Seems a bit gimmicky to me. Do they even sell DeLorean vehicle any more and did they ever really sell any in the first place? Then again, a fair percentage of the people buying electric vehicles are doing so to be pioneers and to stand out--maybe this is just the vehicle they're waiting for.
DeLoreans really didn't get a chance to sale. I had always heard that the drug trafficking charges were a setup brought about by the big three. Who knows, but they have done plenty of other similiar nasty things in the past.
I think DeLoreans going electric is a great thing. Maybe someone will do something totally different.
Oh, another example of the busy-bodies and gestapo ''Rule Makers''. I am personally offended by this nonsense. Given a statement of conformance or nonconformance, I _should_ be able to make a free choice of ''to buy'' or ''not to buy'' a modified 1980s motor vehicle. But, things are not as they should be so I am sure that busy-bodies and bureaucrats will do their part to thwart the efforts of yet another business.
You may want to re-read the article. There is no new production; they are rebuilding the old stock (i.e 1980's rules). It is the only way that it could work. Too bad they arn't just rebuilding them to original and spending the extra money to get them to work for a change!
"its executives fixed on the idea of using the parts in a new, electrically-powered version of the car. Plans are to build between 350 and 400 electric DeLoreans, based on the company's current inventory of parts."
Perhaps in other "English" new has different meanings but in USA if car is NEW, it is new no two ways bout it !
Even if you build it from a stash of "old never before assembled parts" exactly what Mr. Shelby did years ago with two cars, and California court sent him packing out of CA as a part of suspended sentence that would have put him in Jail for 5 years if he did not ! (and that was only after team of lawyers was paid $$$$$$$)
(One reason Shelby is in Las Vegas now).
Even if you produce a vehicle in "series of one" and even if it is "re-manufactured" the law is very simple:
"Under Federal law, 49 U.S.C. 30112(a), a person may not manufacture for sale, sell, offer for sale, or introduce in interstate commerce any vehicle that does not comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) in effect at the time of the assembly of the vehicle. The manufacturer would also have to certify compliance with all applicable FMVSS."
But hey that does not stop FORD from offering 1964 FORD MUSTANG "original" licensed copy to those that really want to break the law, as it is nothing more than sheat mettal (just introduced today at SEMA in Las Vegas).
FOr one I do not make the laws just make other people aware of them, personally I strongly believe that two weel motorcycles should be outlawed if NHTSA really cared about saving even a single life - after all you are 45 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than in a car !!!
And I agree that people if they like to commit vehicular suicide should be able to procure vehicle other than motorcycle to do it in....
But again that is my opinion
But the fact that a new vehicle (any vehicle) MUST satisfy ALL the applicable FMVSS as of date of manufacture, if it was not so TATA would be selling NANO for $3,000 in USA already they only have 150,000 units unused anual capacity for it in India.
I don't mean to say you are wrong, but there must be a loophole that allows outfits like Classic Recreations to operate. They remanufacture and sell vintage mustangs that do not conform to new car rules.
I do know that a vehicle can be assembled from junk (i.e. two same car models with differenty damage pieced together) and titled within a state. Once the car has been titled and registered in one state, it can then be sold just as any other used car, even to an owner in another state (interstate commerce). Perhaps this is just 'under the radar' so to speak (NHTSA doesn't have patrolmen).
I agree that people should be able to chose their own vehicle (or mode of death in some cases). The NHSTC should be shut down. Not only is it very questionable constitutionally, but the unaccountable drones in that agency are directly responsible for up to a third the price of a new vehicle. I fully support the free market even if that means ignoring the federal overlords.
"Under Federal law, 49 U.S.C. 30112(a), a person may not manufacture for sale, sell, offer for sale, or introduce in *_interstate_* commerce any vehicle that does not comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) in effect at the time of the assembly of the vehicle. The manufacturer would also have to certify compliance with all applicable FMVSS."
I guess that they will have to limit the sales to Texans and Texas dealerships.
Kit car companies have loopholes to allow them to circumvent today's vehicle safety and emissions (et. al.) laws. Need to verify, but I think that they are limited to selling no more than 5000 vehicles per year. They are held to the automotive standards that existed during the year that the car represents (such as 1965 for a lot of the Cobra kit cars), but that can be over-ridden by State laws. “New” is a grey area, since how do you classify a newly constructed Cobra kit car that might loosely look like a 1965 model but has much newer technology under its skin?Another loophole is that the kit car companies are selling parts for individuals to assemble, not complete cars.So they pass the risk onto their customers.
