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Does the product description address most buyer concerns?

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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As I feel most of the users of this forum have their fingers on the pulse of the Chinese Automotive Industry, I thought I would post my concept to gather your feedback. My intention is to identify the, most likely to be interested, manufacturers to buy, develop and market my design. I have enjoyed reading the commentary on this forum and would welcome any feedback- especially from the regular users and moderators. For those potentially interested buyers or those of you in automotive management, I want to assure you that this car can, in fact, be mass produced for well under 15k USD!

Think about the realities of setting brand new EV technology in China before the big American, European and Japanese companies build these cars with similar technology within two years! Don't play follow the leader/copycat anymore- help me get this car built; change China's polluted image and set the EV technology mark with this car- today!

Stinger Motors Inc.- an environmentally friendly car company where form follows function


Since my solar electric design was created to prove that quality environmentally friendly EVs could be produced for a mainstream market at mainstream prices (hopefully in China). The postings below offer additional insights into what I believe to be the best application of my design.
 

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Dr. Al, would a carport be almost as acceptable as a garage? I live in a desert area that gets lots of sun, even in winter. But it will get down to 18-32 degrees in the winter months, though not every night consistently. Your design sounds very interesting to me and is what I am looking for in order to start weaning ourselves off of the big drain of fossil fuel usage.

Last night it got down to about 23 degrees here in the SE Arizona desert, for instance. Now it is warming to about 35 degrees at 10:00AM. So we do get cold, however, it comes and goes during the winter and some nights don't get much below 40 degrees. I do have a carport but at this time I have my front gate closed and I park my '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS outside the front gate. My carport could however be readied for car storage at night.

Your Stinger design sounds well-thought out and very, very innovative. It seems that designs like yours ought to be coming out, the market, especially when it wakes up, should jump at designs like yours.

Supply a website ASAP and I will research up further on it. I live in an ideal place for this design as it is sunny so much here, even in winter. Would temperatures like the ones I mentioned be prohibitive to running a Stinger, if I park it under the carport and run it every day to keep it's battery charged up? I do have an electrical plug-in about 10 feet away from where the front edge of the car would be parked.

BTW-the Stinger is only 42" high? Three feet and six inches high? Wow, short vehicle, would ingress and egress be kind of tough with this rig?
 

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Dr.Al, thanks so much for your quick reply. Actually, the ingress/egress issue should not be a problem for me, however, it may be a problem with an occasional passenger I would carry. But it sounds like a necessary part of your car's design, so I wouldn't let that get in my way if I like the rest of the design. So far it sounds exciting and something that I have been eyeing for the last three months or so. My '08 Lancer GTS has only about 16,522 miles on it and so a trade-in wouldn't be necessary for 3 or 4 years or so, unless I couldn't control an itchy finger and just had to have a solar-powered car sooner more that later!

I'll keep an eye on this thread here and anything else I can learn about your car, in the meantime. I'll also check out that Phoenix company starting an EV project now, too. There seems to be more and more people getting going on these EV's and your design sounds as good or really better than any I've read about so far, and, I do live like you say in an excellent geography and weather land for owning/operating one of your solar-powered vehicles.

Thanks again for your fast reply and I will be following this project closely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
With any luck, either my design or something similar will be available in the US by the time you are ready to trade!
 

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Dr.Al, you wouldn't be able to mail or e-mail me a picture of this car, would you? I don't want you to if you're not ready to, but, I would love to see a picture of this car! Let me know and I'll give you my e-mail information(you may be able to access it on here already) or contact you with my contact information. I would love some tangible physical evidence of this baby to look at ASAP. I've had it with the phony-baloney futures trader-inspired gas price hikes and all the crap that goes along with them. I want off this crazy train and to go totally electric when I hit the ground sounds way better than a hybrid philosophy. All-electric is where it's at and especially for someone like me living in the desert, utilizing the sun's energy makes the most sense to me.

Are battery replacements similar to what a large car or truck battery costs to replace now at one's local Autozone? You'd just have 30 to keep track of, not one? And would the car have an on-board diagnostic read-out that would alert you that one of your battery's are low on juice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Keeping track of 30 sealed deep cycle batteries is not that difficult when they are designed to be maintenance free for four to five years. As suggested above, you would begin monitoring the batteries at 70k and begin replacing the weakest units a few at a time (as needed). This recycling could be easily accomplished at the Stinger Dealership, but I'm sure local auto parts suppliers would have suitable replacement options as well.
 

