A resident inventor has tapped into the blossoming alternative fuel market and created an electric scooter now available to the general public.
Tad Dougherty, a fourth-year electrical engineering major, said he is one piece of paperwork away from officiating Dynamix International LLC, a company dedicated to improving the variety of alternative fuel vehicles available for consumer use.
“I started a company so that we can primarily focus on alternatively fueled vehicles,” Dougherty said. “[The focus] will be primarily electric… but we’re not ruling out hydrogen fuel.”
Dougherty said the first product in his line — the EVD Electric Scooter — resembles a sports bike and contains a 3000 watt motor that runs off of five rechargeable 12V batteries.
Advertised as ‘practical urban transportation,’ the EVD runs at about $3,600 and is currently available for purchase on State Street at Wheel Fun Rentals and online at www.dynamixint.com.
“[The EVD] is like a crotch rocket mixed with a Vespa,” Dougherty said. “It plugs into 220/110V sockets and takes around 3 to 7 hours [to charge] depending on the depletion of the batteries.”
Dougherty said charging the EVD costs much less than fueling a gasoline vehicle.
“Typically, the EVD is charged at night, but the average cost for power over seasons and times of day is 15 cents per kilowatt hour,” Dougherty said, “It costs less than 45 cents to charge. … The cost of [fueling] electric vehicles is 10 percent of the cost of gasoline.”
According to Dougherty, the ideal performance range of the EVD can vary anywhere from 45 to 75 miles per single charge.
“Nominally, an individual driver can go 52 miles per hour for 45 miles,” Dougherty said. “I could go one and a half full trips between Hollister and State Street, down to the pier — about 36 miles.”
Dougherty said an additional advantage of the EVD is its minimal upkeep.
“There is virtually no maintenance,” Dougherty said. “There’s no oil, carburetor, air filter, oil filter, spark plug. … There’s none of that. The motor is built into the wheel.”
Although the EVD possesses economic benefits over its fuel-powered counterparts, Dougherty said his product has limitations. For instance, the bike cannot be legally ridden on freeways, as it does not meet the speed requirement.
In the future, Dougherty said he plans to produce kits allowing consumers to integrate the electric vehicle parts into other vehicles, such as go-karts. He also hopes to manufacture conversion kits designed for non-alternative fuel vehicles.