GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
12/7/19 12:16 p.m.

Just so you know- this is gonna be a kind of stream-of-counciousness thread, mostly because I've been thinkin' about this a lot.

First, check out the Sondor Electric 3-wheeled car here.

I've known about Sondor for a little while- I was given one of their Ebikes for free, and it's fun to bash on and repair on the cheap with it's piddly little 350w hub motor. Gets me into eBikes. Searching up info on upgrades and parts I find out they're trying this out now- and within the last few months as they've passed what was their initial release date they quietly seem to be trying to release this again with limited samples in LA. Supposedly. I would think a 3-wheeled tadpole EV would generate SOME buzz, especially since 750 are supposedly on the streets but I haven't found too much outside of their website and old videos.

It's a wild idea, and from Elio (God, remember them?) I know it's got a lot of merit. Yeah, it's hard as heck to NOT hit potholes in a 3-wheeler and all you're tires will likely be different sizes- but you're considered a motorcycle to the DMV, you're shape naturally lends itself to great aero and a low Cd, you're safer than any bike but use similar insurance rates, and because you suddenly don't have to meet so many crash protections, can warp the body into wild styles. It's a neat way to curve the DOT for a cheap EV, and i'd like to think the lack of tightening standards could make these cheap enough to offset people's natural "what the hell" reactions.

I dunno tho. I kinda want one- for the spectacle, for the potential, to support something I like and because Luke Workman of Deathbike fame is building the battery- but I'm also not in Cali, my state has no charging infrastructure aside from Tesla, my daily is perfectly fine, their website lists no specs, and I've heard nothing though EV enthusiast sites like elektrek or Endless-Sphere. I guess on one side i'm trying to justify even attempting to buy one- but i'm also trying to justify the 3-wheeler tadpole layout also, cause I think it's a neat method of getting around restrictions but likely won't take off outside of odd passion projects. What do ya'll think? 

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
12/11/19 5:35 a.m.

for whatever reason, I find tadpole three-wheelers very funny looking when they've got a top on them.

personally, I've been pondering around how feasible a SUB three-wheeler EV would be... especially with Virginia's autocycle rules in the vehicle code

although, VA's code actually makes it easier to own/daily an EV conversion than a "from scratch" build.  Still though, this calls to me, especially if I can figure out how to park it vertically against the garage wall.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Reader
12/11/19 6:19 a.m.

I think that Sondor looks great and the price is right.  If the range is reasonable, I'd love to have one.  I don't think I'd trust people enough to rent it out, although that's a neat proposal, especially for people that live in a city.  Great way to make some side cash.  But at $16,500, if the range was long enough and if the safety tests are good enough I'd just buy it for myself.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Reader
12/11/19 7:04 a.m.

So I found this website which gives a bit more specs and details of the company.  I really like it, so far.  Looks like they'll offer ranges of 75, 150, and 200 miles so that's adequate, and it's designed to be affordable and you get tools so you can work on it yourself.  So far I'm sold.  Cheap daily driver EV with a solid range, DIY maintenance, good looks, and starting at that low of a price?  I'm definitely interested.

 

https://www.startengine.com/sondors-electric-car

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Dork
12/11/19 11:00 a.m.

Sondors hasn't updated the website in 2 years. Is it dead?

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
12/11/19 11:43 a.m.

Y'all have never even heard of my IndyOne 3-wheel EV,  when I announced it, the press yawned, yet they are all over the others.

It will be coming back, so stay tuned.

Sondors built a rear-wheel drive model that was shown, but said the production was fwd. 

Totally lying about a $10k price,  they figure if thousands of suckers believed Elio Motors $7k price, they will find plenty more suckers.

Aptera has tried to come back after the chinese bought the design.  $32k ?

   https://cleantechnica.com/2019/08/29/aptera-is-back-baby-new-improved-electric-car-will-have-1000-mile-range/

And the Arcmotor was actually going into production, think there car is $16k, which shows how Sondors is lying to you.

https://www.arcimoto.com/vehicle/

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
12/11/19 1:23 p.m.

hmm, Aptera... maybe that's why I don't dig roofed 3-wheelers anymore

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
12/11/19 2:19 p.m.

It's interesting. The price is certainly right.  Not really the type of EV I want, but I could see it working as a primary commuter for a lot of people. 

The "network" thing? NFW. I don't care how much income it might generate.  And I wonder how insurance would work for a car-share system like that.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
12/12/19 11:54 a.m.

One realization I had after making this thread- how do you ship these cars? With 3 wheels, you can't ship them on standard semi car transports, but they're so long they can't all be flat bedded and be cost-effective.

sleepyhead the buffalo said:

personally, I've been pondering around how feasible a SUB three-wheeler EV would be... especially with Virginia's autocycle rules in the vehicle code

Funny enough, that's probably going to be the legacy of Elio Motors- they were a big reason that so many states (44 total) have "Autocycle" codes for "Its car enough I guess" things like this even though they're on the crypto-wagon of vaporware currency to try and make a buck. I think the real question for 3-wheelers like the Sondors and Vanderhall Laguna is the same with Tesla 10 years ago- how "wierd" can you afford to make it, especially when having only 3 tires is wierd enough to more than 80% of the public.

infinitenexus said:

I think that Sondor looks great and the price is right.  If the range is reasonable, I'd love to have one.  I don't think I'd trust people enough to rent it out, although that's a neat proposal, especially for people that live in a city.  Great way to make some side cash.  But at $16,500, if the range was long enough and if the safety tests are good enough I'd just buy it for myself.

Yeah, I really don't know why Sondor and Tesla both think they'll have a huge market for "loaning" their car out to others. Tesla tried that with their full battery tray swap idea in California years ago- they stopped because people were concerned about how *others* were treating their batteries and worried that they'd get a bad one. I think Sondor's idea is to get as many people into this car as possible for more attention and the kickback is to try and get people to give it a shot.

The Startengine site is old, and I think it's been replaced by the sondors.network site instead.

nimblemotorsports said:

Totally lying about a $10k price,  they figure if thousands of suckers believed Elio Motors $7k price, they will find plenty more suckers.

Aptera has tried to come back after the chinese bought the design.  $32k ?

And the Arcmotor was actually going into production, think there car is $16k, which shows how Sondors is lying to you.

I'm not sure on the price. Tesla showed us with the Model 3 that buyers either want all or nothing when it comes to EVs- either a great, safe commuter OR an AWD slayer, they don't want a great commuter with more range. We also don't know where they got the $10K price new or why they stopped- could be that it was doable but wouldn't sell due to the way humans are with cheap items (Expensive! Gotta be good! ect), could be manufacturing problems.

The Arcimoto is very interesting, especially the EMS version. Would be a heck of a lot nicer than some of the bicycles I've been given for standbys, and could carry far more too. I wonder how well they could make a variant for the handicapped?

Not surprised the Chinese have bought the Apterra name- it's the car and idea that refuses to die, even though it exists for efficiency and math nerds.

Got anything else on your IndyOne? I couldn't find it through google.

 

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
12/17/19 11:56 a.m.

The IndyOne was kept a secret until it was announced, and then it was kept a secret by the press.  :)

I am thinking of making them into racecars now, a single-make ev race series.

They are under 1000 lbs, and use a recycled Prius drivetrain, and batteries from crushed Tesla Model S.

 

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 Dork
12/17/19 4:09 p.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

I presume one could make a cheap reusable dolly/wheel cradle for shipping that would carry the rear wheel up a little and have a track that matched the front.

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