Usually if the cars are modified existing (titled) cars then State laws prevail.So it is possible to legally sell converted 1980s DeLoreans in small numbers, subject to dealing with licensing differences in each State.Probably okay for a small company with small goals, but not practical for major automakers who want to sell tens of thousands across the whole country.
The present DeLorean Motor Company in the article is not the same DeLorean Motor Company that produced the original DMC-12 seen in Back to the Future. The original DeLorean Motor Company folded in 1982. In the mid 90's, someone bought all of the parts and logo of the original DMC and named the new company DeLorean Motor Company. They specialize in spare parts and rebuilds of the existing DMC-12 vehicles on the road. At one time, I think that you could actually buy a new gas powered car from them, but I am not sure if they still offer this now that they are looking to go all electric.
As a note, a friend of mine has an original DMC-12 (without flux capacitor). It is fun to ride in, but you will hit your head on the gull doors every time you get out.
I was listening to an episode of "Top Gear" last night on the BBCA. They had a Delorean on there. It is assembled from several car manufacturers. The front axel from one, the rear from another; and the interior is ghastly (Halloween left over). Plastic pieces everywhere and poorly fitted. The gentleman discussing this owned one, because he was from Ireland, where it is manufactured.
If you find a body repair shop that will weld anything on the body of your new car, then give me there name and number. It's virtually impossible to find a body shop that doesn't want to just unbolt and replace.
It is interesting that DeLorean has introduced what to most Americans is actually a coal-fired steam car. (The boiler and engine live at the coal-fired power plant.) Iwould be lucky if 0.01% of the public could afford it and of those, perhaps 1% would buy it instead of their macho gas-hogs.
What we really need is a cheap light electric, even with limited range and speed, AND solar charging stations. 2-car families or city dwellers could use the electric to commute and for local trips, neither of which requires grand prix performance. The electric might be designed with the same market philosophy as the Ford T, or the VW beetle, economical, simple, and reliable. An electric need not, and should not, try to mimic a gas car. It's a different species.
One advantage of solar charging is that the panels produce DC which can charge the battery even with no power converters. (There is a tradeoff between the slight gain in efficiency with peak power tracking and the simplicity of direct connection.)
I certainly agree that in most cases, a plug-in electric car is still powered by fossil fuels, with all the attendant ills that go along with it. However, it must be pointed out that a generating station can be tuned to run and produce power at a rate close to optimal, while an automobile has to spin up, spin down, run at idle, run hot, run cold, and run everywhere in between.
Additionally, I doubt solar chargers will ever catch on for automobiles. At least, not PV solar panels. They're too dependent on good weather. No one wants to be stranded at work because thick clouds covered the sky all day. Some of us living on the North Coast may not get nearly enough daylight in the winter to charge their batteries, and batteries lose a certain amount of usability in the cold temperatures too. (My Prius gets about 10 MPG less in the winter than it does in the summer.)
However, there are some very interesting things going on in the field of municipal solar power generation. Using optics to concentrate sunlight and turn a fluid to steam to power a turbine, or to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen, then recombine them in a fuel cell, these plants can provide wall power that makes a plug-in car fairly green. I'd love to see the range of these cars improve, and the cost come down before I plunk down the cash to buy one, though.
What's really exciting are the plans to build a string of these plants in Africa along the Mediterranean coast. They'll provide power for much of Europe, desalinated water for Africa, and stop, or possibly even reverse desertification in Africa. That's a technology to get behind!
As a matter of fact I designed a solar charging station for an electric commuting car back in about 1988. The car used conventional lead batteries but was just fine for commuting about 10 miles to work and back. And, by the way, the installation was in Massachusetts.
It is true that on some occasions there was not enough sunlight so the owner had to charge off the mains. One needn't achieve perfection to do considerable good.
I also recognize that the gas engine is poorly suited to the variable speed and load of an automobile while the steam power plant runs much more consistently and efficiently, even considering distribution losses and "round trip" charging efficiency of a battery.
