The Mini Aceman Concept Seems Like A Fun, Square-Stanced, Electric Subcompact Crossover

Morning Dump Mini Aceman

Mini unveils the funky Aceman, Valeo claims the chip shortage is easing, and Spotify’s Car Thing is dead. All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Mini Has A New Electric Concept Car

Mini Aceman
Photo credit: Mini

So, first question: Is the Aceman actually mini? Well, yes and no. While a length of 159.45 inches (4,050 mm) is about 2.35 inches longer than a current five-door Mini, the Aceman makes the 173.6-inch (4,410 mm) Mercedes-Benz GLA look absolutely gigantic. However, the Aceman is properly wide at 78.3 inches (1.99 meters), roughly the same width as the outgoing Range Rover. Hey, at least the body width should help rear shoulder room. Alright, so the Aceman is only somewhat mini, but I’m not sure how much that matters as it’s a recognizable piece of design. Sure, the illuminated Union Jack motif on the front fascia feels a bit awkward in a post-Brexit world, but the fan blade wheels, contoured arches, and chunky roof rack really seem to add something new to the classic Mini shape. This is a very modern yet very familiar car, certainly not a bad thing. Could the front fascia be styled better? Sure, but the Aceman doesn’t feel preposterously overgrown in the same way the Countryman does.

Mini Aceman Interior
Photo credit: Mini

While the exterior of the Mini Aceman is very much evolutionary, the inside feels more revolutionary. Sure, there’s still a big circle in the middle of the dashboard, but it’s now a floating OLED screen that cleaves huge visual bulk out of the dashboard. Speaking of the dashboard itself, full-width fabric trim looks quite funky and seems wonderfully tactile. Since the Aceman is electric, a traditional shifter isn’t needed, so the center console is opened up for storage and wireless charging. Solid stuff. What’s more, Mini has gone absolutely mad with patterns inside the Aceman, with houndstooth, word print, and embroidered graphics bringing such a lovely sense of fun to the interior.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Aceman made production in some form. True concept cars typically don’t have this many shut lines, nor do many concept cars have actual side mirrors that seem reasonably useful, an interior rear view mirror, or sun visors. Not much is know about the Aceman’s underpinnings, but the next Mini hatch will feature an electric variant, so a suitable platform exists. Let’s see what the future brings.

Valeo Claims Chip Shortage Easing

Valeo Scala 3
Photo credit: Valeo

Automakers don’t typically build electronic components in-house. Often, a reputable supplier with dedicated facilities and experience gets contracted to build electronic components which then get shipped to assembly plants and put into cars. Case in point? Many premium audio system components are made by Harman International, several manufacturers use lighting systems made by Hella, and Valeo supplies a whole raft of components to manufacturers [Editor’s note: I used to work with Valeo heat exchangers while designing cooling systems at Chrysler. -DT]. Valeo has recently released its second-quarter earnings report, and it comes with some positive news on the chip shortage, as reported by Reuters.

“The context has been difficult,” CEO Christophe Perillat told reporters, referring to microchip shortages that have hit the automotive sector. However, he said the chip situation “is improving.”

Valeo said it was “particularly pleased” with its order intake, especially in vehicle electrification and advanced driving assistance systems.

Hey, improvement’s a good thing to see, even if it may not be a grand improvement. In addition, S&P Global expects total worldwide vehicle production to hit 81 million units this year, up from 77 million in 2021. Crawling out of this new vehicle shortage is going to be a war of inches, but it’s nice to know that some progress is being made.

Mercedes EQE Just As Profitable As Standard E-Class

Mercedes Eqe
Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz

A hotly debated topic in the shift towards EVs is whether or not automakers make money from electric cars. After all, battery packs are expensive to make and consumers will typically only pay so much for a product. You might remember compliance cars like the Fiat 500e, which lost FCA around $14,000 per unit. While these rather reluctantly-produced EVs may have impacted automakers’ bottom lines, past performance isn’t always indicative of present situations. Some EVs are doing just fine in terms of profit margins and Automotive News Europe reports that the Mercedes-Benz EQE is one of them.

“It’s more or less the first quarter of EQE sales, but at this point the EQE margin is at the point of the E-Class margin,” Mercedes CFO Harald Wilhelm said Wednesday on the automaker’s first-half results call, adding that the EQE might even be slightly ahead of the E-Class right now.

Hey, that’s great news, right? Well, yes and no. This case of profit parity comes with a fairly big downside.

