TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

E-SUV?

Discussion in 'Model X' started by o37484744, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. o37484744

    o37484744 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    How about a Tesla SUV?!?!

    I would love to hear some feedback on the design tractablility of an Electric SUV, how long we may have to wait, and if anyone has heard rumors about Tesla plans to produce one.

    SUV drivers make up a considerable percentage of the population (approx 12 percent I think). I would love to drive an electric car, but my dailly driving requires the extra cargo space for carrying equipment, business, etc.

    From a green point of view it seems like that would be a great market to capture.....my suburban gets about 10.5mpg => more than $100.00 a week in gas. It is quite embarressing really....

    Sincerely,
    Guilt-stricken gas guzzler
     
  2. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,072
    Location:
    New York
    Erock, check out ZAP-X. It is a CUV that will get 350 m/c (miles to charge).

    Many of the posters on this site have indicated the likelihood of ZAP-X actually being produced is a long shot.
     
  3. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,078
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    Phoenix Motorcars have an electric SUV, which is a sibling of their SUT (sport utility truck).

    It's much smaller than a Suburban. (But what isn't?) It looks pretty good, though. They are going into limited production this year, with fleet sales in California. Some time later they will be available to the general public. Unfortunately, Phoenix's business plan and price structure depends a lot on California's ZEV credits, so they may not be sold in other states for a while.

    Check it: http://www.phoenixmotorcars.com/models/index.html

    Oh, and on the subject of the ZAP-X. . . . I'm skeptical about Zap too, but combining the PML motors with the Lotus APX design makes a lot of sense. If Zap falters, maybe some other entity will adopt that project and it might still end up being produced.
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,162
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Yeah, the Zap-X seems like a fairly attractive platform, and the PML eMotors and (rumored) Nano-Safe batteries would (in theory) make for a great car.

    The idea seems good, but:
    #1: Can they get it to pass US safety and road-worthiness regulations?
    #2: Can they get the Nano-Safe batteries at a reasonable price?
    #3: Can they make it in volume?
    #4: What range will it actually have when all is said-and-done?

    Lets hope to see some reports of running prototypes soon... Otherwise it is just an idea.
     
  5. Michael

    Michael Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    135
    Now that we know that CEOswife drives an SUV, maybe we have an advocate for perhaps making the 3rd vehicle a CUV instead of a small hatchback. The one made by Lotus sure does look nice, hint, hint (I strongly doubt that ZAP will really do anything with it).

    After all, I would think that it just might be too much of a stretch to make a small affordable hatchback as the 3rd vehicle and perhaps having an additional upmarket CUV (at around 35-45k) as another stepping stone before the less expensive vehicle might be an easier business choice.
     
  6. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,078
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    I've never fooled with one myself, but I gather a Prius is nearly a CUV. . . It doesn't look like one, but it has a hatchback and I gather the rear seats fold and you have storage space clear through. It has a surprising amount of room and most of the functionality of a CUV.

    When I was little, station wagons were highly popular. Then after a while they became thought of as boring family vehicles, and everybody jumped on minivans. Then after a while minivans became thought of as boring family vehicles, and everybody started going to SUVs. They are all variations on the same theme, because the world needs a boring family vehicle, but people just don't want to be seen in one.

    The first SUV we ever had was a 1975 International Travelall, which was way, way ahead of its time. It was way before the term "SUV" was ever coined. Nobody knew what to call it. The best we could come up with was "four wheel drive station wagon". We loved that old thing, even though we basically used it as a boring family vehicle. Now keep in mind my family lived on a cattle ranch down about three miles of sometimes-muddy roads, so the four-wheel drive -- with mudgrip tires! -- was actually useful to us. :)
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,162
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    The Prius gets some flack for the styling but it is a highly practical car.

    My wife sells barbecues and she is constantly amazed how Prius owners can fit the large models in the back with the seats folded down. Many so called SUVs can't carry them.

    Most of my workmates are driving Prius these days, and I never mind sitting in back when we drive to lunch somewhere. The rear seats have a lot of room for something so economical. The Prius rear seats are more roomy than in my Lexus...

    Yes, that would be great / ironic if Tesla worked with Lotus again and turned the APX into something real if Zap-X fumbles.
    Tesla has made it clear though that they want to "roll their own" in future.
     
  8. AGR

    AGR Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Messages:
    202
  9. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,162
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Nice article, but not so much because people think it looks awesome, but rather the point was that it looks "different".
    The article points out that other Hybrids are shared models, so you can get stuck being an "anonymous" hybrid driver in a vehicle that looks much like the non-hybrid version.

    Since the Prius is a hybrid only model, with quirky styling, those who want to make a statement are buying them.

    One guy at my work says "I would love to get that gas mileage but I refuse to drive a jellybean on wheels".

    "Prius styling was and remains controversial."

    "The Prius styling is unique, but not for everyone."

    "the Prius’ futuristic styling, can be seen positively or negatively depending on your point of view."
     
  10. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,078
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    Prius Styling?

    I'm not sure what the big deal is about the Prius's styling.  To me it looks . . .  slightly different, a bit distinctive.  I can usually recognize one when I see it.  I just don't get those people people who think it's outrageously ugly.

    At the same time, I don't get those who call the Prius "futuristic" looking.  To put things in perspective. . .  Does anybody remember how striking the Taurus was in 1986?

    http://www.hfmgv.org/exhibits/showroom/1986/taurus.html

    That was an era when most cars looked like a square box stacked on a rectangular box.  (I think it was the all-time low point in automotive styling history.)  The Taurus didn't look like it was made of boxes, it had aero curves -- it was startling, people's heads turned when they saw one.  For many years articles in Popular Mechanics had bee going on about how cars of the future were going to be aerodynamic, but seeing these "jelly bean" cars actually hit the road was like future shock.

    In comparison, the Prius is fairly ordinary-looking on today's highways.  I can name, off the top of my head, several recent cars with styling more unconventional than the Prius: Plymouth Prowler, New Beetle, Mini Cooper, Chrysler 300.  Yet, none of these seem to provoke the sort of strong reaction that the Prius gets.  (Well, maybe the Mini. . .  In which case the reaction is usually: OMG it's so kyOOOOt!!)

    By the way. . .  I recently saw my first ever Honda Insight here in Texas.  I didn't get a good look because I was in my old pickup truck, so there was no way I was going to catch him.  It did look pretty cool -- and somewhat "futuristic" -- while flashing past me on the highway.  Nice tail lights.    :p
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,162
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Yeah my wife drove Taurus & Sable Wagons for a while and so we heard some comments on the styling.

    When I first saw them I thought they looked oddly "retro" rather than futuristic. I thought to myself, "they went back to the 40s again for the curved look".
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Remember the Taurus as the "cop car of the future" in the Robocop movies?
    [​IMG]
     
  12. EchoDelta

    EchoDelta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    732
    Location:
    Seattle, Planet Earth
    I think it'd be a great idea!
    Oh wait, old thread. :) Fantastic to see the predictions in here.
     

Share This Page