Contributing Monkie G Monkie
Published on September 16, 2007
Update Autoweek takes The eBox for a Test Drive: "Just before he drove off, silently, in his new eBox, Hanks observed,There are three electric cars sitting on the moon, and now another one in my garage. The eBox makes even more sense in Los Angeles than in the Taurus-Littrow Valley of the moon. I can drive all weekend, hauling dogs and helping my friends move, and the only reason I’ll need to stop at a gas station is for beef jerky and lottery tickets.
How far we’ve come. The AC Propulsion eBox—a Scion xB converted to run solely on electricity — has ultraefficient lithium-ion batteries, which are better than the NiMH (nickel metal hydride) batteries the EV1 got by the 1999 model year and which powered the Honda EVPlus during its short lifetime. An eBox can go 150 miles on a charge if you take it easy and 120 if you don’t. The eBox’s Li-Ion batteries offer 355 volts and 35 kilowatts and weigh only 595 pounds, including the cables and battery box. Consider that you toss out the engine, transmission and much other stuff when you convert an xB to electric drive, and that weight gain isn’t so bad. Curb weight of a stock xB is 2395 pounds and goes up to 3050 as an eBox.
Now, on paper, that suggests that the xB might outperform the eBox, but our results surprised us—the eBox out-performed the stock Scion xB by a large margin in every parameter we tested. The eBox got from 0 to 60 mph in 7.02 seconds, versus 9.71 for the xB we tested four years ago. Braking from 60 to 0 took 126 feet in the eBox and 132 in the xB. The slalom went by at 42.6 mph in the eBox and 40.9 in the xB. AC Propulsion didn’t change tires, springs or shocks on its car, either, so all those numbers came up with the same setup Scion sent out from the factory. The eBox benefited from a lower center of gravity and from the instantaneous torque inherent in an electric motor."
AC Propulsion has delivered the first eBox customer car to Tom Hanks. The actor and producer, a veteran EV driver, ordered his eBox after driving the first prototype last July. I still have a Toyota RAV4 EV and never spent a penny on gasoline for it, said Hanks, What AC Propulsion is doing is fantastic. I drove their zero electric sports car a few years ago, so when they put the same technology in a four-door I wanted one for myself. It has double the range, goes fast, uses Li Ion batteries, and is incredibly roomy and comfortable. Oh, and I will also never have to put any gasoline into it.
The eBox, which made its public debut in December, is a pure electric car, not a hybrid. With no gasoline engine, the eBox transports its occupants serenely and efficiently, at speed or in traffic, with powerful acceleration and amazing regenerative braking. Recharging is as close as the nearest electric outlet because the eBox can plug in anywhere. It seats five and has one of the roomiest rear seats in the business. Fold the rear seat and the eBox can take a huge haul.And there is one convenience no conventional car can match the eBox refuels at home. Plug it in and it charges while you sleep. In the morning, the 35 kWh Li Ion battery is ready to go up to 150 miles, more than enough for a typical day’s driving.
Benefiting from fifteen years of electric vehicle development at AC Propulsion, the eBox represents electric car state of the art – 2007. AC Propulsion has changed the perception and reality of the electric car with innovations such as light, powerful electric motors, maximized regenerative brakes, integrated high-power chargers, bi-directional grid connections that let the car supply AC power, and high-performance Li Ion traction batteries assembled from small cells.
See the full article on autoweek.com