up to 200 amps. That way no one has to buy more charging capability than
they want but still have an upgrade path by purchasing more modules.

For those who haven't seen it, the following is a response that we use to
answer questions about price and availability. It also gives our general
status and strategy.

After having completed and tested the proof-of-concept Tango as displayed on
our web site (the blue car), we started building a production prototype in
November of 2000 (the red car shown in the gallery). This car was almost
complete with the exception of wiring, heating, air conditioning, and
interior door panels when it was displayed at the EVAA ETI show in
Sacramento in December, 2001. It was built from molds, and is very close to
production. When we finish every detail and test this car, we plan to build
as many as 10 more, exactly like it. How many we build depends on how much
money is raised from investors. Each of these cars will have roughly $50,000
in parts in them. The current one has a $12,000 Conolly leather interior, a
$3,500 MoTeC dash as seen in Le Mans and formula race cars as well as a
$3,000 Nakamichi CD700 sound system with 4x100 Watts of power. On the
technical side, they will have the most advanced battery charging and
monitoring system that we know of to go along with its 1,800-amp Zilla
controller. This controller dominates electric drag racing. See
http://www.nedra.com to see the results it has achieved. It has powered the
3 quickest vehicles in the 3 quickest classes of electric drag racing. The
world's quickest electric dragster, the Current Eliminator IV with its 8.801
second 1/4 mile at 137.65 mph; the world's quickest electric motorcycle, the
Kilacycle with its 9.450 1/4 mile at 152.07 mph; and the Maniac Mazda, the
world's quickest street EV, with its 11.039 second 1/4 mile at 114.85 mph.
See http://store.wilde-evolutions.com/wilde/mazda.html . We in fact use the
same exact motors as this Mazda as well.

It is our intention, not only to prove the Tangoıs performance in a straight
line, but also around famous racetracks like Laguna Seca or Sears Point. We
won't have enough battery capacity to run a complete race, but hope to run
quicker lap times than any other stock sports car. We feel that this is the
best way to prove to the automotive press that the Tango is a contender for
supercar status. We would like to demonstrate this by having famous racecar
drivers drive their favorite stock sports cars around these tracks and then
beat them with a Tango. The Tango will cheat slightly by using racing
slicks, while the Porsches, Corvettes, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis will run
with street tires. We canıt find a street tire wide enough to compete that
will fit the Tango's 13" rims.

The purpose of this cost-is-no-object design for our first 10 cars is to
dominate the covers of the automotive press. The result should be to
increase the value of the Tango in the minds of the public who will be
questioned in future surveys. These surveys will be an important part of a
business plan in order to demonstrate that Tangos can be built and sold
profitably in high volume. If the Tango were built with low performance, and
as cheaply as possible, it would still cost a lot to build them in small
volume. People who were surveyed would compare them to other commuting
alternatives, $10,000 cars, for example, that are built in quantities
exceeding 100,000 per year, which would be an impossible price to achieve
for the Tango until they are produced in similar volume. It would be
difficult for a manufacturer to take the risk of spending the 1.5 billion
dollars to tool up for such production on a car that is such a radical
change from the status quo.

I'm sorry for the lengthy introduction, but feel it necessary to explain why
we can't start out with an inexpensive commuter car.

After these first 10 cars have been thoroughly tested, we are hoping to be
able to produce one Tango per day starting in 2003. The first cars we build
will be kit cars as there is not enough time to complete the FMVSS
certification. The kits should require about 8 hours of easy assembly.

We are currently putting together a proposal to a major manufacturer, at
their request, to build as many as 10,000 Tangos per year, fully certified,
starting in 2003. We hope this can be achieved, as it would greatly speed up
the process of getting to mass market.

Our projected price for the Viper-eating sub-12-second-1/4-mile kit car is
$42,000 US. This is a very preliminary figure for now. We expect to have a
0-60 in 7 seconds model called the Foxtrot for much less. This however will
come sometime later as it is expensive to tool up for production of an AC
drive system or 2-speed transmission and differential, one of which would be
required for a lower powered car. When production levels reach 10,000 cars
per year, we expect the Tango to sell for under $30,000 and the Foxtrot for
under $20,000.

I hope this helps. Please understand that these figures may change
considerably as we continue through the development process.

As I mentioned above, we plan to develop a market survey. Until then it
would be helpful to know at what price people become interested in the Tango
and Foxtrot. Like everything else, price falls as production increases which
will happen over the years.

If you have the time, we would greatly appreciate a response from you
stating an approximate price (in U.S. dollars) at which you would be
interested in the Tango and also the Foxtrot. For the purpose of this survey
please assume that the Foxtrot is identical to the Tango except that it is
slower accelerating, 0-60 in 7 seconds instead of 4.

