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Looks like America will have three more electric vehicle choices a whole lot sooner than expected. As soon as this June, Envision Motor Company (EMC) plans to start selling an all-electric seven-passenger wagon, a utility van and a small pickup truck at a number of dealerships across the country. What's more, all three vehicles will all be available for under $30,000 after the $7,500 tax credit. Based on the Dacia Logan, the EMC-branded trio will make their American debut on a test-drive tour that should begin in May.

While there are still some details we don't yet know about the drivetrain, we can tell you there is a 24 kWh sodium nickel chloride battery and AC motor installed in the Romanian-built gliders that the company says will take you up to 75+ miles per hour and give you up to (seemingly optimistic) 200 miles of range. They have on-board chargers and plug straight into a household 110V circuit and have a charge time between 6 and 8 hours. These bodies have already undergone (and passed!) FMVSS 305 standard (PDF) crash-testing and come equipped with most of the equipment you'd expect like power steering, ABS and power locks/windows. Distribution will be handled by EVCARCO and Gabus Automotive Distributors, with specific dealership locations to be announced soon.

While there isn't any footage of the EMC triplets doing their electric motoring thing yet, the Ames, IA company does have a couple videos featuring their president, Thomas Gleisner, which we have waiting for you after the break. For more information on the cars you can check out their website, follow their tweetings and even be their Facebook friend. Of course, we hope to give you our impressions of the triplets as soon as we arrange for a bit of wheel time so stay tuned.

[Source: Envision Motor Company]





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  • 18 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Um wow... these guys are fast movers. Never heard of them until now.
      How refreshing to not be barraged by hype and just see something hit the market.

      These vehicles don't look fantastic, but the price will sell 'em... especially since nobody else makes a good wagon/truck/van.

      It would be interesting to see what they could do with a sedan or coupe... maybe undercut the leaf? hm.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, I think it's just a shame that they didn't base it on the Dacia Sandero. James May would've bought one in an instant.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Im always worried by When someone will sell a green car for cash. I hope then it's them that come second after tesla next june but i guess they will like the other not show-up in june.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I want to see him drive his EMC up the Grapevine, North of Los Angeles, and
      see a simultaneous view of the charge gauge to see how fast it goes down.

      I also want to know how much it costs to replace the battery, parts + labor.

      I'm interested, though the demeanor of the CEO was not confidence inspiring. If
      you're an adept at reading faces, or a poker player, you know what I mean.

      I wonder how many dealerships are actually going to sign up to sell and service this thing. Will they fold before the 3 year warranty is up?

      I'm game for a test drive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How do you charge a 24kWh battery on a 110V house circuit in 6-8 hours?

      I got a kick out of watching that FAQ video. It sounds like his little daughter did the interview, then edited it herself. But hey, whatever it takes to bring your product to market at an affordable cost!
        • 5 Years Ago
        GM's beating Aptera to market. Tiniest hurdle ever... LOL
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, same here. It seems hinkey. But they're bringing a product to market instead of hyping it for 3 years so i think they already have more cred than the electric car companies we've been hearing about for a decade now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They could beat aptera to market.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The car you see in the video is a Dacia Logan MCV. They are build in Romania and owned by wait for it...Renault. The Renault name is also on every car they sell. And they are sold cheap. You can get the car in the video as a ICE version for €9000. All cars use older platforms, engines and parts from trusted Renault design. They are selling like crazy in the budget market for people who just want a roomy car but not looking for styling. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile_Dacia
      http://www.renault-dacia-logan.com/
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm not a fan of "hot" batteries like sodium nickel chloride (Zebra) Batteries.
      On the plus side they have a similar energy and power density to current lithium batteries used in proposed EVs (around 100Wh/Kg).

      The chemistry uses Nickel, Sodium, Aluminium and Chlorine, all very abundant making the battery relatively cheap.
      Unfortunately the disadvantages are manifold.

      They have to run hot (over 500F).