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Does not sound like that much of a hassle when you consider they are the source of juice, along with the sun and the wind turbines and wheel generators. But they wouldn't be difficult to keep track of at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Why build The Stinger in China?

Why build the Stinger Solar Electric Coupe?
Unless you haven't noticed the killer storms sweeping the globe and killing millions lately- you already know that we've begun a period of devastating global warming -and- the overwhelming evidence points to internal combustion engines from our automobiles as the undisputed primary cause. Yet, the major automobile manufacturers around the globe have absolutely refused to move forward with non-polluting hydrogen fuel cell or pure EV production by offering a host of excuses to cover up their business (partnerships with oil companies) as usual policies. All of the current major manufacturers are saying the hybrids/EV models are too expensive to produce, are unsafe and people haven't purchased past models in large numbers. Let's look at the reality of all of these statements:
Hybrids typically work in one of three ways, LPG, electric or gas plus electric. Hydrogen is strategically being kept out of the equation for now.
A. LPG, though petroleum based, is a gas currently sold for 30-50% below gasoline costs. It doesn't pollute quite as much as liquid gasoline and definitely is cheaper. US conversions cost between $2000-5000. It is a small, but affordable step in the right direction (especially for existing gas vehicles on the road that must be utilized to do heavy towing, etc...). I don't believe any new pollution producers should be built period, but LPG vehicles can be converted and operated for less money because they have fewer fuel system parts and could save everyone on fuel costs immediately. These vehicles are essentially the same in terms of safety features because they are conversions. Unfortunately, these vehicles are typically only sold to large companies (like utilities) as fleet bulk packaged deals. Thus, only a few dual-fuel vehicles are reaching the market today. This is reality number one.
B. Primarily electric vehicles with small gas powered backup motors are also definitely cheaper to produce than current models. Electrics are smaller, lighter and require fewer moving parts (from as few as 350 on an EV to over 3000 on many gas models). Their deceptive argument is the pure EVs don't go far enough on a charge. Without getting into too many specifics, wheel hub motors (eliminating transmissions, etc...) and more powerful batteries make this an outright lie today! However, for the sake of argument, even if a small EV needed a gas backup engine, the Tato Nano's engine, for example (could be used as a small ICE) only costs $700. Chevrolet will soon be marketing the "Volt" as just such a design (that unfortunately retains an ICE) for over 40k USD (according to Lutz). Again, this configuration is less, not more, expensive to produce than a typical gasoline vehicle because the primary drive is light weight. Granted, lighter vehicles aren't as safe as heavy ones in general, but these small EVs can certainly include the same safety features as other similarly sized cars. This is reality number two.
C. Hydrogen cell technology sounds great, but I've yet to hear of a company willing to produce these cars in large quantities at prices comparable to current gasoline models. Only a few large automakers have the right to produce this patented technology (held since the late 1980s) and all indications are pointing towards very limited and expensive models to be offered way down the road (two to five years away). I've seen prototypes of these hydrogen engines and they have fewer moving parts and are typically all aluminum in construction; both of which amount to a tremendous weight savings over traditional ICE designs. There seems to be no logical reason whatsoever for these engines not to be in mass production right now (having been around for 20 years) other than the oil companies haven't figured out how to monopolize the fuel technology- yet. This is reality number three.
D. Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles with electric backup, okay they're right, to add extra batteries and alternators to a vehicle originally designed as a straight petrol burning car is foolish and expensive. What's more, they don't do either function well- because they're heavier from the extra weight and they typically only net a 10% or less fuel savings over the conventional version of the same model. In this case, it is highly probable that, since the extra batteries/electric motor were an afterthought- that there are many inherent safety compromises due to stuffing extra batteries and wiring into areas where they were not originally designed to be! Likewise, with tremendously inflated prices for poorly designed models like these- no they haven't sold well! This is reality number four, but more importantly it begs the question of why any company would want to create such a design?
