Future Vehicle Technologies to market eVaro high-performance hybrid
By Ben Coxworth
January 14, 2010
As the electric/hybrid auto revolution gathers speed, it’s becoming more and more apparent that green vehicles don’t need to be slow. First, of course, came the Tesla Roadster. Then, just this month, Revenge Design Inc unveiled their Verde. Now, or at least not long from now, you can add another green dream to your list: The Future Vehicle Technologies eVaro. The Canadian-made hybrid gets up to 275mpg, has a top speed of 135mph, and can go from 0 to 60 in a butt-clenching five seconds.
“We’re all car guys, and we don’t want to build a four-door, four-seat sedan, it’s just not very exciting” company VP Todd Pratt told Gizmag. “We believe it would have more impact on the general public to have a [hybrid] car that outperforms a gas car.” Not only is it fast, but the eVaro can travel up to 125 miles on one charge, and recharges at home in three hours. To keep the electricity flowing while it’s out and about, the car’s gas generator periodically kicks in to provide power for topping up the battery. Unlike most hybrids, the eVaro’s gas motor does not ever propel the vehicle directly.
Given the popularity of the all-electric Tesla, one might wonder why FVT didn’t go the same route. “Our belief is that electric cars are still not viable” explained Pratt. “This is our belief: Built it so you can do 90 to 95 percent of your traveling on electricity alone, but make sure there’s something on board that takes care of ‘life.’ ‘Life’ is ‘I forgot to plug it in last night and holy cow, I can’t get to work’... We don’t believe that, in large numbers, electric cars are going to take hold without that little tiny generator on board that takes care of what happens.”
Before it can go on sale to the general public, the eVaro has one task to take care of - competing for this year’s Automotive X-Prize. FVT is currently among the finalists for the $US10,000,000 prize, awarded to the carmaker that best combines speed and fuel-efficiency. Once it’s gained publicity and proven itself by competing in the contest, FVT plans to begin manufacturing an initial run of 3,000 eVaros.
“We really want to drive home the point to people that this isn’t a compromise” said Pratt. “It’s just better, on all levels.”