• Oct 23, 2005

OK, for as often as I post about motorcycles, I have to admit something — I'm terrified of them. All that power with next to NOTHING in the way of safety features scares me a little bit. Heck, even without the airbag, I'd rather have the few thousand pounds of steel surrounding me or even my windshield slow down my launch in the event of an accident than the asphalt around my bike.

That's why this little car appeals to me — it has some of the same allure as a motorcycle, with a windshield, surrounding structure (well, I can't see one of those big burly guys from American Chopper jumping into one of these, but still) and some of those aforementioned safety precautions. Dubbed by Commuter Cars Corporation as the "Tango," George Clooney even picked one of these up and is "excitedly" driving it every chance he gets. The emissions-free electric car goes 0-60 in under 4 seconds and has a top speed of 150 — at least in the case of the T600 flagship model, which is a cool $85K. More affordable models exist, which include the T100 at a price of $18,700 and the T200 at $39,900. Dimensional specs are 39" wide (5" narrower than a Honda Gold Wing, says the web site), 8' 5" long, and 60" high.

Thanks to Steve for the tip.





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  • 13 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      "More affordable models exist, which include the T100 at a price of $18,700 and the T200 at $39,900." I'm pretty sure they aren't making the lower-end ones yet. "which goes to the coal power plant, which might make this car dirtier than a gasoline equivalent (as coal is dirtier than gasoline)." It really depends on the pollutant and the mix of the grid power someone's pulling from, as well as the efficiency of the vehicle in question. You can't make the kind of generalization you're making.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'd rather take my chances on a motorcycle!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Corbin's Sparrow and Merlin micros were more reasonable and didn't succeed, why should this? The Sparrow was even featured in an Austin Powers movie, why should Clooney make a difference? Bring on the multi-passenger micros and Americans might bite, but if I am going to ride solo I'd rather be on two wheels every time (with rear wheel drive, of course).
      • 9 Years Ago
      "1 - Watt per watt, electric cars will go about 4 miles on the same amount of "energy" a gasoline car would go 1 mile on." I don't know where you got those numbers from, but I'm pretty sure that they're impossible. A typical car can turn about 30% of the potential energy of gasoline into motive power. I know that electrical motors are more efficient, but are they more than 90% efficient? That would make it 3 to 1. Coal is about 50% dirtier to burn compared to gasoline by energy. You also lose a lot of energy in its transmission over the power lines. "The picture gets even less rosy when you realize how much electricity, much of it also from coal, it takes to pump, refine, and get that gallon of gasoline into the tanks of your local Chevron -- but oh! There's money to be had..." good point "It really depends on the pollutant and the mix of the grid power someone's pulling from, as well as the efficiency of the vehicle in question. You can't make the kind of generalization you're making." I'm definately not far off, but numbers aside, I was just pointing out that to call this car "zero-emissions" probably isnt very accurate. Yeah, if the person is using solar energy sure, wind energy too (although he might be chopping up some birds at the same time). But if he's just using energy off the grid, itsnot like he's "saving the environment". ... but then again I was just playing devils advocate, I dont really buy peak oil or global warming anyway.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The center of gravity is probably very low to the ground. And the handling tuned to understeer. And certainly very light. It's probably easier to roll an SUV than this. Never mind. The weight past 3000 lbs. Which seems heavy for a two seater (my car seats five and is 3200 lbs.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "which goes to the coal power plant, which might make this car dirtier than a gasoline equivalent (as coal is dirtier than gasoline)." WRONG! Even if you charge from coal: 1 - Watt per watt, electric cars will go about 4 miles on the same amount of "energy" a gasoline car would go 1 mile on. 2 - Gasoline cars are very inefficient if you look at how much energy you put in at the pump vs. how far you actually go. The picture gets even less rosy when you realize how much electricity, much of it also from coal, it takes to pump, refine, and get that gallon of gasoline into the tanks of your local Chevron -- but oh! There's money to be had...
      • 9 Years Ago
      Look at the website; it's hard to roll because all the heavy batteries are along the bottom. It weighs 3,000 pounds and they claim it runs a 12 second quarter-mile. Costs as much as the cars it could compete against.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The makers of the Tango claim 200 Wh/mile (which is doubtful, since the rule of thumb for the Prius under full electric is 250 Wh/mile) and average energy loss from source to end-use of electricity via grid power is 69%. Gasoline is 125,000 BTU/gallon and end-use electricity is 3,412 BTU/kWh. Run the numbers (using the rather optimistic 200 Wh/mile assumption) and the MPG equivalent of the Tango then comes out to 57 MPG. A Corvette gives roughly equivalent acceleration times, and it averages 21 MPG. So, under those assumptions (which are generous towards the Tango), it's a little less than 3 times as efficient. My guess is that it's probably closer to 2 times if the assumptions are more accurate and one equalizes for the Corvette's slight performance advantage. As for the weight, they intentionally use lead acid batteries to both keep costs down on the initial vehicles and also to provide ballast for stability. It's in the patent, if you read it.
      • 9 Years Ago
      This cars can only be cool if your name is Roger Rabbit and you live in Toon Town. This "is" the ultimate message of how rich you are by blowing $85K on a hard top shopping cart.
      • 9 Years Ago
      In a word: Ugly! The Smart is prettier than this car, and serves about the same purpose. Doesn't matter, though, the government "safety" ninnies won't let it through anyway. Also, those tail lights look like the Isuzu Rodeo tail lights.
      • 9 Years Ago
      You also have to take into consideration the energy loss from transmission to the destination when you're talking about electricity. Plus, you'd have to look at the comparative manufacturing and disposal impacts. I don't know what the answer is, but it is certainly not a simple equation.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I don't understand the comparison to a bike... it has four wheels. No lean. What's the point? I understand its skinny... but it seemes the likeness to a motorcycle ends there.
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