Simplicity is a whimsical representation of the state of electric
vehicles today. As with all electric vehicles since 1834 when Thomas
Davenport of Scotland built the first electric
Simplicity consists of a battery pack, control system and an electric
motor. Simplicity is also equipped with an amorphous solar array (not
on display) to assist in recharging the battery supply. To comply
with New York State, Simplicity is classified as a primarily human
powered vehicle, therefor is can be driven on regular roads and at
the same time, it does not have to be either registered or insured.
TOP SPEED: On
electricity alone, the top speed is 18 Miles Per hour.
RANGE: On electric
power alone, the range is 30 Miles (which, press releases not
withstanding, is about the norm for vehicles of this weight and size).
Simplicity is a three wheeled vehicle, with front wheel drive with
the two front wheels. The rear wheel is what turns the vehicle. This
arrangement allows the drive to
parallel park without having to back in. This drive steering
configuration takes the driver some practice getting used
to. While such a
steering system is unusual, it is not unique. It was first
experimented with at the turn of the last century (1900). The same
arrangement was also used by the promoter
Fuller in his famous Dymaxion of 1936. In addition to the steering
system, Simplicity also boasts terrific visibility and is
considerably safer to drive than either a motorcycle or a bicycle.
alternate energy vehicle links:
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DIDIK vehicles are made
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Information for Manufacturers
to Build an Electric Car (Smithsonian Institute Talk)
Didik Turtle (or how to build an electric
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Critical assessment of
of Electric Vehicles from 1834 to 1987
Horseless Age First Car Magazine in the
USA, starting in 1895. Contains details on every
early car. Fascinating.
review major catalog of early books on electric vehicles.
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Didik Simplicity was designed to be simple and easy to construct,
very light weight, maneuverable and able to hold at least 2 people.
To accomplish this, the frame was constructed using a simple steel
"T" bone design with an array of cross members to achieve
triangulation. To this end, the design was successful in that the
frame alone only weighs 35 lbs which is extremely light considering
that it can hold up to 3 people. To lower the weight further and to
make construction even simpler, the DIDIK Simplicity does not have a
spring loaded suspension system, but rather uses low pressure balloon
tires in the front and a padded seat.
The uncommon use of a single rear wheel for steering further
minimized the need for complex and heavy geometry. After test driving
the DIDIK Simplicity for over one month, several critical
observations have been made pertaining rear wheel steering. First,
low speed maneuverability is simply unbelievable. It is possible to
turn 360 degrees within the radius of the vehicle! It is also
possible to parallel park by driving into the
rather than backing into the space. On the other hand, it has been
observed that the rear wheel turning configuration tends to over
steer more and more as the speed increases. At top speed, it is
believed that this oversteering can destabilize the vehicle. It may
be able to compensate for this oversteering by placing a variable
steering transmission so that at higher speed, less steering wheel
rotation is necessary. In addition to oversteering, an other concern
is that with the use of the rear wheel for turning, the vehicle is
difficult to control while going through tight or confined spaces. --- Frank