Queue the moaners....
...going on about how ugly it is, how expensive it is, how blah blah blah. Yawn.
All I can say is, if i was a rich bastard I'd get one.
Despite looking like a slightly crushed Smart car, Lumeneo’s Smera e-car has gone on sale in Paris. Smera_01 Lumeneo’s Smera e-car is now available in Paris The leccy car costs €29,500 (£25,413/$41,654), including VAT and the battery pack. But French buyers should be eligible for a €5000 (£4307/$7060) government e-car …
Driving it looks like a bit of a hoot. The width and passenger placement makes a lot of sense too - a slim design gives more parking and traffic movement options.
I suppose the usual dreary crap will surface about it possibly being dangerous in a side-impact accident. Shut up and stop being so miserable people, this is a valid and quite well considered little package. A vehicle like this would be perfect for younger drivers and the ignorant selfish cretins who strut the highways consumed by a feeling of indestructability.
If only the price wasn't so ridiculous. Sigh.......
If people are to adopt leccy tech then while one can be expected to fork out for top notch e-vehicules like the Tesla, itteh bitteh machines like zee e-car need to be priced according to their size and perceived value, IE, this thing should be about £9500 - similar to a mid range motor bike. No wealthy individual will buy one (probably for corporate insurance reasons), so which demographic unit is this machine targetted at? Other than price, it looks great.
Okay, I'm happy to stand up and defend the Aptera's styling. But this is...it's just...
It's like, just buy a freakin' motorscooter. That's obviously what you want, and it's just about what you've got. Sure, a motorscooter won't be comfortable in inclement weather--but that's why God made windbreakers, and it's not like the Smera will be any safer in rain or snow than a motorscooter.
My instant reaction upon seeing the photo was to think of the face of a hungry locust Hell-bent on eating my brain. Or wallet.
See what you think:
<What do we do with wit^H^H^Hevil 'leccies? Burn them! Buurrrrnn them!>
Anybody who rides on two wheels knows that you have to turn left before right, or right before left. The first little turn in the opposite direction initiates the proper leaning angle for the real turn. How can a halfway vehicle do this? I doubt you can start the leaning manually. If it's up to the computer, it will have to delay turns slightly so it can predict and initiate a lean for you. Steering delay would ruin all the fun of driving and, honestly, this expensive little car better be lots of fun if anyone is to buy it.
So you're that annoying git weaving all over the road...
Never got into motorbikes, but on the pedal variety I can't say I've ever found the need to "turn left before right, or right before left" in order to "initiate the proper leaning angle". You turn, you lean - job done! This ... thing ... while narrow, does have the stability of 4 wheels, so no need for any kind of steering delay.
...but bad for trips to B&Q , ikea, DFS, Sofa World...etc.etc.
Saw a G-Whiz yesterday scooting down the A4 like a b*st*rd yesterday.... they're pretty fast on the side roads. This one was heading towards slough... don't suppose the chavs break into 'em much?And they can't torch 'em afterwards either.Does this make them the ideal urban runabout?
First there were big cars. Then there were MPVs based on big cars. Then MPVs became very successful. Then there were MPVs based on just about every size and shape of car imaginable to satisfy the world's love for MPVs. There were even MPVs carefully targetted at people who didn't exist (the Renault Avantime). The car manuacturers were in clover. Take an existing car, stuff a taller body on it and suddenly it sells to a whole new market*.
Then someone did one based on an electrified Messerschmidt Tiger..........
*unless you're Renault and smoking weird shit at the time of course.
Looks like one of those inventions that nobody actually needs it simply exists because somebody worked out how to build it. It's neat, it's clever, but when it comes down to it what is the point of it?
I understand the Paris launch because of the popularity of leaning three wheeled scooters over there at the moment. There's been a huge surge in sales because licensing laws over there mean that you can drive a motorised tricycle of any capacity and power output on a car licence, so you get most of the advantages of a (fairly) powerful two wheeler without needing to go through the expensive business of qualifying for a new licence. As such there's a possibility that this will catch on over there. Can't see it having the same impact elsewhere.
Oh, and to Kevin McMurtie, you don't *have* to countersteer, but it helps especially if you're going quickly. It's the effect of giroscopic precession you try to force the wheel to turn one way and instead it does something completely different and forces to pivot around an axis at ninety degrees to the one you're trying to turn it on. At low speeds it's a different effect the castor of the steering meens that your steering moves the contact patch ton one side, so the bike falls the other way. There was something of a revolution in the eighties with sports/race bike design. When Honda we're trying to get the centre of gravity of the NSR500 lower and lower by placing the fuel tank under the engine and were surprised that it was harder to change direction on that bike than on the oppostion's more conventional layouts. The reason being that the higher CogG od the other bikes made them more prone to flop over into corners once the lean was initiated, the lean may have been easier to initiate on the NSR but that was only part of the problem. That may seem irrelevant in this application but you are only looking at the initiation of the lean rather than the act of cornering as a whole.
The sort of tech they are using has been tried before and shouldn't require any noticable delay, any more than there is a delay with electronic power steering in a conventional car. The computer will simply look at the speed you're going and the amount you're turning the wheel and initiate the lean electronically. Once the lean starts it will pretty much sort itself out. See, there was a point to my comments re the NSR500.
A decent recent used motorbike and a set of waterproofs is around that price and I see no incentive to buy this product over a used big engined feck off motorbike.
Then again I have a full bike licence and years of biking experience (with over one litre bikes) already. So I don't get easily wowed by claims of super accelleration and high speed.
I've ridden bikes that almost tear your hair out with accelleration. To me this looks like a futuristic version of one of those blue plastic disabled cars that used to be about in the 70's.
> you don't *have* to countersteer, but it helps especially if you're going quickly. It's the effect of giroscopic precess
Bikes have been built with counter-rotating flywheels to cancel the gyroscopic effects, proving that it really is insignificant.
You do have to countersteer, but generally not by enough to notice.
(Anyone who thinks you can steer just by leaning should try it with a locked headset. You can't. You can do the counter-steering with weight shift and steer no-hands, but that's not the same thing.)
Don't be fooled by the hype.
It leans. So what? That will mainly counter the instability inherent in a design with a narrow track and a relatively high centre of gravity. Without the expensive tilting tech it would roll on it's side if you tried to change direction quickly. Stability control would be no good as that just amounts to designed in critical understeer.
It's electric. So what? It could easilly have a petrol engine.
Take away that hype and there's nothing new at all. It's just a bubble car for the twenty first century. It won't catch on. The bubble car's day is long past and even in it's day it's advantages were it's low price and low tech. This thing is expensive and complicated so the things that made the bubble car attractive are absent. Replacing them with electric power, tilting and a vain hope that it will appeal to the fashion conscious will not help this thing sell at that price. Even at a quarter of the price I suspect they would have few takers.
Has anyone here seen those three-wheeled MP3 scooters by Piaggio? They just announced the hybrid version, declared fuel efficiency is 60 km/l. Price is supposed to be about € 9.000,00. Also, it tilts up to 40 degrees. Throw in a closed canopy, I don't think it would cost three times as much, even if it would require a bigger engine because of the extra weight. And we Reg readers already know that electric cars are a scam ;-)
Oh, and the fourth wheel is totally redundant.
(Disclaimer: I am not related to Piaggio :-P )