Gizmo In The News

1 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Gizmo In The News отключены

Somewhere between a Bike and a continued

The Gizmo is a not a conversion an ICE automobile, but a ground-up design an award-winning body penned by Murphy of Electrathon racing (check out The Gizmo How about 40 mph for your local adventures? The diminutive vehicle to make friends easily by the many stoplight interviews had since taking delivery. The runs on proven components: DC motor and a 48 volt pack of T-105 batteries.

The pack about 2-4 hours to charge the vehicle’s Zivan on-board charger (a 20 ft. retractable power is tucked away in the nose of the (no Kleenex jokes please. ). Power fans with panels can easily charge the with a sunny day and about 600 worth of panels. A complete for folks on the grid costs 40¢ based on national utility rates. This out to a nifty penny a mile cost since the 900 lb.

Gizmo about 40 miles per charge. is an honest 40 miles. The factory 50 miles per charge and I have achieved 42 miles with to spare, but let’s keep it Compared to a standard automobile’s per mile fuel costs, the is a runaway bargain. But, getting ahead of the story.

How it all

Drive different. That’s my motto for most of my driving Off-beat transportation has always to me. A Checker Marathon station 3 diesel Rabbits, a Fiat 850 a Mini, a Fiesta, a Festiva, a Elan and my current daily a CNG powered Dodge van.

along the way Drive Different into Drive Efficient have been the diesel ) and in recent years I found lusting after the likes of and techno-marvels of similar persuasion of cruising long distances on BTU’s.

As luck would it, I found a kindred spirit in my partner, Michael Beebe. is an old kit car builder and drag racer a Master’s degree in mechanical and another graduate degree in, of all electric vehicle engineering (no there really was a grad for this at one point in time). He has a City-EL, a Commutacar, plus an EV kit car on a Honda Civic chassis.

He to be a partner in an EV dealership back in the 80’s. Mike is not your Joe.

We decided to form a to develop and manufacture a small, alternative fuel vehicle for transportation. Yeah, I know: rush in where angels to tread. Our idea was a Model T for the new After a couple of years of of a pedal-assisted, electric 3 wheeled we called the Bandit, we found our price would have put us in Civic territory.

It being always darkest the dawn, in the midst of our funk we that, much to our relief (or — I’m not sure a company called NEVCO had us out of the gate with their design. Being the … we were, we pocketed our pride and up with NEVCO as their distributor and service center.

Our at NEVCO, Carl Watkins, has great. Carl is a plain-spoken, fellow with a can do attitude latter being a distinct in the topsy turvy world of EV Suffice it to say that NEVCO’s and ours meshed perfectly: transportation for a niche market easy on the environment and high on the fun and scale. Well, so much for the

Now we’re Midget Motors at and doing nicely thanks for But, back to the hero of the

First Impressions

Let’s get up and personal with the Gizmo. At glance, the Gizmo warps mind: it just doesn’t fit any established vehicle category. It a little like one of those boats they used to in central park. It could be a cousin of a meter maid from Cushman.

It’s to imagine a helicopter rotor on the and to see it rising up over the county People think golf from it’s small and the fact it is electric, but golf don’t go 40 mph (unless you seriously them). Gizmo is no golf

I’ve heard cool, adorable, wild to varying from a cross section of The Gizmo seems especially to (in varying numbers) the following kids, 20 somethings, women (of all bikers (seriously, guys full leathers and more than my lawn has weeds kept me going for hours they seem to get it), and men 60 (maybe you just get to the point in where you like what you and the heck with what else thinks?).

Now this is a motley crew. How to market to a diverse bunch as this? still working on it.

Many have remarked how small the looks when they see it. What happens when an SUV ya. har, har is a oft repeated jibe. The may be short by car standards, but it’s on safety.

The fiberglass roof is with a substantial roll bar and the tube chassis has triangulated There is a wrap-around steel embedded in the front of the fiberglass that protects the driver frontal impacts. The story is of one prospective Gizmo customer smack into a dumpster at 20 mph on a demo drive.

The result? No to embarrassed driver and small cracks in the Gizmo’s nose but no deforming of the structure. Too bad there’s no of this!

An often overlooked aspect of is visibility. The standard white light reflective tape dual-level lighting in the rear and unusual shape really the Gizmo stand out in a crowd. for the driver is excellent through the windshield and the dual side leave no blind spots to the

There are many active features. The battery tray and DC are positioned low in the vehicle and midway the two axles. This affords the responsive handling and a high to roll-over. You probably won’t get an to test that rollbar earlier.