I see a cark park lot full of DeLorean's often where they sit in Sayville Long Island, NY. Firstly, I never liked the design, too boxy for me and yes the stainless steel is corrosion proof, but as was already mentioned, when the car is involved in an accident and reairing same to its intrinsic state is difficult to improbable. I say ditch the idea, redesign the car with smoother lines, use carbon fibre and forget the stainless steel. As Einstein said, people that do the same thing over and over and expect different results.......are insane!
Does everyone forget or did not all that many read it at the time. The car was not built of stainless steel but with fiberglass panels covered with a thin stainless steel foil for that nice bright metallic look and no painting. It would be difficult to get paint to adhere to the stainless steel.
I don't know about very limited production specialty items, but any real production automobile would have to be built to the safety standards in effect for the year of manufacture. Perhaps given that these are origional parts made for cars certified years ago, a good lawyer with the right connections may be able to get them grandfathered into the old standards. That would be fine for the manufacturer but less so for the vehicle occupants.
Where I live, solar recharging can be quite practical, but without a range of 60 to 100 miles, at freeway speeds, with A/C running in 110+ degree temperatures and no shade, it still wouldn't be useful for me. For the time being, a tank of liquid fuel is still the only practical way to carry the necessary energy for travel. People in Sun City can do fine with an electric golf cart to take them from their 55+ condo to the senior center, shopping center, and golf course. Unfortunately, many of them would not be able to get in and out of a DeLorean.
From a business standpoint, this might make sense. As the DeLorean people said, they have all those spare parts sitting around so why not try to get some more inventory out the door.
Now from what I understand, the DeLorean was not a terribly good car (even back in the day). And it certainly is way, way behind the power curve today in features, safety, etc. So I see a number of problems here:
#1: Safety. Won't this car have to pass some or all of the new safety regulations before they can sell it either here in the US or in Europe? Boy, that could be a deal stopper right there.
#2: Tacking in an electric power system is NOT an easy job. And just not the physical factors (e.g. such as mounting the motor, battery) but also the control algorythmn's etc. None of that development is going to be quick or cheap.
#3: Given the other competitiors in this new field (of exotic electric cars), I think DeLorean's estimate of volume is wildly off. My guess: 40 to 50 cars in a 3 year period. If they can make some money (and burn some inventory) at that volume then why not.
Bottom line (for me): sex factor high, practicality low.
The DeLorean is not my cup of tea, but I applaud their efforts. I believe that the owners had the vision to purchase the rights to the name along with the assets of DMC. Their plan to make use of a huge inventory of parts by building new cars was in the cards all along - although the switch to electric may not have been. If they deliver 'as advertised' [the track record for new EVs announcements vs. production is dreadful], they will be successful in a narrow, almost cult-like group of folks. They will exceed the proclaimed '50 cars max' before they ship the first unit.
As usual, the nay-sayers come out with "they should have done it my way". This is followed by the predictable "they are just using energy from a coal fired power plant", and some other "blah, blah, blah nay-saying". The truth is that they are "doing their thing, their way" and we have no business throwing stones at them.
The 'technical doubts' about a controller are amusing - folks have been building automobile electric motor controllers for years. Maybe that is why they partnered with someone else on the drive train.
I will be very impressed if they meet their weight goal - a sub-3000 lb EV conversion with a serious battery pack would be a major accomplishment. Especially when compared to the "professionally designed Leaf" at 2 tons+.
I look forward to 'hearing' and seeing more from DMC.
I wish them luck on this venture. The beauty of a car is in the owners eyes, and if some folks want to spend that kind of money on a car that is fine, as long as it is not my money being spent.
Half the fun of owning it is being the one who owns it. So don't be critical until you own one and drive it a while.
It is simple and easy to make paint adhere to brushed stainless with an absolute "death grip". All that has to happen is accidently spill an ugly color on it, and the paint will remain for a long time. Not eternity, but tens of years. The expolanation of just how I know that is a very sad tale indeed.
The battery positioning helps improve on the rear-biased 35%/65% weight distribution of the standard DeLorean. The motor in the prototype is a DC-type, but the next prototype will move to regenerative AC technology, which will boost efficiency further.
The above statement is more consistent with my expectations [AC motor], but it shows that the initial prototypes were just for show [and maybe to raise some more $$$].
One disturbing item in multiple photos is the 'hinged on one end' front grille. When open for charging it protrudes a considerable distance and will get broken or damaged - probably by the owner - in multiple instances. The ergonomic/mechanical design could cause one to wonder how it was approved.