The Tango was conceived while I was driving in LA traffic. About 20 years
ago I noticed that all the cars around me in a traffic-jam only had one
occupant. I thought, "What a waste of extremely expensive real estate to say
nothing of the valuable time of all those millions of people, all over the
world, in the same predicament." Then I thought, "Why don't they make narrow
cars that could fit 2 to a lane--that ought to fix the problem." Then I
thought, "Being too narrow, they'd tip over." Then I thought, "What if they
were ballasted with iron- titanium hydride, a well known storage for
hydrogen--then we could have clean and narrow vehicles." Well, I waited for
technology; then I got impatient. So here it is as an electric first, later
it will surely be hydrogen driven.

If you have further interest please visit our downloads page at:


There you can find 2 rough-draft versions of a market analysis as well as
useful battery life information.

I hope I've answered your questions. If you have any others, please don't
hesitate to ask.

Best wishes,


P.S. We're using traffic studies to build a case to skip all the above and
jump right to $10,000 to $12,000 Tangos.

Would the general public vote to fund a project 1/3 the cost of commuter
rail if they could get free flowing traffic in major cities?

The 2002 Urban Mobility Report by the Texas Transportation Institute of the
Texas A&M University System


states on page 20 that the cost of congestion in the US per annum is $67.5
billion. Of that, 5.7 billion gallons of wasted fuel accounts for
approximately $8.5 billion dollars. To quote the report: "This amount of
fuel would fill 114 super-tankers or 570,000 gasoline tank trucks. If you
placed 570,000 gasoline tank trucks back-to-back, they would stretch from
New York to Las Vegas and back." The rest is figured at the value people put
on their time.

The government historically has supported light rail and other forms of
public transportation to solve the traffic problem.


The above reports conclude the full cost of light rail is $.70 per person
per mile while the automobile, as inefficient as it is, is under $.20 per
person per mile. It appears that rail, buses, and carpool lanes are not
going to solve the long-term transportation problem. The trend since the
1930's to present has been toward personal transportation. Public transit
was over 30% in the 30's while under 2% at present. The data that supports
this is on the above linked web sites. It is hard to imagine the trend
reversing itself to the extent required to reduce congestion. Even if there
were enough public transit to move everyone where they need to be as quickly
as a car, would it really be as convenient? Not having a trunk or personal
traveling locker to put groceries and other valuables would be a sacrifice
for many.

Narrow vehicles under 42" wide, allowing the same clearance in a 6'
half-lane than trucks have in a 12' full lane, may well provide the greatest
value per dollar in reducing congestion.

The Tango solution: There are 3 major factors that should make it work.
Commuters are 90% of the time by themselves. The average commute according
to the DOT is only 22 miles, round trip. Needed storage is far less on the
average than the carrying capacity of the Tango. In a city like Seattle it
appears at first glance that 150,000 to 200,000 Tangos would virtually solve
the traffic congestion problem. This is based on the Texas Transportation
Institute study. This many Tangos could be purchased for about $2 billion.
They could be leased out for $100 per month with almost no subsidy. Compare
with the approximately $90 per month subsidy that California gives electric
cars just for the environmental benefit without doing anything for
congestion. Would 150,000 Tangos justify striping the commuter lane so that
they could travel in 1/2-lanes? If so, busses and carpools could just
straddle the narrow vehicle stripe. If that lane fills up it might justify
striping the next lane to the right, possibly a different color, for narrow
vehicles  that would only have to be obeyed during commuter hours. Note that
a Tango has more clearance in a 6' lane than a truck has in a 12' lane.
Trucks are often side by side where the Tango would rarely be due to it's
short length. This is because the space between cars traveling at 60 mph is
approximately 168' if they use the 2 second rule. Even at half of that,
there would be 10 car lengths of space between each Tango. There is a
tendency for drivers to avoid side-by-side driving on the highway, and no
need for it. Even if they do, it would be better than the millions of trucks
that do it all the time. This solution could be 1/3 the cost of a rail
project and potentially many times the benefit. If this strategy succeeds,
it should spread throughout the world greatly reducing or eliminating
congestion while reducing the need for oil and greatly improving our air

We are working on compiling the data to prove this case. We will then let
the transportation experts verify or add to the report. If there were an
initiative for a city government to purchase and lease Tangos as a traffic
solution, would the voters pass it? It would also benefit the average SUV
commuter, even if they'd have no intention of ever driving a Tango, because
nobody likes heavy traffic, yet 100's of millions suffer from it.

Rick Woodbury                                     Phone: (509) 624-0762
President, Commuter Cars Corporation          Toll-free: (800) 468-0944
Doubling the capacity of freeways                   Fax: (509) 624-1466
Quadrupling the capacity of parking            Cellular: (509) 979-1815
Zero to 60 in under 4 seconds
715 E. Sprague Ave., Suite 114             Email: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Spokane, WA 99202                      Web: http://www.commutercars.com
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