James Wang, director of the Intelligent Mobility Technology division of the Taiwan Automotive Research Consortium (TARC),
that Taiwan is the perfect testing ground for small, low-speed
. The fact that huge numbers of people live centered around large urban areas means that most people don't need to travel long distances to get what they need. Additionally, Taiwan's warm weather is favorable for
. So, TARC has created what it is referring to as a light-electric-vehicle (LEV). TARC envisions these two-seat vehicles, with their odd wheel arrangement of three in the rear and one in front, zipping around the urban Mecca's that make up emerging countries.
TARC's goal is to reach a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles) and a top speed of 40 miles per hour. Those targets shouldn't be too difficult to reach. The LEV is powered by four removable lithium ion batteries which can either be recharged in the vehicle or replaced when discharged. We think that the specifications are fine, but question why the design of their LEV is superior to a more conventional arrangement (Remember the
?). Regardless, the vehicle is currently being tested in in rural areas, and plans are in the works to bring it into urban settings shortly.