Gizmo uses a little juice, but no gas, cont...
The three-wheel, single-seat vehicle can hit a top speed
of 40 MPH and go about 25 miles without a charge. The battery accounts for about 44% of the car's 580 pounds. EWEB's
meter readers and other employees will use the cars around town. They can be plugged into any standard 110-volt
outlet and recharged in less than four hours.
Carl Watkins, owner of NEVCO, said the Gizmo costs only about
one cent per mile for energy. That compares with 10 cents a mile or more for gasoline vehicles. "Right now,
we're just trying to introduce the concept of electric cars to the community," Watkins said. "Eventually,
people will come to realize we have to do things like this if we're really going to make a difference for the environment."
And while you wouldn't want to take the Gizmo on the freeway, it can keep up with most in-town traffic, Watkins
Berggren said EWEB was interested in trying a couple of Gizmos
to make sure they save money and fit the needs of the utitity's meter readers, service representatives and others."
If we can find a more environmentally benign way to get around, and at a cheaper cost, we're all for it,"
The Gizmo can carry six bags of groceries plus a briefcase,
lunch and other personal items. The actual cost of recharging it is a penny per mile, Watkins said.
The vehicle has two wheels in front and a single in the rear,
increasing stability and providing a better, more efficient drive train, which operates much like a bicycle chain.
All the steering and brakes are on two hand controls. Berggren
said Friday that they took a little getting used to because there's a tendency to want to move you get around to
work the nonexistent gas and brake pedals, he said. "You have to learn to relax the lower part of you body,"
And one more thing: There's no dripping oil. (back)