Tango For Two
The now infamous Segway Human Transporter was touted as the next big thing in commuting for a lot of reasons, but one stuck out above the rest: Compact size. By shrinking the footprint of the vehicle, you can fit many times more people on existing roads and freeways, and since you never have empty seats, fuel is used more efficiently. Unfortunately, lack of high speed performance killed the two wheeled wonder on America's streets. But the idea of closer packed commuters never left our minds. The Mini and Smart car, along with countless scooter models tried to fill the void. But now, a new electric contender is here, with a surprising twist, and some serious specs. Get ready to Tango...We noted the Tango a few months back, but it recently re-surfaced because none other than George Clooney has recently purchased a Tango to complement his collection of motorcycles. Now that your favorite ER doc has one, maybe you should give this little guy another look.
The first thing Commuter Cars, the company behind the Tango commuter coupe, did when designing this little guy, was to throw out the side-by-side paradigm of passenger cars. Double wide means much more overall real estate taken by each car, since you need length for stability. A tandem arrangement, like the Tango, allows drivers to pack two to a lane, like touring motorcycles, and keeps the wheelbase long enough to be stable in turns. And, at only 39" wide, you're edging out some larger touring motorcycles as far as wiggle room goes.
Next, Commuter Cars packed in two electric motors capable of rocketing to 60 mph in only 4 seconds, with a top speed of around 100 Mph. It holds enough batteries for 60-80 miles between charges. The batteries are easily replaceable, and upgradeable as Li-ion and NiMH come down in price, which will extend the range.
Initially, I was pretty skeptical about stability of this little guy in tight turns, but Commuter Cars is one step ahead, and posts this video of a Tango being put through its paces alongside some other cars. Maybe because of it's super low center of mass (the motors and batteries are mounted almost entirely in-plane with the wheels), but the Tango doesn't seem to lift up too much, where other cars were flying.
Interested in electric cars? Check out: 17 Electric Cars You Must Know About