      They are not energy efficient - They must be kept plugged in as often as possible using mains electricity continuously, even if fully charged just to keep the molten salts/sodium metal from freezing (anything below 315F).

      If you leave your fully charged car unplugged, the battery actually discharges, just to keep itself hot.

      If your car is without mains power for three or four days, your fully charged battery will have used up all of its energy keeping itself hot and the battery will freeze - you would need a tow.

      If frozen it could take several days to fully recuperate after being plugged in again.

      Safety? This type of battery uses "sodium metal" in a molten state - I wouldn't like to see a perforated battery come in contact with a body of water - I imagine the result would be, umm, spectacular.

      Put LiFePO4 or similar lithium batteries in these and you might have viable vehicles, although they may be more costly to produce.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, strange choice of batteries, don't you think?

        They must be amazingly cheap..
        • 5 Years Ago
        The biggest problem with Zebra batteries is the fact that only
        one company on the planet makes them at the moment , and
        they seem to have been strangling the market by limiting production
        either to keep the price high ,or to keep the demand low for what
        up to only a few years ago was the only viable battery for use
        in an electric car !
        Of course it would not surprise anyone to know that this company
        has considerable interests within the mainstream european car
        manufacturing industry !
      • 5 Years Ago
      24kWh is the same battery size as the leaf which can only go 100 miles.

      Either they are wildly overestimating the range or they are flogging the battery which will cause it to wear out if driven to maximum range consistently.

      In any case it is good to have a few more options for EV buyers.

      The video sucks, if he says "electric motor car" one more time I think my head will explode.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And the 100 miles for the little Leaf is over stated . . . that is on a relatively slow-speed city-only mileage test.

        These guys are exaggerating the capabilities. You can't charge that fast and you can't get that range. They will be another upstart disappointment for the EV biz. They are ultimately destroying themselves with their exaggerated claims that they can never live up to.

        I don't know if they are intentionally running a scam but that is how it may ultimately appear in the end.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds interesting. Getting some cheap Eastern European crash tested gliders is a clever move.

      However, I believe this violates the laws of physics. "24 kWh sodium nickel chloride battery and AC motor installed in the Romanian-built gliders that the company says will take you up to 75+ miles per hour and give you up to (seemingly optimistic) 200 miles of range. They have on-board chargers and plug straight into a household 110V circuit and have a charge time between 6 and 8 hours."

      You can't charge a 24KWH battery in 6 to 8 hours with 110V.


      Overall, I think this will fail. But I admire their gumption. Bring it on guys! The more the merrier!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I test drove the EMC cargo van today in Des Moines, Iowa. It was interesting to read the blogs on this site. The car seemed to drive OK - but it is a prototype with no power steering, or other amenities such as air conditioning and a radio which will be included in production vehicles. In the short drive, maybe 6-10 miles, the battery charge went from 98% to 87%. I asked about this and was told that the test model had a small battery, maybe 36kwh and the production model will have a much larger battery, like 50-56kwh.

      I'm fairly new to this technology, but am very interested in a straight plug in electric vehicle. I looked around the web over the weekend, but found very little about the drive train. But this one is on the road and legal to drive, so I didn't hesitate to take a spin while I was in town.

      I own an electric bicycle, a Bionx, and have lots of fun with it while letting friends take it for a spin. It is very smooth, and accelerates quickly from a stop. But has problems not relevent to this blog. The EMC was rough accelerating from a stop. It smoothed out at 5-10kph. There was also a whine at high speeds - we were on the interstate for a bit and hit speeds over 100 kph (no mph on the speedo).

      Anyway, I'll stay tuned and follow the progress as this vehicle hits the market.
      • 5 Years Ago
      to add to a quote: "another one to go down in history as the next Yugo, DeLorean, Tucker or aptera.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I reckon these things have two battery packs, with only the larger getting 200 miles on perhaps a 50kwh pack.
      It's a messy and confusing site, with the battery specs hard to come by.
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