We create a vibrant driving experience by providing the daily commuter electric vehicles that are focused on ecology, economy, and excitement. We strive to make our planet a better place to live, one mile at a time by focusing on a triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.
We are able to achieve a high level of efficiency by using a lightweight, yet strong, tubular steel chassis inspired by race cars, coupled with an aerodynamic body. Our unique three-wheel design guarantees less rolling resistance at all speeds and the aerodynamic body significantly reduces drag at higher speeds. The Defiant is a three-wheel vehicle as defined by the Highway and Transportation Board and as such it is included in the definition of a "Motorcycle"; Our roadster complies in every way with the safety requirements and regulations applicable to a motorcycle; and in fact, complies with many of the safety features of a standard car.
In October 2013, the American Association of Motor Vehicles Administrators (AAMVA), a national authority on best policy for all state DMVs and Licensing Bureaus, recommended that fully enclosed, three-wheel vehicles, such as the Defiant, be driven with a standard driver’s license. Additionally, they defined this special class of motorcycle as an Autocycle. For additional details, please see the Best Practices for the Regulation of Three-Wheel Vehicles. California, Oregon and most other states exempt the driver of an enclosed tree-wheeled vehicle from the requirement of obtaining a motorcycle license. Additionally, California, Oregon and most other states also exempt the occupants of a three-wheeled vehicle from the requirement of wearing a helmet if the passengers are enclosed. The roll bar installed on our production vehicles will extend the exemption to our Roadsters even when the top is removed! Of course, check with your state to be sure.
Three factors determine the stability of a three-wheeled vehicle, regardless of the design (tadpole vs delta); weight distribution, center of gravity, and how wide is the track. The Defiant is not designed like a top-heavy ATV. The ultra-low center of gravity and wide track produce a stable ride with no more possibility of a rollover than you would find in a conventional car. Mr. Robert Q. Riley, a noted expert in three-wheel vehicles and designer of the Trimuter, had this to say about vehicle stability, “A conventional, non-tilting three-wheel car can equal the rollover resistance of a four-wheel car, provided the location of the center-of-gravity (cg) is low and near the side-by-side wheels.” This is exactly how we have designed our roadsters – and our design was validated by the Québec Institute for Advanced Transportation (ITAQ).
The electric roadster is designed around a 144-volt system. The standard option is a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) large format, prismatic battery system. This is not the same lithium battery in size or format that is used in the Tesla, Chevy Volt, or Nissan Leaf. Some electric vehicles use cells similar in design and size to laptop batteries. The larger size, LiFePO4, prismatic battery cells that we use do not suffer from the thermal instability issues that must be dealt with when thousands of smaller cells are combined to create a battery system. These batteries are able to deliver greater charge density while improving system reliability when compared to thousands of smaller, cylindrical cell formats. Our design also minimizes points of failure and increases serviceability by using fewer cells to achieve the desired system voltage. For additional details on the safety of LiFePO4 batteries, please see, “A General Discussion of Li-Ion Battery Safety” by Dan Doughty and E. Peter Roth.
Under typical driving conditions, our high-performance electric roadster will have a top speed of over 70 MPH. However, vehicle speed varies depending on temperature, terrain, driving style, road conditions, and vehicle payload.
The range of the electric car is a function of many factors. Driving habits, cruising speed, the terrain, temperature, how big the battery pack is, and the overall weight of the car, all influence the range of an electric car. As our vehicle is lightweight (but very strong because of our tubular steel construction), with the standard Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, the single charge range is 80 to 100 miles and the daily range is up to 200 miles (with an 8-hour charge from a standard 230-volt outlet while at work). The largest battery system provides an estimated 175 miles per charge and up to 250 miles per day. At modest speeds, the roadster requires just over 140 watts of electricity to travel one mile. The roadster can travel about 50 miles on the electricity needed to produce just one gallon of gasoline!
Our electric cars are designed to plug into any conventional 120 volt outlet. Typically it takes about 8 hours for a full charge and 4 to 6 hours for an 80% charge. Most of the time, charging is done at night when electrical loads are lowest (and off-peak rates may apply). For long-distance commutes, the car can also be charged during the day while the driver is at work.