It's ironic that the NmG we got to take for a spin during the Business of Plugging In conference in Detroit last week might be the last one-seater that Myers Motors ever makes. The company is getting ready to focus on building the NMG2, a wider, more practical version of the easily-identifiable all-electric NmG. Since the lime-green NmG we got to cruise around the parking lot in was fresh off the assembly line, we figure it's helpful to use this vehicle to understand as much as we can about the company's next vehicle. Follow us past the jump to find out what scooting around in an NmG is like.
Despite its small size, the NmG – which stands for No More Gas – is not an NEV. This is a highway-speed vehicle we're talking about here, kind of like an enclosed motorcycle (in fact, in some states, a motorcycle license is required to drive the NmG). We didn't get to try out the 75-mph top speed on the parking lot course that was set up as a test course, but we did punch the go pedal as hard as we could on the short straightaways. Zip, is what this vehicle has, and in spades. The punchiness comes from the 140 ft. lbs of torque, which is more than enough for a little trike of this size. Everyone who took the car our for a test drive did pretty much what we did: get the NmG going as fast as possible on the limited course and step out with a smile.
Speaking of getting out of the trike, that's when we noticed that the cabin is small, perhaps a little too small. We managed to bang our head getting out of the NmG. During the drive, though, the cramped space wasn't much on our minds, as we were trying to keep our hands smoothly handling the bus-like wheel (it felt a lot more horizontal than it looks). The steering wheel is adjustable, though, so perhaps it'll feel more comfortable for others than it was for us. The dash is not easy or hard to see; it's just sort of there. This is a good thing.
While we didn't test out the NmG's charging set-up, it seems on par with other vehicles that use lithium-Ion batteries. The NmG's onboard battery charger can recharge the pack in about 8-10 hours from a 110V outlet or in 2-3 from a dedicated 220V plug. Myers is quick to point out other benefits of this small vehicle, like HOV lane access and the cheap operating costs.
Over three years ago, we paid a visit to the Myers Motors facility, and discovered then what we rediscovered now: this is a fun little car. It's not cheap, starting at $29,995, but it it bodes well for the upcoming two-seat version. For about the same price, the NmG2 (or whatever it's called when the naming contest picks a winner) will offer a 60-mile range (Myers says the NmG gets around 45) and twice the seats. This is what we call a huge improvement. Myers will also offer a 100-mile version of the two-seater. Production of the new vehicle should start about a year from now. Once available, it's possible that Myers will get the odd request for another single-seat model, but if they can deliver a much more user-friendly vehicle for the same price, why would anyone not opt for that model?
Overall, this is a fun little vehicle, and we're excited that the Corbin-Myers experience isn't going to end anytime soon. With lessons learned from making the NmG, we have to admit we have high hopes for the upgraded two-seater. We know the design isn't for everyone, but it's certainly worth looking into when it becomes available.