1. My father was a WWII fighter pilot and we attended a Military Reunion Event in Branson, Missouri. Branson, Missouri is a family oriented entertainment center which stars such as Andy Williams perform ( father went to high school with Andy Williams in Cincinnati).
2. While at Branson in 1970's, the entire family road the WWII Ducks Amphibians which toured Branson Mainstreet (four miles) and then drove into Table Rock Lake for five mile lake tour. My father noticed no vehicle license/registration on the WWII Ducks, and inquired whether a FMVSS approval/vehicle license was required (New law at the time via Ralph Nader). The Ducks owner advised him that the key word was "applicable" and the definition of "vehicle" according to his corporate attorney. Under FMVSS, a "vehicle" was defined as a engine powered machine designed for "..primary use..." on "highways", thus FMVSS was only applicable to those "vehicles", not off the road vehicles such as Construction Equipment/Well Drilling/Truck Cranes/Concrete Pumping Trucks,etc whose primary use was NOT for highway use( more than 50% off road construction site use).
3. My father was a believer in Sikorsky's helicopter in every garage and Dennis Bushnell's (NASA chief scientist) personal on demand VTOL/High speed efficient cruise/DARPA heliplane vision (also see Europe's MyCopter- March 31, 2011 conference) We went to Washington DC FMVSS DOT office for five long days and researched/copied every case/decision that involved the scope of "applicable"..."primary use".. (three banker boxes of documents/cases). The most interesting case was on Truck Cranes, which we discovered the EAA Wisconsin attorney had filed and won on appeal (Experimental Aircraft Association attorney-also represented the Wisconsin Crane Industry). He successfully won on appeal that Truck Cranes were primarily designed for construction sites (off road greater than 50%) and thus not subject to FMVSS standards. Similar cases about golf carts designed primarily for golf course use, agrilcultural tractors designed primarily for farm use, and many interesting cases regarding kit cars that provided parts that were "assembled" by owner -manufacturing involved assembly of two of more vehicles. Further,some Kit car also used "donor" vehicles approach which complied to FMVSS (nonstructural/nonmechanical surface modifications). FMVSS/DOT personnel were very helpful/informative regarding the limited scope of the law.
4. FMVSS will grant variances. For example, Terrafugia (MIT group/EAA roadable aircraft presentation -July 2011) announced they had obtained three FMVSS waivers (ie, electronic stability system). In fact, I would guess their roadable aircraft is designed "primarily" to fly probably had impact on their variance application. However, Terrafugia announced their future goal was future full FMVSS compliance. In 1993, Professor Palmer Stiles, Branco Sarr and other several EAA/AIAA members (including myself) invited the administrator to speak at Huntington Beach, CA conference. The administrator was very candid about specific narrow definitions of "applicability" , "manufacture" , "designed for "primarily for highway use". When I legally drive my 12 foot wide tractor down the road in Missouri, ride my all terrain vehicle vehicle down the road in Missouri, ride my amphibian down the road to the Lake to fish, operate my lift truck attached behind my trailer used for unloading my trailer (on the road at construction sites). or test our heliplane (triphibian designed primarily to fly, secondary as watercraft, and only intermittedly on the road ( triphibian like a duck), our triphibious heliplane vehicle is not "applicable" to FMVSS standards.
5. After spending a week in Washington DC, and several months reading three banker boxes of cases, the FMVSS law originally passed and amended has a relatively narrow scope of coverage. There are a dozen words which may exclude/include coverage. Further, there are possible exemptions based upon speed/performance/suspension/use/production volume/"manufacture",etc. I am pleased to report that all of us at EAA are having great fun with roadable aircraft. Our annual EAA meeting is the last week in July each year. The Friday night session on roadables starts at 6PM and ends after midnight. One member drove his Dune-Buggy roadable aircraft from Florida to Oshkosh Wisconsin, and then flew home to demonstrate flexibility of flying in good weather, and driving in bad weather. His first eight roadable aircraft sold are used with Medical Ships. They take off from the ship and drop annoucements of medical services in the African Jungle with port location of services.
In summary, FMVSS has several provisions for low vehicle production rates(ie,limos)/start ups ( DOT wishes to facilitate innovation) and I urge entrepreneurs to meet with DOT officials to discuss their innovative plans.
It is funny how people who have never certified a single vehicle to even one FMVSS know the "law" and are ready to offer advice !
