Tango EV Electric Sports Car
Here is a video of the Tango with a presentation on the attributes.
Aside from the low quality video they shot, this is very cool.
It could ultimately be a great solution for people who live in urban/suburban areas and commute the “average of 20 miles” to work each day. It would sure beat what we have now, which is ridiculous. I don’t commute, and live in a rural area so it wouldn’t work well for me except for local driving, but as the battery technology improves that could well change. The present pricing is pretty much irrelevant, since it looks like a regular production model would cost around $25K. Assuming that…
A few thoughts…
Plug-in electrics require a shift in infrastructure; specifically plug in spots at big stores, malls, etc., as well as office parks and parking garages. It’s easy to say “just charge your car before you leave your house,” but how many people are out driving around, have to make extra trips to find something they need, and wind up running on fumes and having to get gas? The infrastructure has to accommodate that, and a way for people to pay for the added juice they need. Still, I can easily imagine big chains like WalMart or Simon shopping malls cutting deals with electric companies to resell the needed electricity to shoppers (i.e., debit/credit card activated meters at parking spaces). That added infrastructure has costs of construction as well as generating the extra electricity, but if there is money to be made or government dollars to be had, companies and municipalities will jump on this.
The size aspect is probably the biggest challenge, at least in the US. The average American likes a big car, and equates safety with size. That’s a big hurdle to leap, but can be done incrementally. I suspect there are a lot of people who would get a Tango if it made commuting less painful. And with so many people commuting to suburban locations this has a lot of appeal.
In a way, the Tango actually addresses the public transportation issue for the United States. In some cities we have decent public transport. It’s not really good like it is in Europe, but it’s OK. But in the US we have sprawl, which Europe lacks. Go 20 miles outside a city like Munich, for example, and you are in rural farm land. Go the same distance outside a similar sized US city and you are neck deep in suburbia (or Disturbia, as a recent movie calls it). But it is in suburbia where we don’t have much (or any) public transportation. People go to malls, grocery stores and work in cars. And THAT is where a Tango would work great.
The downside is that it lacks versatility and range. It is truly a local-use car, but there is certainly a market for it. I don’t think it is anywhere near as large as the guy in the video states, but I think there’d be a market of 25,000 to 100,000 per year, at that would bring costs down to regular car levels. Long term the market would be larger, especially if other models were developed using the same technology. Tango would not survive as a one size fits all model.
Another weakness is battery life, but this will probably be improved. Having to spend $2500 every 5-8 years for batteries could be a deal killer. There’s probably a way to do this so that some of it is built into the cost of the car, or made to be less of a hit for the owner, who will be financing the car anyway.
Sorry to run on. This is very interesting. Especially since it also accelerates hard and handles. Would love to try one out.
Yes, the performance really makes it attractive to me, too.
The $2500 is not that bad if you factor in the maintenance that won’t have to be performed because there is no internal combustion engine. Oil changes, air filters, spark plugs, etc. are cost factors with the ICE (internal combustion engine).
Now I would want better battery technology, since I think range is a factor. I agree that there will need to be charging stations at convenient locations. It should be a lot easier to provide that additional infrastructure than say, hydrogen dispensing locations.
I was impressed by the roll cage approach to driver and passenger protection, but I am more than a little concerned as regards the lack of crumple zone. When a car collides with something actually two collisions takes place. The first is the vehicle itself and the other is all the soft tissue and organs in our body colliding with the body’s containment system. Things like the brain squishing against the inside of the skull. Crumple zones are there to dissipate energy in order to minimize the impact on everything else, including the person’s internals.
Yeah, the guy in the video kinda dismisses crumple zone, but there’s more to a safe structure than a roll (or safety) cage. I think he’s seriously wrong.
I’ve seen a video of a Smart ForTwo hitting a barrier at about 70 mph. and you could open the doors just fine. But the problem is that the deceleration would be so great that a person would still be killed because the sudden g-force would exceed what a human can stand. You die, just not by being crushed!
In a Tango, imagine getting rear ended by a full-size sedan (never mind an SUV) that’s doing 30-40. Or a head on with a full or mid-size car. Roll cage or not, you need some structure (or serious airbags) to protect the passengers in the Tango.
In some respects, the car would be better if it was less powerful. I see people who get used to one of these using the power and weaving dangerously through traffic. And as for lane splitting, I think it’s another problem. Most lane splitters on bikes are OK, but I’ve had guys come by at 50+ out in LA. Scares the hell out of you! And they get into accidents from that, too.
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