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Hello all! I'm new here, but have some electric history. I own a few GE Elec-Traks and maintain some for a few guys. One of the guys has a Citicar. He asked me if I would be interested in it. I am interested in it, but I was wondering...

1.) From what I've briefly found looking online, they are controlled with switches and contactors like my Elec-Traks. Is that true?
2.) How reliable are the electronics?
3.) Are any parts still available? I'm mainly concerned about brake parts right now. It's been sitting a while and I'm concerned about the wheel cylinders or calipers...whatever it has. Are brake shoes/pads still available?

This car would be perfect for me to drive back & forth to work. I live roughly 7 miles from work and have access to plug it in at work.

Any input from an owner of one of these cars would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for the help!

Billy
 
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Yes they are contactor speed control based.
They have reliable electronics.
Yes parts are available.
As a commuter, don't bother. Build a real EV. They might be fun but are funky and clunky and not too fast. They at least are not classed as an NEV so you can go on any roadway if your speed allows. I know one in my area. They are interesting but for practical commuters you would do better converting a VW or Honda or something other than the old box.

Pete :)

Parts are available but maybe not easy to locate and have shipped if needed. If you need something like with a VW you have ready access.

My vote is for converting a VW.
 

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Thanks for the reply Pete.

My work commute is roughly 7 miles each way. I've read the range on the Citicar is about 40 miles and has a top speed of about 40 MPH. The max speed limit on my drive to work is 35 MPH. I make a lot of short trips (under 10 miles) around town also.

These were my main considerations with the Citicar. It could satisfy my current driving patterns with no modifications. It would also give me a chance to get my "feet wet" with an EV. I'm sure converting a ICE vehicle would yield a more efficient car with a better parts network. Unfortunately, I currently don't have time to take on a conversion. I would have a lot of research to do also. I wasn't really planning on an EV. The guy offered it and I'm already using electric tractors, so it kinda made sense to make the step to an EV. I'm sure I'll get hooked with the Citicar as I did with my Elec-Traks and I'll at least have an EV to drive while I'm building my conversion in the future!

I figured that would be the case with parts. If parts are available and it's pretty reliable, I think I can justify it.

Thanks again for the info.

Billy
 
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It would be good to get your feet wet with. You could even upgrade later to a real controller too. If you get it make it look as good as you can. They are kinda funky but cute. I have a Cushman Truckster that was converted back when it was new to electric drive but have not taken it further than my driveway. It does work but needs work to make it look nice. It uses the mechanical contactors for speed control. Three speeds. If you were close by I'd love to buy one of your electric mowers. Been hunting now for over a year for one to restore and use.
 

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An upgraded controller did cross my mind. Although...I would assume the motor would be getting full current 85%-90% of the time since the top speed is only 40 MPH. The only benefits of an upgraded controller would be infinite lower speeds, power savings while in the lower speeds (no wasted power through resistors) and of course, reliability.

If I can seal the deal on the car, I'll keep my eye out for a reasonably priced controller. The variable lower speeds would be nice in heavy, slow traffic. Plus, it would clean up the wiring (much less). Upgraded controllers are made for the Elec-Traks also. They are very nice, but pretty pricey.

Give me a shout if you ever get a hold of an Elec-Trak. I'm sure I can help you out if you have any issues or need to get it running. What part of the country are you in? If you are near the west coast, Elec-Traks seem to be few and far between out that way.

Thanks.

Billy
 
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