I haven't been watching HBO's new nerd comedy Silicon Valley, but I should have known that anything from the brain of Mike Judge (Beavis and Butt-head, Idiocracy) is likely to be pretty funny. People sure seem to like it, and if a sight gag from the pilot episode is any indication, the producers know how to find the humor in electric vehicles.
Tall and skinny, it can take a while to get used to the looks of the Tango electric car. It doesn't look like anything else on the road, but there are also very few of them to catch your eye. The residents of Auckland, New Zealand might soon get plenty of chances to recognize the tiny two-seater, though, since the group Project Microcar wants the city to buy 15,000 (!) of the little EVs from Commuter Cars and then lease them to commuters at $55 a week.
In Translogic 46, we take the Tango T600 out for a spin to see if it's a viable transportation alternative or just a really expensive toy. So let's take a deep dive into how it's built and how it could change the roads of the future.
All else being equal, Commuter Cars has about a 13 percent chance to win the $2.5 million tandem-seating Alternative Class portion of the Progressive Automotive X Prize with their Tango two-seat electric car. Why, because only seven vehicles are entered in that category and one of the winning considerations will be which vehicle is the fastest – and the Tango is fast. The other six tandems are EDISON2's entry, FVT Racing's eVaro, Spira's Spira4u, TTW Italia's TTW One, and X-Tracer Team Swi
Until the Tesla Roadster came along, most electric cars were odd looking, to say the least. Near the top of the list of peculiar EVs you'll find the Tango. This tandem two seater looks like a Japanese Kei car that got stuck in a bagel slicer. It's creator, Rick Woodbury, stopped building Tangos after 11 were completed. But, if you lust after one of these babies, fear not. He is apparently ready to restart production of the three-foot wide car that can slip down between the cars in adjacent lanes
Our favorite British electric-car vlogger, Danny Fleet, came to America recently whilst on holiday and had the opportunity to not only see the Tango from Commuter Cars up close but also go for a ride. As is his wont, he took his video camera along and now we can all have a small taste of how it feels to ride in the very narrow, very fast electric two seater. The star of this video was last seen by us parked outside of Buck's Restaurant with a Founders' Series Tesla Roadster and the Wrightspeed X
As the photo shows, Commuter Car's Tango is a tiny 2-passenger one-box vehicle sitting on four tiny tires. What is doesn't show is that is it only one meter wide (39 inches)! It is so narrow it can drive two abreast in a normal road lane. It is so short it can park four to a standard parking space. Being so narrow, how can it be stable? Well, if you put 460 kilograms (about 1,000 pounds) of lead acid batteries under the floor of it, you get a mighty low center of gravity.
Why would Google co-founder Sergey Brin order three electric Tango vehicles from a Spokane, Washington company? Because of star power. Actor George Clooney put the maker of the Tango, Commuter Cars Corp., on the map last year when he bought the first of the single-seat electric vehicles. Following Clooney's public lead, Brin and others have been heavy into electric cars recently. Brin is invested in Tesla as well as a lithium-ion battery pack being developed by Commuter Cars. Exactly how much mo
Sometimes it seems like we write about another EV startup company every day here on AutoblogGreen. And yet we apparently can't keep up with all of them. Just yesterday, the day we featured the Evette, AutoblogGreen reader Chris Nelson reminded us about Commuter Cars, the maker of the Tango. We've mentioned the Tango once here, noting that George Clooney owns one. But the tiny Tango deserves another look. In some aspects, it's got what the Tesla Roadster's got (zero tailpipe emissions, zero to 60