EQE sales started in Europe in the second quarter. The model has a base price of about 70,000 euros (about $71,000), while the E Class starts at about 50,000 euros for a base diesel sedan, although AMG performance variants can top 100,000 euros.

That’s a fairly significant walk-up from a diesel E-Class to an electric EQE. You can buy a lot for 20,000 euros, from 20 Renault Twingos to around 10,000 liters of diesel fuel. While Mercedes-Benz is a maker of luxury vehicles and clients in that space typically aren’t afraid of paying more for something new, 20,000 euros is pretty steep. Will EV pricing ever come down to match combustion car pricing? Eventually, although the timeline is up in the air.

Good Riddance To Spotify’s Stupid Car Thing

Spotify Car Thing
Photo credit: Spotify

We all just want tech integration to be simple, right? Apple CarPlay usually beats OEM infotainment interfaces, one-touch Bluetooth pairing helps us throw on some tunes for driveway wrenching, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with plugging in a charging brick to juice up a device. I guess nobody told Spotify. The Swedish streaming service launched a device called the Car Thing early this year, much to the befuddlement of everyone. It was only a matter of time, but as reported by Engadget, the Car Thing is no more.

Spotify’s less-than-stellar quarter can be partly blamed on a decision to exit the hardware business. As part of its earnings data, the streaming service revealed that it stopped manufacturing its Car Thing player. In a statement to Engadget, a company spokesperson pinned the decision on “several factors” that included customer demand and supply chain problems. The withdrawal hurt Spotify’s gross profits.

Honestly, I can’t say I’m surprised. The Car Thing had a nauseatingly vague name and some rather serious limitations, chiefly that it was just a phone-dependent remote control, so it wasn’t a huge upgrade over just sticking your phone to a proper mount. It wasn’t a proper alternative to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, it didn’t provide any hugely new ways to play music in your car, and it cost $90. That’s a lot of money for something so limited. More tech junk consigned to the rubbish heap of history. I can’t say I’ll miss it.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Spotify ditching the Car Thing makes me wonder, how do you listen to music in your car? Maybe you have wireless Apple CarPlay, maybe you’re an AM radio fan, maybe you just wedge a Bluetooth speaker somewhere in the cabin. I have a little Bluetooth audio module installed in my 3-Series for the sake of convenience, although I do still break out a 3.5mm cable for when I want better audio quality.

Lead photo credit: Mini

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62 Responses

  1. A 78 inch wide Mini. Geeeez. Once the Bolt is gone there will probably never be an electric car that will fit in my driveway. Or at least not here in Girth America. :DISAPOINTED:

    Didn’t Spotify announce they were working on an autonomous flying EV to be in production by year end?

    1. Honest question: Why is your driveway so narrow?

      IK a guy who bought a literal horse carriage garage/repair shop that was made before the invention of the automobile and it’s full of cars with plenty of room to spare. Which is why your driveway being too small confuses me.

      There are like 10 individual garages that share the same roof. To be fair though he doesn’t have any new cars there, the newest is a 90’s Golf.

    2. How thin is your driveway? That car is 6ft 6 inches wide. Not wide by ant measure. Two full grown males shoulder to shoulder will be over 5 ft wide.
      Also Spotify had a vehicle feature with a bland non-specific name. Who would have thought that from a company with such a stupid name.
      FYI IF you bought stock in any company that soared in the pandemic, specifically shopping delivery companies SELL SELL SELL. Values are crashing because people are no longer scared to do their own shopping rather than spend hundreds to someone else to do it wrong.

      1. 84-88″ depending on mechanical protrusions, meters, vents etc. Two brick walls on either side for 45ft, no turn around. Must either back in or out. Anything wider than a Golf (72″ sans mirrors) requires a spotter and about 20 minutes of careful creeping. Not practical to do every time you need to get in or out. This ain’t the Oklahoma City suburbs! LOL

        Are you conflating Spotify with Shopify? If Shopify, I suggest you just keep your stock for the colder months to burn. I like how they even said they completely overestimated their projections as to how sustainable the pandemic e-commerce boom would be. Kind of a rare mea culpa from a corporation. Aren’t they all run by geniuses?

    1. Are you from PA? I hear Bob and Tom and the 12 member cast. Most of the show is annoying loud laugh track for non funny jokes and announcing the cast and the sponsors seat or booth or whatever where they are located. I’m pretty sure you cut ads, introductions, welcome back, what’s up next that stupid 4 hour show is like 15 seconds long. Amen Brother.

