gizmo FAQ


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Gizmo a single passenger vehicle?.. When you think about it, most short trips involve only one person. We designed the Gizmo to do the jobs that cars in cities are most often asked to do: make short trips to the local store, run errands, make deliveries and commute to school or work. So save your car for longer trips and vacations and use your Gizmo to save money for the vacation.

Why does the Gizmo have three wheels?
A small, light vehicle simply doesn't need four wheels. Eliminating a wheel
reduces weight and tire rolling resistance. When two wheels are in front, a
three wheeled vehicle is very stable and gives the best control when
braking and cornering. Three wheeled vehicles are classified as
motorcycles and are less expensive to insure. And, as with a motorcycle,
the motor drives the rear wheel. That's all you really need.

Why doesn't the Gizmo have a steering wheel?
Like a regular motorcycle or a bicycle, a steering wheel is not needed
because the vehicle is lightweight and doesn't need the mechanical
leverage of multiple turns that a steering wheel provides. For the Gizmo, a
steering wheel system would be a bunch of unnecessary parts. The
steering levers on the Gizmo give you something to hang onto, a logical
place for the accelerator, brakes and horn, and are not in your way when
you enter the vehicle. It's logical, intuitive and easy to use. We know you will
like it.

Why does the Gizmo use 110 volt charging?
Since the Gizmo is used for driving around town, you are driving around
inside the existing electric grid. Everywhere you go in town you will find 110
volt outlets. You don't need special circuits, a separate charger system, or
new infrastructure. Since the Gizmo is light and doesn't have a heavy
battery pack, it requires less current to charge it. The Gizmo can be
charged from any normal protected, 20 amp household circuit. If you
happen to run out of power, you are still in your community and outlets are
everywhere around you. It only costs about 25 cents and takes about 4
hours to completely recharge a depleted battery pack. But when you can
opportunity charge at some of your stops, you can quickly top off your
batteries for a few cents and keep going and going all day.

Why does the Gizmo have zip down windows?
What better way to cool down on a hot day than to roll down the windows
and let the breeze in. With the Gizmo you literally unzip and roll the windows
down all the way. The Gizmo, even with the windows up, doesn't trap heat
when it's in sunlight like a car, so you don't need a heavy, power consuming
air conditioning system to cool it down. The windshield keeps the bugs out
of your face, the top keeps the sun out of your eyes, and you can smell the
flowers along the way.

Why not make the Gizmo freeway legal?
For most people most of the time, trips are short so that local streets can
be used. The stores and shopping centers you use most often are nearby.
A freeway is a high speed driving environment, and the Gizmo is not
designed for that kind of traffic situation. Likewise an automobile is not well
suited for neighborhood trips to the video store. Had we made the Gizmo a
high speed vehicle it would be much more expensive to own and operate.

How can you make the Gizmo so affordable?
A simple vehicle requires fewer parts. Since it runs on electricity it requires
far fewer parts than a car. Because it doesn't have to go far, it doesn't need
a lot of batteries. Because it carries one person and groceries, it doesn't
have to be big and heavy. Because it doesn't have to do so much, you
don't have to pay so much. And there are fewer parts to fix. The less money
you spend, the more you get to keep. Less is more.

Are small vehicles dangerous?
No, large vehicles are dangerous. The larger the vehicle, the more damage
it can do. The bigger the vehicle you drive, the potentially more dangerous
you are to others. This is why smaller vehicles make sense, especially in
cities where most trips are made by one person.

With regard to safety, which way should our communities go?
Should we all drive "tanks," or should we drive small, light vehicles that
pose far less threat to each other, children, pets and the environment? The
Gizmo is designed for use within your neighborhood, where speeds are
much slower and trips are shorter. It's your neighborhood so drive safely.

How Safe is the Gizmo?
The Gizmo is legally a motorcycle, but for safety it has two wheels in front
for stability, the visibility of a body shell as tall as a sedan, a three point
seat/shoulder belt, a head rest and the strength of a steel perimeter and
roof frame. For safety, you sit in the center of the vehicle and drive in the
center of the lane, giving you space all around. The most important safety
factor is you, so please drive with care.

Don't electric vehicles pollute?
No. Besides having no exhaust pipe, the Gizmo requires no gasoline, oil,
transmission fluid, or antifreeze. Nothing drips onto the ground and gets
washed into our water supply. The sealed, solid-state batteries are
completely recyclable and are required by law to be recycled. The Gizmo
requires very little energy and wastes very little of what it uses. The rest is
up to you.

