Spira4u foam e-car

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Spira4u foam e-car

Post by www.recumbents.com » Jan 30 2015 10:01am

I don't see that anybody has posted about this yet. I have read several articles about this inexpensive single seat e-vehicle and I think its the first electric vehicle I have seen that I would consider for commuter duty. Goofy looking? Sure. It does get around several of the issues I have found with other possible e-commuter solutions.

Image

* Completely weather proof for riding in the rain or cold.
* It has 3 wheels, so you can license it as a motorcycle so no hassling by The Man.
* Thick foam body panels for safety.
* Top speed of 60 MPH (?!)
* 50 mile range
* Light weight (500 lbs)
* Can be flipped up onto its backside for storage
* $9000 base price for electric version

Image

As with most of these vehicles it's not yet available in the USA, but it looks like they are actually manufacturing them in China so these have a better chance of being a real product than many others.

http://www.autoblog.com/2015/01/21/spir ... oit-video/
http://spira4u.com/

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by The fingers » Jan 30 2015 1:25pm

Would like a tadpole version. 8)
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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by liveforphysics » Jan 30 2015 5:01pm

I like it.

Anyone else notice it uses a V3 Cycle Analyst for a dashboard? Wise choice!
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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by ErnestoA » Jan 31 2015 12:29am

A tadpole option would be cool. Imagine a quick lane change or evasive maneuver at 50mph! :shock: The delta version must come with reservoir butt rubber underwear or something! :lol:

Another thought is regarding sustainability. Are there foams made of natural materials that could be used for construction?

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by gogo » Jan 31 2015 12:47am

ErnestoA wrote:A tadpole option would be cool. Imagine a quick lane change or evasive maneuver at 50mph! :shock: The delta version must come with reservoir butt rubber underwear or something! :lol:

Another thought is regarding sustainability. Are there foams made of natural materials that could be used for construction?
Don't diss the delta! Ever heard of the TriVette? With electric drive, the weight can be kept very low making deltas more stable than most 4-wheelers.
tri9.jpg
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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by ErnestoA » Jan 31 2015 2:02am

If you look at where the forces concentrate when braking and turning, delta's are just scary at speed. Sure, they can be engineered to have a low COG and equal front/rear traction and weight distribution but that stuff only makes for predictable handling on a flat, smooth, surface. Hitting any kind of bump at speed, at any angle other than perpendicular to the front wheel, while braking and/or turning, is much more likely to result in a roll over on a delta configuration. My friends used to have three wheeler atv's and looking at those things funny while you were turning or braking would make them roll violently. There's a good reason that they're not manufactured anymore.

As far as safety of pedestrians goes, a rubbermaid delta definitely has some advantages though. Not much frontal area for a blunt force impact and the chances of a head on collision are much lower.

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by John in CR » Jan 31 2015 8:37am

How long is it going to take for it to finally sink in for trike designer/builders that they need to be leaners, especially Deltas?

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by Warren » Jan 31 2015 10:33am

I too am very interested in a Spira4u electric. I admit being sceptical of the handling of deltas, but some seem to think it can be made to work.

http://www.deltawingracing.com/

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by Warren » Jan 31 2015 10:38am

liveforphysics,

"Anyone else notice it uses a V3 Cycle Analyst for a dashboard?"

Yup. And a Chinese three wheeler, with electric scooter components for $9K seems much more believable than the Elio for $7K.

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by gogo » Jan 31 2015 10:56am

ErnestoA wrote:If you look at where the forces concentrate when braking and turning, delta's are just scary at speed. Sure, they can be engineered to have a low COG and equal front/rear traction and weight distribution but that stuff only makes for predictable handling on a flat, smooth, surface. Hitting any kind of bump at speed, at any angle other than perpendicular to the front wheel, while braking and/or turning, is much more likely to result in a roll over on a delta configuration. My friends used to have three wheeler atv's and looking at those things funny while you were turning or braking would make them roll violently. There's a good reason that they're not manufactured anymore. …
There's no comparison between an ATV 3-wheeler and the TriVette configuration. If you add in a Citroën-like hydro-pneumatic suspension, that will keep the front wheel in contact with the pavement at all times. Its easier to roll 4-wheel production cars than a long delta, and that's even with a 'high' COG ICE drivetrain. Electric would make a low COG that would be nearly impossible to roll.
John in CR wrote:How long is it going to take for it to finally sink in for trike designer/builders that they need to be leaners, especially Deltas?
Instead of leaning the wheels, why not do like Citroën and use dynamic suspension springing to give it negative roll?