The only possible answer is that they simply DO NOT WANT PEOPLE TO STOP USING VAST SUMS OF OIL! The fact is, the CAFE in the US has stayed right around 20-23mpg for over 20 years without any government intercession. We've actually increased the US oil dependency while allowing these mega cartels to extort enough money from the average US consumer to begin a worldwide recession- while fighting an estimated trillion dollar war to hold onto strategic Middle-East oil! Texaco/Chevron bought out the first quality nickel EV battey system and Exxon/Mobil is now trying to take over the new lithium battery arena; you be the judge!
E. Pure EVs with no ICE are the clear solution now that wheel hub motors and more powerful batteries have recently been made affordably available. This is the reality that the big oil and car makers don't want the public to consider. With Solar technology able to now produce 40+% cell efficiencies- the clear answer is an EV designed to take advantage of the free sunlight as the primary power source!
***If wheel hub motors were not the answer then why would Ford/Volvo have recently purchased exclusive rights to the PML Flightlink design (pulling it out from under ZAP)? Why would Lotus be planning their own EV (without Tesla) with hub motors? Why would Blue WAV's system developed for Chrysler/Mitsubishi, be kept away from sales to the general public and why would GM be planning to reinvigorate their 2003 wheel hub motor project on their new "Skateboard" design? (Luckiliy, within just the past few weeks, several Chinese companies have now started producing automotive hub motors themselves.) The clear answer to all of these questions is outright duplicity in trying to gain an unfair market advantage based on these monopolies' tremendous buying power! They all plan to produce hub motor EVs- but the catch is they're trying to force the buying public to continue paying $4.00 per gallon or more (USD) for the next 2-10 years before offering these EVs at reasonable prices!
What's the logical answer for China? It's certainly not to follow the US model. The Chinese Government needs to confirm the truth scientifically and then set policies in effect that help domestic (pure) EV producers gain a market edge on the clear "Green" future of transportation. If the government were to poll future car buyers and ask whether they would pay the same (or slightly higher) prices for an EV that could perform as well as a gasoline model (same size, acceleration, safety features and go at least 100 miles per charge). Then: 1.Like any scientific study- review the newest existing literature to separate fact from fiction regarding EVs 2. Look at the number of worldwide EV producers (over 100) gearing up for market entrance in the very near future. 3. Set economic/environmental policy that helps domestic automakers go "Green" by getting inexpensive, but quality made hub motors/controllers out right now. Then, perhaps a truly stunning and unique EV design, like The Stinger, being built in China will help pave the way? That is, if you want to lead rather than follow.
In sum, the answer to "Why build the Stinger and why in China?" can be reduced to this: Of all types of options to the ICE cars, the pure (non-ICE powered) EV makes the most sense (at least until the hydrogen cell can be proven cheaper, more effective and less polluting) right now. Even if it means a short term switch from oil (not found in China) to coal (with China's large reserves) powered electricity (which is still cleaner) until solar, hydro, geothermal, etc... and other power plant designs improve and come on grid. Additionally, China has the most favorable business climate in the world right now that isn't completely locked in to an "oil based economy". In fact, China is ironically rapidly becoming the world leader in solar production!
Moreover, the innovative design of The Stinger incorporates the solar design right from the beginning by moving light years beyond the "build an EV and cut a hole in the roof for solar" mentality. My question therefore is, why not build the Stinger and take advantage of as much free solar charging as technology will currently allow? Even if solar can't generate enough energy as the primary power source (without battery backup) all the time everywhere- it certainly could in desert climates and during the Summer months anywhere around the globe! With China placing 2000 new ICE automobiles on the road every day- it won't take long for the world's most populous (and perhaps polluted) nation to send the planet past what NASA Scientists call the global tipping point of no return for our entire planet's climate! The more immediate question is perhaps, what can China do to prevent more athletes from boycotting the Olympics due to current pollution levels? Is anyone in Beijieng listening? Evs don't pollute and solar EVs don't draw from the grid!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Re: Why Should a Solar Producer get involved?

