Sunzeecar LLC has developed a Solar Powered Zero Emissions Commuter Vehicle.
Anyone concerned about the high cost of fuel and air pollution caused by our current gas -guzzling transportation system will be interested in Ecotrike. Imagine a vehicle that has a solar-powered gas station on its roof, uses 1/3 the parking space and 1/25 of the power ,weighs 1/8 th and costs 1/4 of a conventional car. Ecotrike is such an invention. Various prototype versions have been developed and have been used as licensed street-legal electric “motorcycles” in Utah. These are not meant to replace a car for long trips (over 50 miles) or transporting loads more than 300 pounds. The latest prototype has maximum speed of 50 mph, uses regenerative braking, and consumes 0.85 kWHr of energy per 10 miles. This is an equivalent EPA rating of 400 MPGe and 3 times better than most electric cars. The vehicle incorporates several innovative and unique features. Zero emission is achieved by charging the batteries with a solar panel on its roof ( 25O to 330 Watt depending on model). On cloudy days electricity cost is typically 1 cent per mile. It is our experience that the high efficiency 327 watt solar panel provides enough charge to the battery per sunny day to keep the battery fully charged for travel below 15 miles. This means we have true zero emissions and no need to plug in an external charger.
The frame design and weight distribution allows tilting the vehicle on its rear to reduce parking space requirement from 1/3 to approximately one quarter of that of a conventional automobile. The detailed analysis of power and energy requirements for hill climbing, acceleration and speeds up to 50 mph have lead to a design of a vehicle with up to 8 hp capability and a battery energy capacity to drive the vehicle for 1.5 hours on level terrain. All wheels have spring suspension. It has a comfortable seat and a seat belt. It is designed for a single rider with a range of up to 50 miles depending on speed, terrain and choice of batteries. Optionally a dual passenger seat can be installed.
The vehicle has the controls and displays required for a street-legal motorcycle but provides greater safety and comfort in the form of a padded seat, seat belt and an enclosure made from aluminum and polycarbonate. It is in a prototype functional mode, licensed in the state of Utah and used by the inventor, family and 3 others for shopping and commuting. A patent US 7,017,685 B2 has been issued on March 28, 2006. Parts costs of the vehicle are estimated at $5500 when yearly volume exceeds 100 units. Labor, marketing and sales costs are targeted at $2000 per unit. Its design would allow for selling it in kit form for ease of distribution and providing assembly work for local communities nationally and internationally.
Sunzeecar LLC is proposing to license this technology and provide needed support to a manufacturer willing to commercialize Ecotrike. It is estimated that the engineering, marketing and development costs for the first 2 years of the project will require an initial investment of $1.2 million. Positive cash flow is expected by year 3 with a production of 500 vehicles with a projected production cost of each vehicle at $4500 with income of approximately $7000 per vehicle. Recovery of initial investment is expected by year 4 with sales of 1500 vehicles and a net income of $2 million after expenses of $7.4 million. The goal for year 5 is to sell 3000 vehicles at a cost of $10 million and gross income of approximately $15 million.
Part of the profits of this proposed business venture will not only reward far sighted investors but will also be used for continuous product improvement. Lithium Ferric Phosphate batteries, which store 3 times as much energy per pound as lead acid batteries, have been incorporated in the latest versions of Ecotrikes. As Lithium battery costs continue to decline a the goal of producing Ecotrikes of under $5000 may be met. Sunzeecar LLC continues to research and develop vehicles which transport people safely at greatly reduced pollution and cost.