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by wb9k » Jan 31 2015 11:40am

Interesting vehicle....makes me wish I had gone to the auto show this year.

I think though, even the maker may be missing the boat on how to market this thing in the near term. They may be able to sell a small amount of these things in the US which would be great to see, but China is where this vehicle likely makes a lot more sense. Most of the roads in modern areas of China that I have seen are pristine, so dodging potholes and so on is not much of a concern. More importantly, this vehicle represents a nice intermediate step between the scooters that dominate the roads and conventional cars. There are something like ten times more people applying for license plates in China's major cities than are given out by lottery every year. So, it would seem there's tons of pent-up demand for vehicles that are a step up from the common scooter, but (if Chinese law is favorable) don't require winning a lottery to get the privilege to purchase. This seems like the perfect stop-gap compromise for folks waiting to hit the car lottery in China. With there being an EV option, I would think the Chinese government would be happy to allow at least an expanded lottery for this type of vehicle, or maybe they would even license it as a scooter. There could be a hitch in there somewhere of course, but that's how I would be looking at moving real numbers of these things in the immediate future.
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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by gogo » Jan 31 2015 11:49am

China is where the small EV market will mature and the U.S. will get the exports, or 'co-developed' versions from Chinese makers. It will happen a few years after gas goes back up to $4/gallon.
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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by ErnestoA » Jan 31 2015 3:38pm

John in CR wrote:How long is it going to take for it to finally sink in for trike designer/builders that they need to be leaners, especially Deltas?
:D

Mine will be a leaner, even though it's a tadpole and will likely only go 15mph. The tire/hub wear advantage alone makes it worth it. Plus it will be nice for off camber trails.

@gogo
Your physics is flawed. The longer, narrower it is, the more likely it is to roll. Plot out the vectors and it will become clear. :)

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by John in CR » Jan 31 2015 5:21pm

gogo wrote:
John in CR wrote:How long is it going to take for it to finally sink in for trike designer/builders that they need to be leaners, especially Deltas?
Instead of leaning the wheels, why not do like Citroën and use dynamic suspension springing to give it negative roll?
Because it's the opposite of KISS, which low cost electrics should embrace.

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by Warren » Jan 31 2015 6:20pm

ErnestoA,

"@gogo Your physics is flawed. The longer, narrower it is, the more likely it is to roll."

Narrower yes, longer, no. If the front wheel was at infinity, it would have the same rolling resistance as a four wheeler of the same width. The problem is that the further forward you put the front wheel, the less weight it carries, and the less useful it is for braking and turning. I don't know how that Delta racer gets around that.

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by Punx0r » Feb 01 2015 8:38am

Warren wrote:
Narrower yes, longer, no. If the front wheel was at infinity, it would have the same rolling resistance as a four wheeler of the same width.
I could be wrong, but I suspect this isn't true. The roll centre for a four wheel (in terms of tipping over) is a line running though the outside (front and rear) tyres. On a three wheeler it's still through the outside rear and front tyre, but because the front tyre is in the middle, the line is obviously diagonal, bring it closer to the centre of the car (and of mass), hence needing less leverage to tip over.

Three-wheelers with the single wheel at the rear seem much less prone to tipping over when cornering. I'm not sure why, but I suspect due to forward motion, the tipping force isn't entirely tangential to the car, and this works in your favour if your tipping direction is sideways & backwards, as it would be with a single rear wheel.

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by The fingers » Feb 01 2015 10:21am

With a foam body design, I wonder if the car floats. :?
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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by Warren » Feb 01 2015 10:39am

Punx0r,

"The roll centre for a four wheel (in terms of tipping over) is a line running though the outside (front and rear) tyres. On a three wheeler it's still through the outside rear and front tyre, but because the front tyre is in the middle, the line is obviously diagonal, bring it closer to the centre of the car (and of mass), hence needing less leverage to tip over."