What about the generation of electricity?
Electric power is generated from many different sources. Some of these
sources (oil, coal, nuclear) create pollution, other sources (hydro and solar)
are quite clean. Each has its strong and weak points. Power plant pollution
can be monitored and controlled far more effectively that emissions from
millions of gasoline powered cars. With even the dirtiest power plants, EVs
are 75% cleaner overall than gasoline vehicles. Further, power plant
pollution is not dumped within cities, where the greatest air pollution
problems occur. The use of electric vehicles is an efficient way of using
power within a city without bringing the pollution into the city. That being
said, Neighborhood EV prefers sustainable energy sources.

How far can I go in a Gizmo?
About 45 miles on one charge, and up to 90 miles in eight hours if you
recharge between trips. Your range depends on many things: how fast you
accelerate, how fast you drive, how often you stop and go, if you need to go
up a hill, and how cold it is. A gasoline powered car is affected by these
factors too. If you drive smoothly and conservatively, you will go farther. If
you drive less than about 25 miles a day, or can recharge during the day,
range will not be an issue. Carrying extra batteries for additional range
won't be effective because the extra weight requires additional energy to
get it moving.

Will cold weather affect range?
Cold temperatures will reduce range as much as 30 percent or more in
extreme situations, but keeping the batteries warm by continually plugging in
and charging will help.

How much will it cost to replace the batteries?
The Gizmo can be outfitted with a variety of batteries. Lead acid are currently
the most cost effective, and are almost totally recyclable. The current 45 mile
pack will cost $500 to replace and should last three to five years. Newer
battery technologies are gaining acceptance, and may in fact be more cost
effective in a few years. The improvements are in the number of full deep
cycles the battery can endure, the temperatures they will perform optimally
under, and the ability to give out and take in electricity without damage. A
long lasting battery, such as lithium polymer or nickel zinc, may be give better
performance in the long term, but have a higher initial cost. The battery box
and Zivan charger are designed to be adaptable.

How fast can a Gizmo go?
The Gizmo is designed to go the speed limit in town. Usually that means a
little over 40 MPH. The Gizmo responds quickly and will accelerate easily
with traffic. Gizmos are not driven on freeways and highways where the
worst damage and injuries per accident typically occur. For safety and to
avoid a ticket, please stay off higher speed roads and highways while drivinga Gizmo.

Why does the Gizmo open in the front?
The most natural way to get in and out of a vehicle is to sit down and stand
up as you would at home in your living room chair. This is the way you get
in and out of the Gizmo. There is no twisting and turning, ducking and
sliding as with a side opening door. The steering wheel would be in the
way so we left it out. The steering handles put all the controls at your
fingertips. The front opening canopy helps keep the seat dry if it's raining.
You can park facing the curb and step out onto the sidewalk. Cool, huh?

How much room is there in a Gizmo?
Inside you have plenty of leg and head room for a person 6'4" and there is
space for six bags of groceries or an Irish setter. There is about 10 cubic
feet of cargo space. It's almost huge.

Is the Gizmo licensable in all states?
The Gizmo meets NHTSA standards for a motorcycle. It therefore should be
licensable in all states, but each individual state administers its license
procedure differently. You should check with your state DMV to determine
how three wheeled electric motorcycles are treated.

Is it licensable in Canada?
We have not yet gone through the qualification procedure required by the
Canadian government. This should be underway this year.

Do you have to wear a helmet in the Gizmo?
Most states that require a helmet have an exemption for enclosed three
wheeled vehicles due to their use by parking enforcement officers. Check
with your DMV to make sure.

How will I get support for my Gizmo?
NEVCO is in the process of setting up distributors and service centers
around the country who will carry parts and provide maintenance. In addition
the Gizmo is designed to allow minor maintenance to be done by the owner.
The Gizmo contains many parts which are available at local parts suppliers,
and NEVCO can send parts to you if none is available locally.

How does the Gizmo affect livability within cities?
Traffic congestion is a serious problem in many cities. More parking
spaces and more streets reduce the space available for parks, open
space and housing. Typically, more than 25% of urban space is devoted to
streets and vehicle parking. Four Gizmos can park in one car parking spot.
Air pollution is another livability problem and since the Gizmo is a zero
emission vehicle (ZEV) this helps a great deal. Drive a Gizmo and breathe

gizmo keep it simple! make it fun!