This three-wheeled , tadpole-layout,concept car employs the aerodynamic benefits of reduced drag to lower energy consumption and dramatically improve gasoline mileage resulting in a very unique one off approach to an exciting yet practical means of personal transportation that at the same time can be quicker and faster than than most super cars!
You are now aware that the main focus of the Zoleco project was to develop a design architecture to benefit or reduce the propulsive force required no matter what drive system is incorporated.It could be built as a long range electric vehicle or a hyper mileage gasoline commuter or a very quick accelerating Eco Exotic sports car, for lack of a better word. The comparison chart that I have included for reference clearly indicates the dramatic effect of getting those coefficient of drag area numbers reduced .When you compare the numbers you can see how much less energy is required to go the same speed.That is truly fantastic for the guy who wants super car performance with an air of environmental consciousness all in the same car.
Hopefully you can now appreciate the benefits of a very aerodynamic body enclosing your drive system. The next important factor would be the mass of the vehicle.The more stop and go, the greater the importance .The mass determines the horsepower and torque required to accelerate it. Now there are exceptions to this rule, like in land speed record trials, where the mass of the vehicle helps it stay on the ground at high speed and helps to maintain traction at the get go. Quick acceleration is not important here as the course is 5 miles in length, giving them ample room to gain speed. On the street a light weight nimble car rules, with better, more responsive handling and better fuel mileage. So in a nut shell, or should I say a teardrop, the Zoleco concept car prototype is seriously addressing these two points in its development process.
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Welcome to my world of endeavor where I will introduce you to the process involved in the creation of this very goal oriented, streamlined and flowing car design.The appreciation of science and nature in all of its splendor is what is behind this car's symmetry .There are no short cuts to knowledge...... which I can attest to.....from the vast amount of research I have done to lay a good foundation for this project.
My research included electric cars and all the associated battery technologies that go along with them. I looked at diesel ,internal combustion,hydrogen fuel cell,air powered cars,hydraulic drive systems and new engine designs .All of the technologies are advancing ,with new ideas appearing on a regular basis. All these propulsion technologies share one important thing ....they all need a suitably rigid light weight platform and a daringly streamlined body design taking full advantage of low drag aerodynamics so that we can responsibly accelerate into the future!
Seems most of the o.e.m. manufacturers are now making claims of improved aerodynamics but they all fall short.The reason for this can be traced back to the 1920s when a Hungarian engineer, Paul Jaray, was busy streamlining the cars of the day and coming up with these unusual creations that went faster and with less fuel ....but the general public was so used to the shape of the horse and buggy they would not accept the new design...so it went by the wayside.Corporate North America did not seem to want to go out on a limb and prove or sell them on the new idea...energy was cheap and not many people cared enough to bring in such a drastic change.
Let us now fast forward 95 years. During my aerodynamics research I was looking at the effect it had on human powered vehicles .The amount of drag force is very obvious when you are the one pedalling to overcome it. The difference in energy required to maintain the speed of a standard upright bike compared to that of the streamline-bodied recumbent bike is a real eye opener . I came across the Automotive Xprise back around 2006; it was a high mileage vehicle design contest that would pay a prize of 5 million dollars to the team that achieved the best mileage .I was just finishing up my research when this contest appeared. It was the final motivating factor that prompted me to build the Zoleco. I was not at the point where I had the funding on hand to complete such a momentous project, but I dove in anyway. My passion to prove this concept was just too overpowering.Needless to say I did not meet the contest entry deadline. However I did have the opportunity to observe all the competitors in action, learn from their misfortune and add any relevant information to my data base.
It was some time after the Xprize that I.B.C., the Illinois Business Consulting University, came on board with a group of business students to help research the feasibility of marketing the Zoleco in a kit car format and outline a business plan.What a great thing for them to do as a group project.They flew out from Chicago to bring me the paperwork and see the car in person. The car is designed to seat 4 adults but in all the excitement all 5 of the guys fit in for the photo op.Thanks guys and I.B.C !
Built with purpose...
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Let me take this opportunity to apologize for the somewhat amature nature of my videos,but it is like the old family photos in your album, you can't go back and change them as they are part of your history.There have been a lot of changes made along the way and one of these days I will make a new video that summarizes the project to date.