    2. The sad thing is they used to be somewhat entertaining. Of course this was in the 90’s. As I got older I realized what a complete assbag Tom is. He really drove me away from that show with his ignorance and complete disdain for his co-workers. I can’t believe they’re still on.

    1. See I have the exact opposite take–if I listen to stored music I am not limited to any particular genre and some program manager’s idea of what should be in rotation; which is the case with radio and I find to be extremely limiting. Of course the downside to my approach is the occasional musical style whiplash where a samba can transition to deathcore, followed by some Johnny Cash, but I dig that kind of chaos.

      1. Seems like if you are spending that much attention to the music you aren’t spending enough attention to driving. If the radio is playing a decent beat I’m fine couldn’t tell you 2 minutes later what was playing and if you can you’re probably a poor driver.

      2. Funny, I feel opposite—except I don’t really use stored music anymore. Radio is full of ads and people talking over the music about things that are either boring or actually irritating, and after you’ve listened to any given station for just a day or two you’ve heard every song they play more than once.

        These days I listen to streaming music, either Pandora or Spotify. I subscribe, so there are no ads for me. I can choose from a bewildering array of musical options, diving all the way down deep into the back catalogs of literally millions of musicians and bands, almost none of whom you would ever, ever hear on the radio. I can make algorithmic radio stations based on a particular genre, artist, or song. I can build my own playlists, or listen to the playlists others have created. I can go back and re-listen to a song I really like, or skip ahead if what’s on isn’t grooving for me.

        Of course, I have an unlimited data plan and I live in a place with generally solid cell service—both prerequisites. Still though, it would pain me to go back to the Days Before.

  2. I use Android Auto alongside YouTube premium (grandfathered in for $8 until I cancel it!). My car didn’t come with Wireless Android Auto but after it being backordered for months thanks to scalpers I finally got my hands on the Motorola MA1 for regular price a month ago and it’s great. Now I can keep my phone in my duffle bag or pocket and not accidentally leave my phone in the car. Of course now I just need to remember to charge it on longer drives.

    1. I use my car stereo zero down zero a month. Thirty six stations or more gets am and fm. Dealer included it in the package. I wonder if you young people will ever be able to buy a car, house, retire, etc if you keep leasing/ renting everything just to look like you aren’t poor. Me I’m not rich or poor but I spend like I’m poor. Nothing is as liquid as cash. My 2001 car I still drive and bought new? Yes 16 years of no car payment $96,000 to spend elsewhere. I’m not a cheap ass that 2001 had a $34,000 MSRP in 2001. I took care of it still enjoy driving it and love having an extra $100,000 in the bank.

      1. You make a lot of weird assumptions Dave. It’s okay not to care about music–a lot of people don’t. But to me most of what’s on the radio is meh or worse, punctuated with blathering DJs, and blaring ads–all of which I actively dislike. I am not paying such close attention to music that my driving suffers–having background music I enjoy is far less distracting than background music that I do not like.
        I am going to make an assumption of my own based on outofstep’s icon and user name that they are into early ’80s DC hardcore which I would guess makes them close to me in age (which is, alas, not particularly young), and also someone who cares about music. As someone who cares about music paying a trivial amount of money monthly for a nearly infinite music library is well worth it and doesn’t impinge at all on my home or vehicle ownership, or my retirement funds, or anything else really. I am doing rather well, thank you. If you take joy in hoarding cash, and don’t spend anything on hobbies or interests, well that’s great for you. But I suspect there are things that aren’t music that you do enjoy spending money on. At the very least you must have a lawn chair from which you can yell at clouds and kids on your lawn.

        1. I realize the irony in this comment due to my username but I haven’t seen Dave have a good opinion yet. I’m trying to stay civil on this site as opposed to the old one but his comments really rub me the wrong way. It’s like he comes here just to be a contrarian. That was fine over at the other shit hole but doesn’t fit the room here.

          1. I hear you Chris, and I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to engage or not, but Judgey McJudgealot really rubbed me the wrong way. I really want to be civil and keep it classy up in here, but I do have a username that checks out, as the youts might say.

  3. Being concerned with audio quality in a car is kinda a non issue to my mind. Vehicle NVH, the fact that you’re likely using a system that isn’t lossless, and other concerns mean you might as well just stick with bluetooth.
    To my mind at least.

    Accordingly I retrofitted my truck with a bluetooth capable head unit, and use the built-in bluetooth on my wife’s car

  4. I’ve got MP3’s on my phone that I play via Bluetooth through my car stereo, generally. Currently, I’m running out the free Sirus XM trial. I don’t like radio. I don’t like hearing DJs trying to be funny when they’re not. I prefer to have more control over what I do hear. I’ve been that way since high school. I’d listen to my cassettes or CDs in my car instead of the radio. That came from growing up in the rural south and liking grunge and metal over easy listening and country.

