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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Members,
I am contemplating the build of a smsll local run around. Anyone spotted the VW Nils?
It almost fits the bill for us on a small island. My wife runs a Peugeot Ion, the daily charge providing just 65 to 70 miles. Looking at the kit offered by electricmotorsport.com the ME1302 with the Sevcon controller seems to provide the power package for the project, 15 kW continuous (?) and say 25 short term.
The question that I ask is; has anyone used this package? What has been you experience?
Joe,
Isle of Man
 

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The VW Nils is only a concept car... so what's the plan? Is the idea to build a custom vehicle of the same style as the VW Nils, driven by an ME1302 or similar which has similar power output to the motor used in the Nils?

The Nils looks like a Renault Twizzy to me, in configuration and style. The higher-speed version of the Twizzy has similar power. Since the Twizzy has been in production for almost a decade it might be possible to just buy one of those and drive it... not here of course, but perhaps on the Isle of Man. Even for a completely custom-built vehicle of this type, it's probably worth having a look at how the Twizzy is designed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Brian,
Yes, I had a look at the Twizzy, and it complied in many ways. But versions available (subject to further investigation) were the slow speed lower range version. I was seeking a good aerodynamic package with larger range and enough speed to keep up with local traffic. Target 100 miles daily range, cruising speed 50 mph, peak 60 mph, and an ability maintain 40 mph up a 1 in 12 (?) gradient.
I suppose that we frequently want that bit more.
Cheers, Joe
 

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Yes, I had a look at the Twizzy, and it complied in many ways. But versions available (subject to further investigation) were the slow speed lower range version. I was seeking a good aerodynamic package with larger range and enough speed to keep up with local traffic.
A high-speed Twizzy, or any of them upgraded, could be the base for a body upgrade for better aero (at the expense of the second seat). Or build from scratch - as long as you local rules make licensing and insuring a four-wheel homebuilt lightweight vehicle viable, it could be a great project. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Brian,
The Twizy in the UK are few and far between. An accident damaged unit would be a prospective starting point. I suspect that the only way to go down that route would be to see what is available in France, where one presumes many more were sold to young people. Now after Brexit we'd have import paperwork probems! Regarding local regulations, I await a response. We sort of follow the UK, but not in all respects. It might be less stringent, (not necessarily so) but may require an independant engineers report. There is a lot of experience available through the motorcycle racing scene, especially the sidecar chassis builders.
We shall see! Should have done this as a reply, but got it all typed before realising.
Cheers, Joe
P.S. What part of Canada do you live, as I lived and worked out of Vancouver for B.C.Hydro back in the second half of the 1960's, with a short time in the Hamilton area of Ontario.
 

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P.S. What part of Canada do you live, as I lived and worked out of Vancouver for B.C.Hydro back in the second half of the 1960's, with a short time in the Hamilton area of Ontario.
I have lived in Ontario, and currently live in Alberta (but have visited Vancouver a lot). EVs are only common in the Canadian provinces which subsidize their purchase (Quebec, British Columbia, and formerly Ontario), which is also where most electrical generation is by hydro. Here in Alberta an EV is mostly using electricity generated by burning fossil fuels (mostly natural gas now), so there isn't a lot of environmental benefit and so not a huge interest.

In Canada a homebuilt four-wheel vehicle is a challenge to license and insure. Three-wheelers are subject to less stringent rules, which is the only reason that a lightweight vehicle like a Twizzy or that VW would be done as a three-wheeler if anyone tried to sell one commercially here. ElectraMeccanica is based in Vancover and tried the 3-wheel approach for their Solo EV, but couldn't sort out regulatory issues or production cost and reportedly has given up and is having the vehicle built in China and sold only in the U.S.A. While inferior in almost every technical aspect, you might consider a three-wheeler if local rules make that easier... which depends I suppose on whether the local variation of the no-longer-EU UK rules encourage the "quadricycle" category for four-wheelers which don't meet normal car rules.

The challenge in EU quadricycles is that you want the vehicle to be faster than the L6e light quadricycle class allows (45 km/h), and even the L7e heavy quadricycle class would not allow the power that you are considering; again, UK rules may be different (especially now) and Isle of Man rules might be different again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have lived in Ontario, and currently live in Alberta (but have visited Vancouver a lot). EVs are only common in the Canadian provinces which subsidize their purchase (Quebec, British Columbia, and formerly Ontario), which is also where most electrical generation is by hydro. Here in Alberta an EV is mostly using electricity generated by burning fossil fuels (mostly natural gas now), so there isn't a lot of environmental benefit and so not a huge interest.

In Canada a homebuilt four-wheel vehicle is a challenge to license and insure. Three-wheelers are subject to less stringent rules, which is the only reason that a lightweight vehicle like a Twizzy or that VW would be done as a three-wheeler if anyone tried to sell one commercially here. ElectraMeccanica is based in Vancover and tried the 3-wheel approach for their Solo EV, but couldn't sort out regulatory issues or production cost and reportedly has given up and is having the vehicle built in China and sold only in the U.S.A. While inferior in almost every technical aspect, you might consider a three-wheeler if local rules make that easier... which depends I suppose on whether the local variation of the no-longer-EU UK rules encourage the "quadricycle" category for four-wheelers which don't meet normal car rules.

The challenge in EU quadricycles is that you want the vehicle to be faster than the L6e light quadricycle class allows (45 km/h), and even the L7e heavy quadricycle class would not allow the power that you are considering; again, UK rules may be different (especially now) and Isle of Man rules might be different again.
Hi Brian,
Sorry to have left this subject quiet, but have just completed selling our farm, home for 50 years, thus something of a wrench!
Your comments are all valid, and beaurocracy certainly crushes innovation. Yes we have kicked around the 3 wheeler idea, which has merit, but as you said technically inferior. If the VW Nils was for sale (at a reasonable price) I would be in the market. All such vehicles that I have seen on the net appear to identify the niche, develop a prototype, and then find that they either cannot build it for reasonable money, or the market is too small. For example the Inovative Mobility Colibri started in 2012/3 much talked about, and has evaporated, or has it?
People want big, fat, fast, intercontinental cruisers. The affluence here on our little rock seems to push people into their 'Chelsea Tractors' (an out dated expression from Londoners driving Range Rovers and never getting mud on their tyres) there are more now than ever. This at the time when we should be reducing emmissions.
We picked up on the idea of an appropriate rolling chassis, for example a Lous 7 copy. Maybe someone who had given up on a kit car build. They provide plenty of engine bay space and a rear wheel drive. The diff might be a bit heavy, and getting the ratio right may be a problem. Kit vehicles are provided for in UK regs as under an Individual Vehicle Approval. I am uncertain that this is applied locally, something to check. It requires authorised build progess inspection by an approved individual. As you rightly point out, insurance would be another issue!
I must arrange a team get together now that I am free.
If you would like to reply directly my email add is [email protected]
Regards, Joe
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I think that the kit car idea has merit, although the Clubman style (Lotus 7, etc) have horrible aerodynamics so they're a questionable choice for a highly efficient vehicle.
 
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