Realization hits me with a sopping wet thud of a bug (you know the juicy kind) splattering, driven by hurricane force into my visor; this may be the most socially relevant two-wheeler I’ve had the honor of twisting the throttle of. The Evader EV1000, or ERA, silently whisks me up to a respectable city traffic speed in a contemplative silence – the scooter sings electric, which is to say hardly at all.
Electric vehicles are, of course, amazingly relevant in the context of high gasoline prices which are preparing to go stratospheric. This state of affairs is especially true in the US, where the recent Hurricane Katrina has wreaked havoc on oil refineries and distribution infrastructure pushing prices in the South-Eastern States to well over $3.00/gallon, Canada too was not exempt from this cross-border pressure. The US Energy Information Administration reports that, “with as much as 5 percent of refinery capacity expected to remain shut down for months, it will take time for the gasoline supply system to return to normal, implying that prices could remain elevated (the U.S. average retail price was $2.61 per gallon on August 29) for some time to come.” Not a good time to be driving an Escalade to the office one surmises, and unfortunately where the US goes we (Canada) tend to follow.
Making matters worse, on September 6th, 2005 the National Commission on Energy Policy released a report. The contents stated that “taking less than 4% of oil off the global market due to small incidents of political unrest and terrorism would cause prices to rise dramatically to more than $161 bb.” That would translate to a skyrocketing cost at the pump to the neighborhood of a whopping $5.00/gallon. I’m not one partial to hugging the shrubbery, my main pastime and part time avocation based on using as much fuel as an engine can consume to get from point A to point B by the most convoluted connecting roads possible, but this scared me to a slight shade of green.
Suddenly the argument for an electric runabout like the Evader EV1000 seems as fine tuned and precise as its throttle control. There is another oddly relevant point that connects the EV1000 to the looming specter of a US oil crisis, and that, strangely, is war. The Evader’s in-hub engine is a 1000 watt electric motor re-tooled from torpedo technology and gone rogue for peaceful purposes. This puts shoving daisies in the end of guns to shame, but leaves one to question why such technical advancement always seems tied to war.
It’s a lot to think about; I go back to turning low-speed figure-eights in middle of the track. I’m having fun, but also finding the EV1000 just a bit top heavy, and think it’s likely to due to the placement of the four glass-mat gel batteries. Future models will see the batteries lower to help with the center of gravity.
I accelerate smartly out of a turn, and head back to the press tent. The acceleration is not brisk, but there is a complete lack of a two-stroke blue smoke and I can almost hear the grass heave a sigh of relief as I go by. Sadly, weather models indicate that higher temperatures and global warming may have increased Katrina’s might. Vehicles like the Evader EV1000 as personal transport, if adopted sooner in our history could at least help stem that particular tide. It’s a pity that it doesn’t have more under-seat storage, but the standard top-box helps. – it’s big enough for note pads, a laptop perhaps, and the day’s essentials.
Evader’s current model for Canada, the EV1000, has 45amp batteries, a 1000-watt motor with max. speed of 50km/h (30 mph) and a 65-70 km (40-mile) range. That makes it perfect for in-city commuting, especially in areas such as BC where we’re gifted with natural splendor and grandeur… that can be dammed up for hydro-electric power. Vehicles such as the EV1000 are not a perfect solution, but they are better than what we’re using currently for in-city commuting, and they are rapidly improving.
Evader is planning 2000-watt and 3500-watt variants for next spring and fall with speed expectations of 65 and 80 kph, and ranges of 80 and 100+ km respectively. A Vancouver company may soon be the source for new technology batteries that promise 30% better range. The future also points to hydrogen fuel cells. The EV1000 and its kin feature another perk to ownership; engine maintenance is about the same that you’d perform on a washing machine – which is to say for most people near none.
There is a grand irony to this that Evader, a group of gifted engineers who’ve run away from Boeing with their “possible military connections”, are using recently declassified torpedo motor control technology to power a form of cheap, clean, and one hopes, plentiful transit for the masses. A weapon of mass destruction, WMD, has become something far more important and far more problem solving – a WMT, Weapon of Mass Transit.
MSRP: $2599.00 CDN
Contact: Evader Motorsports Inc.
Phone: +1 (800) 267-5279