The United States' new Department of Energy is seeking the cooperation of tax fleet owners, car rental agencies and operators of commercial fleets of trucks to participate in a test of electric cars.
Engine on aerial conveyor
Post Office van
Electric vans drive past camera
Gen view; cars on assembly line in Taiwan auto plant
Electric engine on aerial conveyor belt
Mechanics installing engine in van
Technicians check operation
Set of batteries installed in van
Premier Chiang Ching-kuo at wheel driving new van
Postal workers drives van in Taipei traffic
New electric van come off Chinese assembly line, test runs and Post Office use
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Background: The United States' new Department of Energy is seeking the cooperation of tax fleet owners, car rental agencies and operators of commercial fleets of trucks to participate in a test of electric cars. The six year program -- partially supported by the federal government -- will test the feasibility of American-made electric vehicles.
The plan calls for 75-hundred vehicles and the aim is to reduce the use of gasoline and also noise and air pollution.
A similar program is just underway in Taiwan, the Republic of China.
Engineers at Taiwan's Tsing Hua (CHING-WHA) University developed these electric trucks which have just come off a Chinese assembly line. With gasoline costing $1.35 a gallon and Taiwan importing 98 percent of its fuel, electric vehicles may solve many problems.
Not exactly competition for Detroit...this plant will turn out 300 vehicles for domestic use in the coming year. The 88 pound engine develops 26 horsepower. Designed for high-traffic city areas, it can reach a speed of 50 miles an hour. The Taiwan van costs 3-cents a mile to operate.
Eight lead-acid batteries will drive the engine about 100 miles, and then, when you pull into the service station you get a replacement set of batteries instead of a thankful of gas.
Free China's Premier Chiang Ching-kuo (CHING-QUO) who turns up informally all over the island of Taiwan, got behind the wheel for a test run. Premier Chiang said Taiwan uses only 60 percent of its electric capacity overnight, so juicing up the batteries will be no drain on the island's power supply.
The new vans can carry 450 pounds of cargo and nationalist China is now testing them in its postal department.
Electric cars are the ideal vehicle for Asia since batteries operate better in warm climates. Additionally, the countries are smaller so that motorist are driving shorter distances.