  5. My 2020 BMW 330i and 2021 Cayman GTS 4.0 have cd players so that is what I do the bulk of my listening with. I dread when I have to replace them because these are probably the last cars still available with CD players (330i option ended halfway through the model year).

  6. I have old Subarus with standard stereos and a cigarette lighter FM Bluetooth adaptor. For short drives (most of my driving), I just listen to the radio. On the older Subaru, I actually have a cassette tape or two that I keep in the car (U2 Joshua Tree has been in that car for two plus decades). On road trips, especially in remote areas without radio or cell towers like parts of Alaska, Yukon, BC, and Alberta, I’ll play music or podcasts from my phone.

    I don’t feel disadvantaged not having infotainment in my cars, and prefer it to having infotainment/GPS systems that get out of date. The sub-$20 FM Bluetooth adaptor I’ve had for years works great and has decent sound quality. That’s the only connection I need between new phone tech and old car tech.

    1. I cannot imagine listening to U2 for decades. Yeah, they’re supremely talented, but if I’m listening to one singer’s voice for that long, they’d better have a much better voice than Bono. After listening to the same songs for too long, many of U2’s lyrics start to sound less like singing and more like plaintive moans coming from a homeless shelter.

      (Yes, his voice is far better than mine, but I’m not a professional, and actually just pointing out my need for variety.)

  7. I honestly don’t care about car audio. I’ve only ever had problems with it (though I’ve never owned a new car). I just got used to bringing a battery powered speaker I connect my phone to if need be. However nowadays I just have one earbud in and listen to podcasts. Most of my music gets the speed demon in me Jacked Up and that would not bode well for my wallet or for me keeping my driver’s license.

    I’d honestly rather pull all the speakers and their associated wiring than put new ones in. I don’t mind the weight savings and the reduction in electrical draw.

  8. Corded Apple Carplay from my phone. I built a cassette-like slot in a blank plate in the center console lined with felt for it—it’s unobtrusive, doesn’t move around, and gets charged at the same time. The car has Bluetooth, but I’ve never had that protocol maintain a consistent connection on any devices I’ve ever had. I still try it when I get something new, but still waiting for something that works as other people report (or they’re far more tolerant than I am).

  9. I’m a fan of satellite radio. All the music stations I listen to are ad free. I can’t tolerate songs I don’t like so there’s always another button. Life is too short to listen to a bad song. The comedy channels do a fine job of keeping me awake on long drives.

  10. I’m really fancy. The (factory) radio in my ’02 Silverado has both AM *and* FM! Most of the time it’s switched off, and it makes a pretty good clock – only gains a couple minutes a year.

  11. I choose to use my bluetooth connection instead of wireless Apple Carplay. When I watch videos on my lunch break there is almost no delay in the video and audio using bluetooth, but with Carplay the lag is bad. And once I turn carplay off it is easier to just leave it off. I switch back to Carplay for longer trips or if I am traveling to an area I am unfamiliar with.

  12. My phone connects to my car via Bluetooth and we have an FM transmitter in wife’s car that allows us to do the same. I use Spotify mostly but always have a few CDs in the car as well. CDs sound great! I’m wondering if Spotify will reactivate the car mode or driving mode or whatever it was called? That was a nice feature that I believe was disabled to encourage people to buy the Car Thing.

  13. Integrated bluetooth in my truck, a bluetooth dongle plugged into the aux port in my Prius (my particular model is old enough and a low enough trim level that it came with no integrated bluetooth, surprisingly), and the 12 disc cd changer in my Corvette. The last one is mostly because I always coveted a cd changer when I was younger but never had a car fancy enough to have one. Now that I do I feel kind of obligated to use it. 😉

  14. A few years ago I changed the head unit in the Tahoe, along with new speakers and a small amp, replaced the original sub too. This wasn’t a factor in the upgrade, but since the new head unit has Bluetooth, I just link Spotify from my phone right to the truck, haven’t really listened to the radio or CDs since.

  15. I have a plex server at home with 300gbs of mp3s. I just stream from it in my car so I have all my stuff. I have been collecting tunes since I was younger and I hate the radio. My wireless android auto dongle has made things a lot easier as well. Pretty cool what tech can do now.