Why should a Solar Energy Company get into the Automobile business?
For starters, you won't have anyone left to sell your products to if we don't stop huge chunks off the arctic from breaking up and altering the ocean currents (read weather patterns that now cause freak storms doing zillions in damage!). That withstanding, though I take great pride in my rhetorical and persuasive abilities, the scientific community that organized the "Automotive-X Design Competition" makes the following salient points based on empirical evidence:
• Because today's oil consumption is unsustainable, endangering our health and the economic, political and social stability of the world (40% of world oil output fuels the automotive industry).
• Because automotive emissions significantly contribute to global warming and climate change (U.S. cars and light trucks are responsible for 45% of the CO2 emitted by automobiles globally).
• Because there are no mainstream consumer choices for clean, super-efficient vehicles that meet market needs for price, size, capability, image, safety and performance.
• Because increases in engine efficiency have been "spent" on increased vehicle power, acceleration, and weight, rather than on increased fuel-economy.
• Because efforts by both the automotive industry and governments to increase fuel economy have not achieved the significant course change necessary to make a substantial difference.
• Because we believe there is great opportunity for technological change.
The current system does build advanced concept cars. Some existing competitions showcase extraordinary feats of fuel economy. Unfortunately, neither result in practical solutions accessible to consumers. The Automotive X PRIZE competition will focus on tangible results - the creation of practical, clean and super-efficient vehicles that people want to buy.
The following are some of the most significant economic, commercial, governmental, and social realities that we all face:
• The automotive industry accounts for 10% of the GDP in developed nations. It uses 15% of the world's steel, 40% of the world's rubber, 25% of the world's glass, and 40% of the world's annual oil output.
• To bring a new car (or car company) to market is very expensive. Existing manufacturers can spend hundreds of millions of dollars or more just updating a current model.
• Although some critics suggest otherwise, there has been considerable automotive innovation during the last twenty years. However, the "benefits" have typically been spent by keeping fuel-economy relatively constant, while increasing vehicle power, acceleration, and weight.
• Safety standards in particular have a major effect on a vehicle's cost and weight (and therefore on efficiency).
• United States CAFE standards have not resulted in fuel economy gains comparable to the substantial advances made by NHTSA safety regulations and EPA tailpipe regulations.
• There is considerable merit to the argument that manufacturers are simply not doing a good job of meeting their fiduciary responsibilities and market demand within the constraints of government regulations.
• Fierce price competition for new car sales is accompanied by very low margins. This is enabled in part by the price and margin pressure that existing large manufacturers are able to put on their suppliers.
• Since profit typically increases with vehicle size and weight, there is a natural incentive for manufacturers to encourage sales of bigger vehicles (hence, in part, the SUV trend).
• In developed countries (like the U.S.), the industry is suffering from declining growth, and increasing labor and pension costs.
• The "downstream" economy (after the new car sale) is where a very large part of the money is made - parts, maintenance, repairs, financing, insurance, etc. In the United States, dealerships are strong forces, economically and politically. State franchise laws make it difficult to introduce new sales channels.
• Established manufacturers can afford lower margins because of the high value of the downstream economy, which creates an additional barrier for market newcomers.
• Putting super-efficient cars into the hands of consumers requires much more than a technical performance achievement - winners must deal with the realities of manufacturability and post-delivery service. They must also deal with federal and state regulations on emissions and safety.
• Although biofuel, fuel-cell, and plug-in technologies are all promising, current consumer attitudes and transportation infrastructure all but require continued use of gasoline and diesel fuels.
• Fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are conceptually attractive, but the extent to which they shift the energy and environmental costs to other sectors is not well understood. Likewise, it is not clear that long term recyclability and other environmental issues are well-understood.
• Consumer attitudes encourage developments that address personal benefits rather than global or societal benefits. Examples include safety (emphasis on vehicle and occupant safety, rather than the safety of pedestrians and other non-occupants), cost (price of a tank of gas, rather than total societal cost per person per mile), emissions (local immediate air pollution, not including greenhouse gas emissions), and image (the vehicle as self-expression).

