December 11, 2007 Commuters aren't the only ones set to benefit from the coming revolution in zero-emissions transport with all-electric light trucks like the low-speed MILES ZX40ST offering a viable, eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional internal combustion vehicles.
Now on sale in the U.S., the MILES ZX40ST runs on a brushless, three-phase induction AC motor with regenerative breaking that offers power and torque benefits over a traditional DC motor. Designed for low-speed applications rather than the racetrack, the ZX40ST has a top speed of 25mph and achieves 0-20mph in approximately 20 seconds. All-steel body construction, side impact door beams, a 7'5" x 4'6" truck bed with folding sides to accommodate fork lifts and torque of 115 ft-lbs (155Nm) make it a capable workhorse with the vehicle's 72 volt absorbed glass mat battery system providing a 50-60 mile driving range on a single charge.
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The maintenance-free batteries have a life of 25,000 miles and charge via a standard 110V wall socket in around 4-6 hours (50% to full).
Savings aren't limited to reduced fuel costs with the low maintenance nature of a vehicle with fewer moving parts and no need for oil changes adding to the cost benefits. A calculator at the MILES EV site allows you to estimate the savings compared to your existing vehicle - in general terms the ZX40ST comes in at around a quarter of the cost of a conventional vehicle. Miles estimate the dollar savings at $2,500 per year with the savings to the environment measured by a reduction in CO2 emissions of 12,000 pounds per vehicle.
The MILES ZX40ST was recently introduced to the fleet market at the 23rd Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS 23) in California and joins the ZX-40 and ZX-40S low speed (25mph) cars in the company's stable of zero-emissions vehicles. The company also has a highway speed all-electric vehicle in development that will achieve speeds of 80mph and deliver a 120+ mile driving range on a single charge. To be known as the MILES XS500, the new vehicle is expected to hit U.S. and EU markets in 2009.View gallery - 2 images