Friday, April 25, 2014

Walter Mitty-ism, the Electric Mazda, and the TZero (Part 2)

In case you missed our last action-packed episode...

I was talking about all my (strictly) hypothetical plans for finishing the electric Mazda project and having the ability to use it as my one and only daily driver.

My quest for knowledge led me to this trailer: The Long Ranger.

The Long Ranger - HiHo Silver RAV4 EV!

The Long Ranger is a range-extending generator trailer. What's that? In very simple terms, it is an add-on accessory that could turn your Leaf into a Volt when you want to take a road trip - your battery electric vehicle could have a significantly increased range on those occasions where you need to travel farther than just your batteries could take you. For my little Mazda, it could give the around-town vehicle the capability to take a weekend trip to Dallas or Albuquerque. It would still burn gasoline (Snagit!) but would still get better mileage than most vehicles on the road today.

The TZero combined with the Long Ranger - better than peanut butter and jelly!

So, finally I get around to the TZero. Every time I research the Long Ranger, I see photos of it being pulled behind the TZero. When I first started learning about electric cars, the TZero was a mythical beast right on up there with the Tesla Roadster. Like Tesla, AC propulsion based their car on an existing platform - in this case the Piontek Sportech kit car, a very impressive little roadster that was designed to have extremely impressive performance utilizing a Japanese motorcycle engines. The TZero was all electric, was fast, and had a 300 mile range. I remember watching videos of the little electric drag racing with Porsches and Ferraris - and it blew their doors off!

Video of it blowing their doors off. (Skip to 1:05)

The TZero did get a lot of media exposure, but it never really made it past the prototype stage. And that saddens me, but the car still inspires me. Every time I see a sleek-bodied kit car for sale fairly cheap, I think of the TZero and the potential that AC Propulsion demonstrated with their impressive car. (Sigh)

Yesterday I pushed the Mazda out of the way so I could work on a small de-cluttering project. Does anyone know where I can apply for a grant to finish an unfinished ev project? (Sigh)

May your projects see progress, and may the world be better for their existence.