Electric cars of various shapes and sizes are appearing a lot on the news these days. Despite performing less unfavorably in international vehicle crash tests, two of the big issues that may be preventing more people from purchasing these cars are their limited driving range and their cost, especially in countries that impose high import duties and other purchase taxes for cars. But a new and cheap car the StreetScooter could change all that. The price tag? About $7,000. Close to the Tata Nano.
In the Middle East, where new cars often cost considerable amounts of money, older citizens have even more problematic mobility problems as limited incomes form pensions make it even more difficult to own a car, especially an electric car. Some people here still move on foot, donkey, and even camel!
A solution to this kind of problem is finding a vehicle that can actually be legally and safely driven on city streets, without being classified as a glorified golf cart, or other neighborhood electric vehicle, otherwise known as an NEV. Plenty of people get away with driving golf carts on the streets of Jaffa, Israel, but they are not safe or legal.
Many NEV’s look like this -golf carts
An affordable electric vehicle, known as the Streetscooter, is being developed in Germany. When available to the public, it will cost much less than other electric car models (around US$ 7,000) and will take 2 people around at speeds of up to 125 km hr.
Although this car does have a limited driving range (up to 75 km ) it is very suitable for people whose normal daily cruising distance is around 25 miles or 40 km.
Granted, 40 km is not a long distance to many people, but to people who don’t drive that much, especially senior citizens who live at a protected living retirement village, this driving range is probably enough to take them to shopping places, medical service facilities, and even to the golf course or other health and fitness location – such as a health club.
In the USA, where, many senior citizens now live in such retirement villages, this kind of vehicle is a good choice for them; especially if it can be recharged at home or while they are shopping or playing golf.
While many poorer Mid East countries do not yet have senior citizen living facilities (most elder parents live with their children) these type of retirement communities are most likely to be available in more affluent countries, such as in the UAE.
And due to carbon free communities being built, such as Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, even if that project is still facing development issues, and fossil fuel driven cars will still be around for a long time, this lower cost transportation concept could become practical – providing it has a good air conditioner.
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