Your description is correct on this point. However, if you move the front wheel forward, the line moves further from the center of mass. If you draw lines through all three wheels, you have a triangle. If you move the front wheel to infinity, the sides are parallel.

"Three-wheelers with the single wheel at the rear seem much less prone to tipping over when cornering."

No. They can be the same in a steady state turn. The reality is a bit more complicated. Please read this description.

http://www.rqriley.com/3-wheel.htm

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by Warren » Feb 01 2015 2:24pm

JR gets a visit from the Spira4u! Starts at 1:20:00 in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZbx4HupLsE

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by www.recumbents.com » Feb 01 2015 6:23pm


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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by ErnestoA » Feb 01 2015 9:41pm

Punx0r wrote:
Warren wrote:
Narrower yes, longer, no. If the front wheel was at infinity, it would have the same rolling resistance as a four wheeler of the same width.
I could be wrong, but I suspect this isn't true. The roll centre for a four wheel (in terms of tipping over) is a line running though the outside (front and rear) tyres. On a three wheeler it's still through the outside rear and front tyre, but because the front tyre is in the middle, the line is obviously diagonal, bring it closer to the centre of the car (and of mass), hence needing less leverage to tip over.

Three-wheelers with the single wheel at the rear seem much less prone to tipping over when cornering. I'm not sure why, but I suspect due to forward motion, the tipping force isn't entirely tangential to the car, and this works in your favour if your tipping direction is sideways & backwards, as it would be with a single rear wheel.

Basically, the weight/force transfer while turning wants to go diagonally, towards the outside of the curve. This directs the forces towards a wheel that isn't there, causing increased roll propensity.

lol @ " If the front wheel was at infinity,"

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by Warren » Feb 02 2015 11:01am

ErnestoA,

"lol @ " If the front wheel was at infinity,"

Yes, it is funny. I used mathematical logic to show the trend...moving the front wheel forward moves the line further from the center-of-mass. I am not saying that three wheelers are superior to four wheelers. Obviously, the evolution of vehicles indicates that two, and four wheel vehicles are prefered solutions to our transportation demands. I think the main value of three wheelers is to get around government regulation of automobiles.

The world needs smaller, lighter, less complicated vehicles, if we are to continue having them at all. Unfortunately, because the US is the seat of global empire, everyone thinks they must follow our cultural idiosyncrasies to be "modern."

Future archaeologists will marvel at crumbling interstate intersections, and wonder what gods we were worshipping when we built them.

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by wb9k » Feb 02 2015 12:03pm

Warren wrote:ErnestoA,

"lol @ " If the front wheel was at infinity,"

Yes, it is funny. I used mathematical logic to show the trend...moving the front wheel forward moves the line further from the center-of-mass. I am not saying that three wheelers are superior to four wheelers. Obviously, the evolution of vehicles indicates that two, and four wheel vehicles are prefered solutions to our transportation demands. I think the main value of three wheelers is to get around government regulation of automobiles.

The world needs smaller, lighter, less complicated vehicles, if we are to continue having them at all. Unfortunately, because the US is the seat of global empire, everyone thinks they must follow our cultural idiosyncrasies to be "modern."

Future archaeologists will marvel at crumbling interstate intersections, and wonder what gods we were worshipping when we built them.
Brilliantly put. :P

The gods, of course, are the fossil gods.....
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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by www.recumbents.com » Feb 02 2015 1:07pm

After watching a couple of the videos, it appears that it handles corners pretty darn well for a vehicle riding on 3 scooter tires. Certainly better than I imagined...

Another interesting tidbit from the video - you can order a container of 16 of these for $100,000. That means wholesale is $6250.

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Re: Spira4u foam e-car

Post by Chalo » Feb 02 2015 1:41pm

ErnestoA wrote:The longer, narrower it is, the more likely it is to roll. Plot out the vectors and it will become clear. :)
This ignores the fact that vehicle direction changes become gentler and more gradual the longer the wheelbase. That makes a huge difference in tendency to roll over-- especially in trikes for which centrifugal weight shift can sometimes cause steering angle to increase.
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