The disc brakes are Emergency stops are remarkably despite the skinny 135 width The responsive steering and eager should help you steer of trouble spots.

On the Road

So go for a test ride. One of the crowd-pleasing of the Gizmo is it’s hinged Remember the Issetta or the Messerschmit cars of the 50’s? Nothing new the sun.

I enjoy leaving the up when the vehicle is parked out in the It makes the Gizmo look a giant clam yawning. OK, got a vivid imagination. Regardless, it draws crowds of curious

Needless to say, with a like this, you don’t in the traditional automotive manner open door, step up and in, around). You simply pull the handle in the nose of the Gizmo, the canopy and sit down. It is counterbalanced on struts (just like a van so it only takes a minimum to swing it up and out of the way.

Once the is raised, there’s nothing you and the seat because there is no wheel and the dashboard is part of the assembly itself. Strange, but Plunk yourself down and over your head to the grab handle on the inside of the assembly and pull the whole down to lock it into Once inside, you have the of a jet fighter cockpit (minus the missiles). Though small, the doesn’t seem cramped.

The lexan windshield and vinyl curtains lend the Gizmo a feeling of spaciousness. The side and curtains can be rolled down for a effect or they can be easily altogether. The cargo area is the driver’s seat. I’ve fit 6 of groceries there.

It works for the urban errand runner.

the forward/reverse switch on the right of the cockpit and adjust the left and sideview mirrors. Time to your lap and shoulder belt and get the key in the The key receptacle is mounted on the floor to the of the driver seat, a nod to the Saab tradition.

Turn the key and indicator lights to life on the dashboard. Rear lights in amber and red are illuminated day and increasing your Gizmo’s in traffic. The dashboard houses a and state of charge meter switches for turn signals, warning flashers, headlights, wiper and defogger.

Steering is by control levers that from the floor on the left and side of the driver’s seat. of motorcycle handle bars they’re not turning around a axis. The left stalk has the brake and release.

The right has the in the form of a trigger and a motorcycle brake lever. Since the directly drives the single wheel via a standard motorcycle there’s no shifting to be done. squeeze the trigger/accelerator and off you go. Most find steering with instead of a steering wheel some getting used to, when steering in reverse.

A few around a deserted parking lot are all that is required to gain confidence before venturing out traffic.

The motor has plenty of off the line so squeeze gently or be leaving a lot of rubber on the road. test drivers have surprised by the acceleration from a start. Up to about 20-25 the Gizmo accelerates smartly, more gently up to its 40 mph top speed DC motors have maximum at 0 rpms). Faster speeds are especially going downhill, but 50 mph is not recommended as the motor might be by overreving.

I have found 32 mph is a comfortable cruising speed on the Comfortable is, of course, a subjective The Gizmo will actually do 42 mph out and a bit more with a tailwind. I feel right running it at the max all Others might feel

To each his own.

You will that a gentle hill drop you to about 25 mph unless you peg the amps. Serious hills can be but I have found that 20 mph is a speed on the steeper grades the slower you go, the more torque is fromt the electric motor).

On the the Gizmo feels more a go-kart than a car. The placement of the motor and batteries wonders for the handling, even on the 135/12 bias ply tires. changes can be accomplished in the blink of an

You will experience that car glued to the road feeling. On the the Gizmo tracks straight and without the little course that are the norm for an ICE automobile. The brakes are solid and confidence-inspiring, the 900 lb. vehicle down from without drama.

The flat cargo area the driver’s seat will 6 grocery bags, but not a 4X8 sheet of — you’ll still your EV truck or van for loads that!

The turning radius is small which makes for parking in combination with the short length. Maneuvering in using control levers to is unfamiliar at first, but after a bit of things fall into nicely.

Adjust Your

Suddenly, you will find grinning uncontrollably. Waving gawk at you from the rear of minivans. This little car a big smile on your face.

It me of the first day with a new bike. of the world.

On the other hand, are those other cars to with; those other that look so BIG from the vantage point. I have myself more than deliberately expanding my energy stretching my aura as it were, or plain putting out the I may looks but don’t mess with me Driving a Gizmo in traffic staking your claim to lane and sticking to it.

I don’t ask for by hogging the passing lane, but I make any apologies if I have to down to 20 mph to crest a serious either. Hey buddy, if you’re in a you’re welcome to pass me you have a chance. Being and cleaner than the next guy one’s sense of righteous Nothing like a little holier-than-thou chip on the shoulder, eh?

But to mundane matters.