  16. Heated seats and Bluetooth audio have been my only two dealbreaker features for over a decade now. I cannot tolerate the radio for any length of time anymore.

    Podcasts get a lot of play, although nothing like when I was commuting.

    I resisted both subscription music services and voice assistants for a long time, since YouTube music’s free tier was pretty good and voice assistants are generally creepy. However, none of the free services have enforceable parental controls so eventually moved to Apple Music since it bundles well with other crap we use.

    I only ever talk to my phone to control music when driving, but siri works well 90-95% of the time and has the added benefit of being linked to my voice so nothing happens when kids shout requests from the backseat.

  17. My wife and I both have small flash drives (that can be attached to our key rings) that we use in our cars – her in her Cruze (so it just stays in there), and mine does double duty for my Volt and my Cobalt (I just have to remember to take it with me when I know I’m driving the other car). The Cobalt also has an SD slot in the Pioneer NEX head unit, so I’ve always considered getting an SD card for that car so I don’t have to do that dance.

  18. I have a 128GB thumbdrive loaded up completely with high-bitrate MP3s’ that I leave plugged into the USB slot in my Accord’s console, it’s literally weeks worth of music and I generally just let it randomly play. Sometimes it’s NoMeansNo, sometimes it’s Buffalo Springfield, sometimes it’s 90’s acid jazz and electro-swing. I use wired CarPlay for maps and podcasts, it’s a good system.
    Never been a fan of Bluetooth, the degradation of sound quality is pretty noticeable to me compared to wired 320kb/s MP3’s, although some people don’t seem to notice.

    1. I’m with you on the thumb drive, it’s honestly better for me than the bluetooth solution. Just shove it in there, I’ve got plenty of music I like and I don’t have to worry about data dead spots when I go to visit my friends.

  19. I have a Bluetooth speaker on my VW Super Beetle lol it fits pretty well between the seats. I hit pause once in a while just to listen to the engine is making the normal noises and nothing weird is happening

    I also have a portable battery called “Jackery Explorer 240”, it has two USB ports 2.4A plus a regular 110V 200W, so I can keep my phone and my speaker charging. It also has a 12V plug for car related accessories. So fancy my beetle lol

  20. Up until six months ago, I was still using a good old iPod. The hard drive went kablooey and I haven’t been able to un-kablooey it, so I got a big-ass Micro SD card for my phone (cheap Motorola Moto E) and loaded music on it. Using VLC as a player, but I’m not crazy about it. Plugs into a standard 3.5 headphone jack on a $30 eBay stereo. No reason to get fancy; The Clash sounds just fine through it.

    1. It’s shocking how hard it is to find a decent music player app on Android. I used to use Rocket Player and liked it, but apparently the developer got bought recently and the app has gone to hell ever since (crashes, “please give us 5 stars” popups even though I paid for the premium version, etc.). I started looking around for alternatives, and it took me several tries before I found one that I liked, and even then I had to download another app to start music on bluetooth connect.

  21. I’ve got a free Sirius XM trial and I have to say I’m pretty impressed. I always thought it was a waste of money, but with no commercials, crystal clear reception nearly all the time, and a really nice array of channels to choose from from 1940’s music through each decade up to today’s hits, I’m seriously considering continuing the service when the trial runs out. My favorites are the 40’s, 60’s, and 70’s channels as well as the symphony channel.

    1. Sirius XM is a good concept, but don’t ever listen in a quiet car when you’re not in motion.

      If you do, you’ll notice that either they add a bit of reverb in the studio to absolutely everything they broadcast, or that there’s an artifact of satellite transmission and reception that sounds just like added reverb.

      It’s awful once you notice it. Songs that I’ve known for years suddenly have a bit of reverb when I know they’ve never had it before. Others have a little more than normal.

      I literally cannot listen to Sirius XM more more than a half hour or so without getting ear fatigue and annoyed by the awful quality of the sound.

  22. My music is a tuned V6 with equal length headers and a Borla catback most of the time. Or if in a family car, Spotify on my phone connected via bluetooth.

    Also, Mini really needs to evolve their design language. That’s the least exciting concept car I remember seeing in recent memory.

  23. I may have been one of the last holdouts still using CDs for a while there. I didn’t usually listen to professionally made CDs, but I’d burn my own with mixes of my favorite music. My previous car would play MP3s burned to a CD-R (saved as files rather than as a traditional CD, so I could fit hours of decent-sounding music to a disc), so I’d fill a burnable CD with lots of my favorites and hit shuffle.