I have certified 32 vehicles in 26 years.
If there indeed was a way to do it legally, then the $3,200 Chinese made EV's of which dozens are listed on Alibaba.com would be all over American Roads.
Chery spent over $4 million under Bricklin only to find out in the end that theri vehicles can not be modified to meet current FMVSS.
Chrylser then spent million more to find out the same!
Also if it was so simple the FIAT 500 would have been in USA much sooner, instead it took 2 years and new factory had to be built in Mexico, as the Polish made 500 was also not only impossaible to certify as it is made for Europe, it could not even be produced on the same assembly line!
Granted a hand made cars have advantage there, but stil, before you make buiness plan and start announcing the impossible you sould check what you are into especially if money is limited.
Just see where FISKER, CODA, ZENN and ZAP are today after making promisses for years.
But hey "dreams" and especialy the ones from little guy where the big industry is quishing out the FLux Capacitor, the 100 MPG Carburetor and cars that run on nothing more than water - WHAT A CONSPIRACY STORY !!!
FMVSS is acronym for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Systems, the agency that is responsilbe for enforcement is www.nhtsa.gov - read their stuff !
On more than one occasion NHTSA has rules that "series of one" constitutes a production run and there is absolutely NO exemption nor ever was for small volume.
You may get temporary exemption for one specific aspect of just a "part" for one regulation like ESC (Electronic Stability Control) that for example TESLA got for total of 81 cars, if you prove that you have spent millions trying to develop it and have been a non profitablew venture for 3 to 5 years.
With 65 million quaterly loss that was no problem for TESLA, but still that exemption is only good for cars made befre December 31, 2011
Generally if you do not have money to confirm to FMVSS you detinitely do not have the time and moneyto get exemption, that is why cars like SPYKER, FERRARI, BUGATTI, etc get it, and other do not.
Basically if you can not make car that has the same features as $12,000 hyuindai then you have no point to be in Auto Business in USA.
And the FMVSS are "applicable" as of date of assembly - used to be"manufacture" but even that has changed - so day you put it together all the FMVSS in effect must be on your vehicle CFR 49 Section 571
If the chassis/unibody being used to build these cars was manufactured in the past, then the safety regulations for the year of manufacture of the chassis/unibody applies. That means if DeLorean uses a chassis and/or unibody manufactured in 1985 to build a 'new' EV, the safety regulations from 1985 apply, not the year the autombile was finally assembled.
I should have stated that if the chassis /unibody already has a VIN attached. The VIN does, after all, define the mfg/model year, does it not?
I have seen such in regards to one particular make of car (limited edition, yes, but I believe it still applies) where someone ended up with a complete chassis and some body parts for a Shelby Cobra. The car was never assembled by Shelby. The chassis had a VIN (which was used for verification that it was indeed a Shelby Cobra). The car was assembled using a modern power train, but it was considered a 1960's automobile, as least as far as the state of Nevada was concerned.
What does FMVSS standards say about that? Does it still apply? Does it apply to my FIL's '57 Chevy BelAir that was built up from a salvaged chassis? What standards apply? I have to admit to some confusion in regards to this. If the DeLorean parts are assembled into completed automobiles, what model year are they? Are they 2012 models even if the parts all date back to the 1980's? If it uses the modern EV power train while all the rest of the vehicle is original 1980's parts, which standards apply?
Law (and thus the regulation it spawns) is about politics first and foremost. What's politics about? Helping friends and hurting rivals while increasing one's income and power. Combine this with the fact that there are so many laws and regulations with various interpetations what results is selective enforcement, special dispensations, etc and so on. Friends are more important than the letter of the law. The letter of the law is for those without the right friends and without the right friends complying with the letter of the law may not even be enough.
I don't think this little DeLorean parts company has what it takes to get through that. They may be counting on a law SEMA (who has some friends) has been lobbying for with regards to producing less than 1000 cars per year. A re-creation (or in this case built of NOS parts) of a car such as an early 80s DeLorean (now offically an antique in most if not all states) would probably qualify under any law that SEMA has drafted.
Just look for the “Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2011”
I suppose you are right. It appears the De Lorean, as well as the Tesla vehicles, are for the better part assembled by hand. Even so, you have to set the price of that labor. Depends on where it is and the desire to make money. I hope prices on both drop in the future.
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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