It’s Time for Single-Passenger Electric Vehicles

By · November 28, 2012

Myers Motors Single-Occupant Electric Vehicle

Myers Motors now sells a three-wheel single seat vehicle, is working on a two person three-wheel vehicle (shown here) and has plans to produce a single-occupant four-wheel car.

Bringing practical, affordable electric cars to market is not just an issue of technology. It’s also is an issue of how one sees the world. From my perspective, what we need is a lot more single-seat cars. Pop Quiz: Out of every 10 cars you see on the road, how many are carrying only one person? Answer: About 9 out of 10.

With this in mind, imagine our rush hour highways filled with colorful, fun-to-drive, 200-MPGe, single seat electric cars speeding their lone occupant to a desired destination. Not only could such a vehicle improve traffic flow by up to 70 percent, but it could also increase energy efficiency by up to 800 percent while reducing transportation’s carbon footprint.

It is hard to imagine something you’ve never seen, but the practicality of purpose-built electric cars that operate as second or third household vehicles (and that can be charged overnight from standard 120-volt outlets) is obvious from a look at U.S. driving data:

  • 70 million people commute daily, by themselves, less than 40 miles.
  • 70 percent of all travel is one or two people driving less than 40 to 60 miles per day.
  • 65 percent of all miles driven in the U.S. are with just one person in the car.

I wish I could say I was imaginative enough to have looked at all this data and come up with the idea for a single passenger vehicle all on my own. But it was Mike Corbin who not only came up with the idea, but put into production a three-wheel version. I loved it so much that I bought many of his assets, put together a team, and now have an 80 mph, 60 – 70 mile range, electric vehicle powered by a low-cost lithium battery system. Myers Motor is also pioneering manufacturing methodologies to enable us to bring a four-wheel version to market for just $15 million. Our goal is to make a difference by producing electric vehicles that are affordable, practical, fun to drive, and beneficial to society. Look at the competitive cost structure:

Cost Comparison of Volt, LEAF and Myers Motors Vehicle

Mass Adoption via Single-Seat Cars

I support all kinds of electric cars. However, putting the new wine of electric vehicle technology into the old wineskin of what a “car” is supposed to be and do has so far resulted in somewhat disappointing electric cars sales. The cost of batteries to power a four-seat car and its occupants 40 to 100 miles has made today’s EVs too expensive in people’s minds. The lack of a national fast charging and electrical infrastructure to charge these vehicles for long distance travel has also slowed their adoption rate. The technology works, but how it is being applied isn’t working to create mass adoption.

We believe that the time has come for a single seat electric car. Billions of dollars haven’t opened the door to the mass adoption of EVs because the key to that door can’t be purchased until it is first seen. Do you see it? Or am I just seeing things? I’d love to get your feedback.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  2. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  3. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.