Twenty-eight percent of US consumers in the market for a new vehicle are considering a hybrid, according to a telephone-based Auto Pulse survey conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center. Fuel efficiency (87 percent) and environmental impact (86 percent) are a factor for most. Other motivations for choosing a hybrid include:
• 77% Reliability
• 65% Performance
• 58% Concern about dependence on foreign oil
• 58% Purchase price
• 40% Tax incentives
• 37% Resale value
• 24% Political beliefs
Of course, not everyone favors a hybrid. Our research shows that the leading reason for not considering a hybrid is the vehicle selection (50 percent), suggesting that if hybrid powertrains spread to other vehicles, there may be considerably more sales potential.
Other reasons consumers are not considering a hybrid:
• 47% Purchase price
• 45% Performance
• 43% Reliability
• 38% Service costs
• 37% Better alternatives
• 35% Limited availability
• 33% Exaggerated fuel-economy claims
• 29% Resale value


A Green Company is the Answer
What does it mean to Stinger Motors to be a "Green" Automotive Company? By the strictest definition it literally means creating an automobile that requires little to no fossil fuel in order to operate efficiently. Our Solar Electric Sports Coupe, the Stinger, does just that by carrying four adult passengers up to 200 miles, at freeway speeds, on natural sunlight augmented, only if need be, by battery power- due to recent improvements in solar cell technology, more powerful batteries and wheel hub motors. More important to the consumer- the design is visually stunning and screams performance without sacrificing safety. However, we are also concerned about the bigger picture and carbon footprint required to originally produce the car as well as the lifelong recycling of its' modular components. This is why we've taken an entirely new approach to car design and have begun with highly durable plastic materials to create the entire two-piece outer body shell. In doing so, we're completely rejecting the planned obsolescence factor integrated into other car makers' metal body designs by insuring that the outer shell of the car will last for at least 20 years- as it will never rust! Moreover, should electric motor, battery or solar shell technology improve substantially during this 20 year span- our modular design allows for vehicle upgrades to these components quickly and easily at local dealerships (designated as recycling centers). Imagine the end of noxious gasoline fumes, motor oils, and other toxins creating a worldwide climate warming crisis, but equally importantly- imagine the end of millions of rusted wrecks littering the world's junkyards and leaking those fluids back into our drinking water!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Re: Proven Marketing Strategies

Forward Thinking Equals Value
Can we actually make and sell a beautifully designed, cutting edge technology, solar electric four passenger sport coupe for under $30,000 USD and make a profit? Yes, if we begin with a quality design that will last for 20 years! Automotive history has taught us that the most successful automobiles of the past 100 years were created by companies that changed the basic vehicle design very little for years and even decades. Henry Ford capitalized on this idea by mass producing the Model T over a very long span of time and three decades later Volkswagon's Beetle duplicated Ford's recipe and was the first automotive model to outsell the venerable Model T. Similarly, GM's Chevrolet Division applied this lesson to drive train technology with the small block V8 design that remained essentially unchanged and inter-changeable in multiple vehicle models produced from 1955 until the turn of the 21st Century. By keeping these basic parameters in place for years on end, all three of these companies were doing both themselves and the consumer a great service by allowing the cost of parts and labor to come down over time (via mass production) while the knowledge required to effectively service these products became more commonplace around the world. Think about it, though the Model T has long faded from memory, almost any mechanic around the world could still easily and cost effectively service your VW "Bug" or Chevy powered by a Small Block V8 motor today.
Those best corporate practices are just as valid for a new generation and our goal is to market the Stinger body style for the same 20 year span of time as VW used in selling the Beetle from the 1950's through 1970's. Just as the Beetle's motor design, transmission and interior comforts improved with timely innovations, we at Stinger Motors expect solar shell technology, electric motor design, battery efficiency, interior comforts and even wheel and tire improvements to happen over this marketing span. Literally thousands of useful innovations and improvements benefited the aforementioned automotive companies by keeping the essential design unchanged and simply refining the product components. When Dr. Ferdinand Porsche created the little bath tub shaped Model 911 in the late 50's, he must have known that by beginning with a great design, this could easily lead to market domination through decades of incremental improvements. Today, some 50 years later, the 911 Porsche incarnations still dominate the world super car arena. Ironically, Dr. Porsche originally invented the wheel hub motor over 100 years ago, but didn't pursue the design as he realized the other car builders were rapidly forcing a switch to ICE designs. Perhaps today The Stinger Sports Coupe can pick up where Dr. Porsche, Edison, Baker and others left off and dominate the sports car four passenger market segment by making incremental and affordable improvements that benefit the middle-class consumer worldwide as delivered by our dealer network over the next two decades.

Solar Shell
Our Stinger Sports Coupe shell will be constructed in a sealed weatherproof unit called a solar module; these PV types are estimated to last at least twenty-five years. Sunlight that penetrates the upper layer is used in the lower, secondary offset layers, resulting in an efficiency of over 38% (minimum) with the specially laminated multi-junction photovoltaic (solar) cells. Some estimate that forty years is a reasonable life expectancy. These modules are warranted, by their manufacturer, to produce at least 80 percent of their full-rated power after twenty-five years. They are currently the most efficient type available, meaning that they produce the most power per square foot of module (with the least surface area required). They are created by depositing micro-thin layers of rare metals directly onto a sheet of glass, plastic, or other substrate such as carbon fiber in our case. This is the very first "mainstream" vehicle that consumes no fossil resources in order to work under normal bright sunlit atmospheric conditions. Moreover, the emissions of CO2 required for its construction will even be compensated for by environmental actions.
The Stinger is a production and storage plant for renewable energies, either solar or wind based. Charging of these energies, can also be complemented by in- home electrical recharging under less than optimal conditions.
Some newer technologies not used:
We will not use Nanotechnologies "Thin Film" because this technology does NOT use multi-junction cells- which are the most efficient/effective per square inch. The Nanotech films are designed for large existing metal roof structures (with lots of square footage) that don't require high efficiency. Likewise, lithium ion batteries- though potentially the most powerful on the market- are currently only being sold to the highest bidder at cost levels far beyond the average consumer's price range (adding up to 20k to the price of the car) and have hazardous heat build up issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Re: Solar Electric Sports Coupe Specifications