As mentioned there is a learning curve. used to the Gizmo controls a few minutes. After all, thing is sans steering No brake pedal. No accelerator either.

Hero Honda Gizmo

In short, a unique experience. Going from typical automobile to the Gizmo is a bit dropping about 10 inches off belt size overnight. The is about one third the width of a American automobile.

Suddenly, one on the road seems like 3 Parking spots? If you can see any daylight at the Gizmo will scoot in. Driving the Gizmo is persuasive.

It you to make certain adjustments. seem to love the unusual but the natural impatience and energy of age group makes strange with the less-than-a-Camaro-Z28 performance of the I have had several diesel VW over the years.

Driving any of forces one to accept one’s Maybe this was good for Gizmo ownership. I really mind people passing me up on the The Gizmo has helped me rediscover the of racing from stoplight to in city traffic.

Many’s the I’ve had impatient drivers by me at the first opportunity only to me pull up next to them at the stoplight.

Some skeptics have about not being able to the Gizmo on the freeway. Statements how do you get anywhere without taking the have made me realize how we are by our interstate-highway lifestyle. Yes, you can alternate routes to city that do not require driving on roads. Happily, I’ve put in much closer contact city neighborhoods driving the This has been a surprising and benefit of Gizmo ownership.

closer to the ground than in my CNG van and exposed on both sides the Gizmo is a single seater), pop up often at stoplights. I can practically out and shake hands with my motorists on the left and the right due to the of a passenger seat. I’m out

Suspended in a public space and not half bad.

How Does it Up Against the Competition?

The Gizmo a special position on the EV continuum: more than an electric and something short of what enthusiasts think of as an electric Its combination of performance, carrying ease of ownership and affordability is Here are a few specific comparisons.

prospective customers tend to the Gizmo to one the GEM EV models, now under the wing. Certain GEM models are squarely in the Gizmo’s neighborhood and two or four person transportation. the GEM models, the Gizmo is not limited to a top of 25 mph (it does 40 mph) and it exceeds the of the GEM by a healthy margin (40 miles vs. 25

On a more subjective level, the GEM while finished nicely, like golf carts. The looks like. something Advantage: Gizmo.

Another competitor is the Sparrow from Motors. I like the Sparrow. It is a package. It beats out the Gizmo on and speed (the Sparrow do 60 mph+).

You can take it on a freeway and your own. On the other it’s about $6000 than a Gizmo and has a little cargo room plus the (in my mind) of sealed vs. flooded Word on the street has it that the units have proven to be than a little finicky charging whereas the old tried and Trojans in the Gizmo let average take some liberties in department and live to fight another day.

One might the Lectra or Escarati electric to be an alternative to the Gizmo. They enjoy a price advantage the Gizmo (about $5,000 vs. but suffer from shorter less carrying capacity, and of all-weather capability (i.e. got a roof and enclosed cockpit).

On the upper end, there are the from our two Canadian neighbors: Motors and Feel Good The IT from Dynasty Motors is a clean-paper design for a low-speed, 4 EV to be available in different configurations small pickup). Feel Cars offers a restored Dauphine sedan capable of speeds. Again, the prices are higher than a Gizmo or more over the Gizmo but that buys you some carrying capacity and cachet.

The IT is to 25 mph, but the Feel Good EV is for highway speeds. You do get what you pay either of those vehicles a very liveable EV.

In the Final

Gizmo gives you great of gratification. It delivers on the EV promise of quiet, transportation that’s on the environment and on the wallet.

It seems like an appliance than a device. The inherent simplicity of the is strikingly different from modern gadgets. Get in, turn the key and the accelerator trigger. Steer and when needed.

It doesn’t get simpler than this. Add distilled water to the batteries a month. Repairs? Every is easily accessible and simple to if need be.

Our Gizmo had a fender during the long truck from Oregon to Ohio. torx fasteners were The fender was lifted off the vehicle, on a body shop workbench, and popped back on as easy as you

Nothing to it. That’s a design for the world, not just the showroom

Do I still have my Gizmo after 600 miles on the road? You This is the second car the American needs. The beauty is, the average family can afford it and maintain it. Not commercial EV offerings can make claim.

The Gizmo nails it. what the best part is? no prototype-soon-to-be-available-maybe. It’s on the street and for now. Ah, it’s a good to be alive.

What are You Waiting

Midget Motors is the Midwest of the Gizmo. We are based in Norwalk, Refer questions to us at: or to the Gizmo’s manufacturer, NEVCO at

Hero Honda Gizmo
Hero Honda Gizmo
Hero Honda Gizmo
Hero Honda Gizmo

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