PHOTO CAPTION: TREV two-place electric car

Meet Trev: the 90+ Mile Electric Commuter Car

Student-built vehicle can do 0-60 in 10 seconds with top speed of 75 mph. Photo courtesy of University of South Australia.

Published: 20-May-2010

TREV stands for "Two-seat Renewable Energy Vehicle." Built by students at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, it is an attractive three-wheel (tadpole configuration), tandem-seat battery electric runabout.

It has a range of 150 km (93 mi) and top speed of 120 km/hr (75mph). Acceleration is 0-100 km/h in 10 seconds, according to the specfiications on the UniSA web site.

The power plant that propels the 300 kg (661 lbs) EV is a 25 kW (peak) permanent magnet brushless DC motor, energized by a 40 kg (88 lbs) lithium polymer battery with a capacity of 5.5 kWh.

To get the weight of the vehicle down, the team, led by Dr Peter Pudney, made use of aluminum honeycomb boards to form the tub chassis. The smooth aerodynamic body is shaped from foam and fiberglass. The canopy is blown acrylic. The tires are 165/65R14 low rolling resistance models, which also improve the vehicles economic performance.

Besides seating for two, there is enough room in the vehicle for two overnight bags.

The team estimates the car will operate for just AU$1/100km. This is equivalent to a mere US$0.0146 cents per mile. Because it uses 1/5 of the energy consumed by a conventional motorcar, its environmental impact is dramatically lessened, especially if the electric power comes from local-produced wind or solar power.

During the recent Darwin to Adelaide World Solar Challenge, the Trev traveled the 3020 km journey consuming the equivalent of AU$33 of electricity (at AU$0.18 per kWh).

As the teams web site states, "It makes petrol look silly."

This is the future of commuting, people.

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