How the Solar Car Works
The sunlight hits the cells of the solar array, which produces an electrical current. The energy (current) can travel to the batteries for storage, go directly to the motor controller, or a combination of both. The energy sent to the controller is used to power the motors that turns the wheels and makes the car move.
Generally, if the car is in motion, the converted sunlight is delivered directly to the motor controller, but there are times when there is more energy coming from the array than the motor controller needs. When this happens, the extra energy gets stored in the batteries for later use.
When the solar array can't produce enough energy to drive the motor at the desired speed, the array's energy is supplemented with stored energy from the batteries. Of course, when the car is not in motion, all the energy from the solar array is stored in the batteries.
The primary solar power is further augmented (in Economy Mode) by five alternators driven by the right rear and front wheel motors as well as two small wind turbines behind the front grillwork. In Sport Mode, both rear wheels drive the car and only the front motors act as alternators. In Traction Mode, all four wheels are motor driven and none of the drive wheels act primarily as alternators (though the wind turbines still capture some energy and all four wheel motors still regenerate power when braking or coasting).
When traveling at freeway speeds in Economy Mode with bright sunlight- the car has an almost unlimited driving distance range at constant speeds on flat surfaces.
Primary Motors at the Rear Wheels for better Traction and Weight Distribution
Electronically controlled traction control, which negates wheel spin and unbalance in the power distribution, will modulate the power being delivered to the rear motors driving each wheel, while in Sport Mode (2WD with 250hp available ) with both rear motors propelling the car. Whereas all four wheels will turn simultaneously in less than optimum conditions requiring Traction Mode (4wd with 400 hp available). Please note that the front drive motors were primarily designed as alternators to recapture electrical power and are set to coast and resume alternator function at 70 mph. Further note that Traction Mode (4WD) is not electrically efficient and will quickly drain battery power during prolonged driving! However, this feature is a very useful safety feature under less than optimal traction conditions for temporary low/mid-speed driving or brief bursts of rapid acceleration. Under normal dry pavement operating conditions, only one wheel motor is needed to propel the car (1WD with 125 hp available) in Economy Mode. Please note that, due to aerodynamic efficiency and variable input voltage technology- only 8-12hp is required to maintain 70-75mph on a flat freeway surface.
Other unique features include weather proof sealing the solar shell to the lower body, and redundancy electrical circuits, so any single failure will not prevent the vehicle from operating safely. In fact, due to the GRP plastic lower shell construction and sealed inner wheel wells- our car actually floats!
Performance and Economy
With only the driver on board, the 400hp, 2300lb, Stinger can easily accelerate from 0-60mph in well under 5 seconds in 4WD, yet by shifting into economy mode (1WD) at 70mph, the same aerodynamically designed Stinger can maintain that highway speed with as little as 8hp on a flat gradient! Therefore, under optimal conditions, the Stinger can travel great distances in bright sunlight without ever plugging in to on-grid power supplies.
Basic Solar Racers vs. The Stinger
This brief section describes the roughly 3.5:1 power to weight comparison needed between the typical solar racers (built to run at a weight of 600-650 lbs, with driver) and the greater power and efficiency needs of The Stinger at roughly 2300 lbs (with driver) in order to maintain the same or even better primarily solar powered goals. First, it is important to note the significantly different design considerations before addressing the simple 3.5:1 ratio:
Solar racers are, in fact, designed to travel great distances from daylight until dark on just solar power alone; the fact that a 650lb car (with driver) having only one battery, a small electric motor (often less than 5hp), and nearly 1000 solar cells can navigate up to 1500 miles in these simple machines simply illustrates the viability of a production car taking advantage of similar technology.
