Australia Certifies Its First ZEV
CarDomain brings us the story of the Blade Runner , a battery-powered Hyundai Getz minicar which is the first vehicle recognized by Australia's Scientific and Industrial Research Organization as a domestically produced ZEV. For about $35k you get room for four, AC, powers steering, and a 62-mile range from pure electric power. The Blade Runner is the brainchild of Ross Blade from Harcourt Australia, whose Blade Electric Vehicles company strips the dirty gas-burning bits from the Getz and retrofits it with lithium iron phosphate batteries, regenerative braking and a 40kw electric engine. The Blade Runner even offers 880 lbs of towing capacity and a top speed of 75 mph, although the the 7 seconds to 62 kph (37 mph) must seem like an eternity when the kids are late for community gardening class. Still, the Blade Runner offers a peek at the burgeoning ZEV-retrofit industry, and a refreshing dose of reality in contrast to, say, the ZAP approach to bringing ZEVs to market.