The Electric California Commuter

Shown above is the original gasoline powered World Record setting California Commuter. We calculated this version of the Commuter cruised along at 55 MPH using 2.5 Horsepower. The flat headlight mounted up in the Visibility Pod is a major contributor to total vehicle aerodynamic drag and was one of the most important areas to think about revising for future improvements.



This is the new battery powered, pure electric version of the California Commuter.
As yet, the conversion is not finished.  In order to keep the machine lightweight and fun to drive we do not want to burden it with excessive battery weight just to extend range.  The calculations show a 50 mile range and a 75 MPH cruise speed will result.  Plenty for local tooling around, but barely freeway capable (Californian's seems to all be driving around 80 MPH on the freeways when not congested - even though the legal speed limit is 65 MPH!)

Note that the fin and its Visibility Pod are gone and that the Cowl behind the driver's head is much bigger to accommodate a future full bubble canopy for improved aerodynamics. Over the years since we built the Original California Commuter, headlights having great beam intensity have shrunk considerably in size. The new machine will use a retractable mini-headlight that pops out vertically in the Cowl space behind the drivers head. This change will minimize aerodynamic drag during daylight hours. Also, since an electric motor doesn't consume oxygen like an internal combustion engine we have also removed the P-51 Mustang type air scoop from underneath. All in all, we expect these improvements to reduce cruising power further down to 1.5 Horsepower - that is less than one hair dryer's worth of power!

To the Pure California Electric - part 2