Alan Arrison via EV wrote:
I'll tell you, like many others have, again... it can't be done.

Lawrence (and fellow EVers),

It's not that it can't be done. It just can't be done with the same old thinking that led to our present way of building cars.

Modern cars are massively heavy and inefficient. Their "aerodynamics" are designed by stylists for looks; not engineers for performance. They are built like ironclad battleships; not airplanes. Their heating and cooling systems are big enough to heat or cool a small apartment. This means they need a huge amount of power to do the job. With gasoline or diesel; no problem. We've got "plenty" -- just burn all you need.

The EVs produced by the big auto companies are still taking this "massive overkill" approach. Their cars are all steel, ridiculously heavy, and have pitiful aerodynamics. There's no insulation to help their heating and cooling sytems. So they need expensive, heavy battery packs, and their KWH/mile is poor.

Electric cars require an entirely different approach. You can't make a pig fly; but you *can* make a bird fly.

There have been hundreds of solar-powered cars that *do* run on sunlight alone. They have travelled at freeway speeds, and covered hundreds of miles a day. But they are built more like airplanes than cars. Light weight and efficiency are designed in right from the start. Styling and comfort take a back seat to light weight and efficiency.

For decades, Amory Lovins has championed his "hypercar" concept. Make the car half the weight, and you double its efficiency. Improve its aerodynamics, and you double it again. With modern high-strength materials and manufacturing techniques, it can still be just as strong and safe. With high-tech electronics, you can drastically reduce the power needed for creature comforts.

James Worden built the Solectria Sunrise EV using these techniques. Over 20 years ago, he had a 4-passenger car with all the usual amenities that could go over 300 miles on a charge, weighed only 1600 lbs and still passed crash standards. And that was without lithium batteries; with today's batteries, it would have twice the range.

I've been struggling for years to produce a new version of the Sunrise. Sadly, I haven't been able to do it. I don't have the resources by myself, and the market simply does not want it.

"Verschlimmbessern" (German, verb) - To make something worse by
trying to improve it. (English translation: "Microsoft"?)
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377,

Please discuss EV drag racing at NEDRA (

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