    My current car has an SD card slot, so when I got it I finally ditched the discs and filled SD cards with all of my music and listened to those.

    Lately I’ve taken to streaming Amazon Music from my phone via Bluetooth. I like it because it’s not just a “dumb” audio repeater, but rather the car’s main screen shows song/artist information and the steering wheel control buttons work for skipping songs and going back. It works pretty well, and there’s a good variety of music to listen to based on my current mood.

    If there was one feature I wish I could have, it’d be better Alexa integration. I’d like to be able to call out “Alexa, play…” on a whim. I think the app is supposed to do that, but I keep my phone in my pocket, so the microphone doesn’t hear me. That’s a minor thing, though, and certainly something that I can live without.

    1. If I want to make a call from my car, using the car’s system bluetooth-linked to my phone was like a 13 step process. Finally I figured out I could say “OK GOOGLE…call whoever” and circumvent my car’s lousy system, and it still goes through the car’s mic and speakers. I figured out it sorta works with Spotify as well “OK GOOGLE…play Spotify”. Long delay and I haven’t figured out how to get it to play the list I want, but it’s better than pulling over or waiting for a long light to start the music.

  24. I use a portable MP3 player in my custom build electric microcar/recumbent tricycle/velomobile thing with USB computer speakers, running off the 12V auxiliary battery fed via DC to DC converter from the traction pack.

    Lots of The Frowning, Cannibal Corpse, Ghoul Chapel, Gost, Goat Smegma, Carpenter Brut, Perturbator, Guttural Secrete, and similar artists get played. Once I have the new battery pack in and set it up to about 15 horsepower peak(keep in mind the vehicle will weigh under 100 lbs), the performance will match the music played. It could readily do donuts in parking lots on only 4 horsepower, so 15 should be very lively.

    It’s going to get a rust-colored paintjob with a big red anarchy sign on the side, a silver Baphomet hood ornamet, pentagram wheel disc covers, and a fallout shelter sign for a rear derailleur access hatch. Going to totally ride around wearing a plague doctor mask and cloak!

    1. I see you post a lot about your electric microcar/recumbent tricycle/velomobile thing. Any resources you can point out to the aspiring electric microcar/recumbent tricycle/velomobile thing builder?

      1. This site hasn’t allowed me to post links due to it requiring moderator approval. I’ll try this:

        recumbents(dot)com

        …is a good source of info.

        My vehicle uses motorcycle and ebike components in addition to bicycle components. I’m intent on making it capable of sustaining 100+ mph without something unexpectedly failing. Bicycle parts are NOT up to that task. I have an online acquaintance working on a braking system that uses ebike calipers, motorcycle lever/fluid reservoir/hoses, and ATV rotors that I will be using when it is ready. I’m also using solar car tires so that there is sufficiently low resistance to pedal it with the motor disabled to faster-than-bicycle speeds, but with enough rubber that when using the motor I can safely sustain highway speeds without a panic stop destroying my tires.

        Everything is a balancing act. Too heavy, and the bicycle drivetrain becomes useless. Too fragile, and it’s a death trap.

        The goal is to keep the entire vehicle under 100 lbs finished and ready to ride. I think it’s possible. The current iteration can cruise 35 mph and reach 50 mph, and I get 150-200 miles range on 1.5 kWh, or about $0.15 of electricity.

          1. Also,

            ecomodder(dot)com

            …as their forum has EXCELLENT info on ground vehicle aerodynamics. This subject is the most important aspect effecting vehicle performance/efficiency. Read books on the subject as well. “Streamlining and Car Aerodynamics” by Jan P. Norbye and “Aerodynamics of Road Vehicles” by Wolf-Heinrich Hucho are heavily recommended.

            My goal is to make it slippery enough that even rolling on DOT-rated rubber, it only needs 2 horsepower to maintain 70 mph. If successful, pedaling it to 45 mph in a sprint on flat ground with the motor shut off will also be possible. It’s going to get 150W of solar panels as well.

            The idea is to have a vehicle that if SHTF, I will be able to keep it operational, even if grid electricity goes down, even if the electric drive system fails. If I wear the tires out and can’t get new ones, even the wheel size I chose is a match for using 20″ tires from a child’s BMX bike, which are ubiquitous(albeit unsuitable for sustained speeds over 30 mph, but 30 mph is still better than walking).

            And if society stays relatively normal, it will still save buttloads of money versus using a car.

            1. Toecutter, thanks for putting all this out there. I’ll be checking it all out. If you haven’t done so already, you should see if you can get an article about your build published here.

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