LIVING WITH AN ELECTRIC CAR

A test vehicle known as the Comuta-car is commercially available at a cost under $5000. The two-passenger vehicle carries 12 batteries in an aluminum floor pan wrapped in a Cycolac plastic body shell. To meet the government's crash test requirements, four batteries are placed in a tray in front of the car. In a head-on collision, the tray is designed to absorb most of the impact and prevent batteries from being pushed into the passenger compartment. A similar arrangement is at the car's rear. To provide even more occupant protection, a roll bar is installed over the seats and another crash bar runs beneath the dashboard. Still another bar runs down both sides of the windshield. The car's instrument package contains a voltmeter calibrated like a fuel gauge and a DC ammeter. The ampere gauge indicates when batteries are fully charged during plug-in periods. The rest of the dash contains conventional auto controls such as windshield wipers, a defroster, headlights and high beams, directional signals, a horn, and a heater. Despite the car's limited range of 40 miles and its top speed of 38 mph, driving is inexpensive; car operation costs about two cents a mile. It is felt that the Comuta-car, or any limited-range electric car, is ideal for urban driving. A separate note describes the Briggs and Stratton gasoline/electric hybrid car, which the company does not plan to manufacture.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Hearst Magazines

    224 West 57th Street
    New York, NY  United States  10019
  • Authors:
    • Assenza, T
  • Publication Date: 1980-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: 3 p.
  • Serial:
    • Popular Mechanics
    • Volume: 153
    • Issue Number: 6
    • Publisher: Hearst Magazines
    • ISSN: 0032-4558

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00385640
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-029 108
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 28 1984 12:00AM