Friday, May 7, 2010

A Honolulu-built electric car by 2012, the e-Zone

The Korean company CT&T plans to invigorate Hawai'i's manufacturing base by building its lines of electric urban cars in Honolulu.

You haven't heard of this firm, but it's been a player in the electric car business for some time. It finished its first electric concept car in 2003. If you're Googling or Binging, another term for this class of vehicle is is neighborhood electric car, or LSV, for low-speed vehicle.

(Image: The CT&T e-Zone. Credit: CT&T.)

We'll talk a little about the car shortly, but as to the Honolulu announcement, the company said it plans to build the cars at several U.S. locations. In Honolulu it's looking at a 100,000 square-foot plant on three acres at a thus-far undisclosed location. CT&T hopes to be open and pushing out cars in just two years.

It figures it could create employment for as many as 1,000 people, 400 of them in the main manufacturing plant and 600 more in the shops of local companies that will provide parts for the car. The state government has promised incentives for buyers.

Honolulu Advertiser writer Greg Wiles has a comprehensive report here. HawaiiNewsNow report here.

CT&T makes several vehicles, and while some look like golf cars (some indeed ARE golf carts), its urban vehicles are independently designed street cars, the company says. Not just golf carts with turn signals, although you could be forgiven for making the comparison.

The company vehicles come in various iterations, including a distinctly golfcarty c-Zone, selling in the $10,000 range. Top speed 25. Marketed as a multi-purpose vehicle.

The one you're most likely to consider for trips to the store, or to the soccer field, or to work—presuming you live near where you work—is the e-Zone. It's a two-seater. YouTube here. Some more details here.

Be warned that the CT&T English language website isn't quite ready for prime time—some links don't work, there are spelling errors and you'll find some endearing if quirky phrasing. Like this about headlights: “Safety improves because these cute little headlamps reinforce the excellent outlook in the night.”

This little car has a 35-mile range with flooded lead-acid batteries and twice that with lithium-polymer batteries. (You'll hear about a 100-mile battery range, but that would be a mistake. It's 100 kilometers—more like 60 miles. Still, that's a week of 10-mile round trips between recharges.) It'll go 25 miles an hour, (or maybe 40, depending on the source, but that's likely another miles-kilometers error.)

It keeps you dry in the rain, has sporty styling for a mini-car, has good storage space in the back, can be ordered with a skylight and is pretty darn cute. Hydraulic disc brakes, a rigid aluminum frame, and this electricar will save you a significant pile of cash in fuel bills, even at Hawai'i's high electric rates.

It will cost you in the neighborhood of $16,000, give or take $4,000 depending on features. A little more detail here.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2010


Net said...

One option is to buy a used vehicle that somebody else has converted to an electric vehicle.

Build electric car

Custom Golf Cart Parts said...

Don't expect speed on electric operated vehicle, but it's a good one because it's an eco friendly vehicle.