The Stinger, on the other hand, must be able to travel great distances as well, but is not completely limited to "solar power only" although we truly believe that energy conscious drivers living in desert climates- could, in fact, achieve the same 100% free energy goal. Without getting too technical, it seems pretty evident that mainstream passenger cars should carry four people rather than just one. Further, the car should allow reasonable ingress/egress, offer all standard safety features and provide a driving experience similar to the best ICE designs. After all, real cars offer air conditioning, lighting systems, windshield wipers, radios, etc... and are expected to handle diverse terrain and driving conditions with aplomb. Ergo, The Stinger must be larger and of heavier (though no more so than absolutely needed) construction, but how then, do we get beyond the additional power needed to efficiently propel such a car?
With a solar array of cells only 15% efficient (in converting sunlight to electric), a 1000 watt lightweight 650 lb race car can generate 1.3hp and reach speeds of 70mph (due to excellent aerodynamic designs). Therefore, with similar aerodynamics, under ideal conditions, with the same number of solar cells (because of its' additional weight) The Stinger would need to use cells at least 3x more efficient; this was in fact our goal in using the most efficient solar cells (rated over 40% efficient) in generating around 4000 watts of power from solar and providing about 5hp. Though this still doesn't give us the magical 8-12hp needed to simply maintain (70mph) speed on a flat surface, the front wind turbines (2100 watts each @ 70mph) and three unused (and therefore charging) wheel motors at 30% efficiency (generating over 1200 watts together) do create a rough equivalency standard by more than doubling the wattage supplied to the controller and thus the combination altogether does provide about 9400 watts and 12hp.
This 12hp standard is our absolute base line of efficiency- to minimally power the car and its' driver on nothing but sunlight under the optimal conditions. Better wind turbines, more efficient regenerative wheel motors, shaving weight off the car (safely) -not to mention even more efficient solar- would certainly inch us closer to being able to carry a passenger for free as well; these will all be goals at Stinger Motors Inc. right up until the first vehicle rolls off the assembly line.
Features
Stinger - Standard Features
o Regenerative front braking/charging system
o Rear Traction control
o Regenerative rear braking/charging system
o Oversized Gull- wing doors
o Electronic door entry
o Central door locking
o Alarm and immobilizer
o Lowering mechanism side windows
o Cruise control
o AM/FM CD/MP3 Player (lightweight MP3 plug in)
o Velour sports seats (light tan or gray)
o Removable Solar Shell (easy maintenance)
o ABS plastic wheels
o Tinted windows
o Home based "Four Corner" charging system (EVCS) with integral safety features
o Three phase 220V industrial charging lead
o Low energy use full LED instruments and headlamps
o LED taillights, front, rear and side-mounted lights
o High velocity remote climate control
o Integrated Mobile charging system
o Auxiliary on-board wind turbine charging system
o Front Airbags
o Aluminum passenger safety cage
Lower Body Colors (all solar/upper shells are black)
o Available in Bumble Bee Yellow (as shown)
o Non-standard colors available as a future dealer availability option only (Read: no factory orders taken) include Slate Silver, Iridite Blue (with Grey interior) and Burning red or Bumble Bee Yellow (with tan interior)
Options & accessories: none
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Re: Solar Electric Sports Coupe Q & A

Q. How does the Stinger charge its battery system?
A. The Stinger is unique in its' multiple recharging methods. Besides the patented solar shell, the Sport Coupe has a built in regenerative braking system on the rear wheel motor(s) while the front wheel alternators and auxiliary wind turbines also generate power while the vehicle is in motion. Even on a partially cloudy day, we recommend leaving the car outside as it will benefit from quicker solar recharging than plugged into the garage receptacles. However, at night, if the batteries are very low or nearly depleted, you may also utilize the "Four Corner" battery recharging and control system. Simply plug the car's four charging leads into your home's electric power point(s) and you'll soon be charged and ready for the next journey.*Note, you may use any or all four retractable home recharging leads, but plugging in all four leads at once results in the quickest recharge. The leads are 12 feet long and should easily reach most garage receptacles.
Q. How can a 400hp 4WD car be considered economical?
The short answer is by only using all of the power when absolutely needed. Unlike ICE automobiles, EVs have instant torque and power at the takeoff rather than having to rev the engine up to 4000-5000rpms. So, even in Economy Mode with only 125 hp available, The Stinger performs roughly equivalent to an approximately 250hp ICE car of the same weight. However, since an entire range of performance and safety factors were considered, it turns out that by giving the Stinger 400hp- to be used for blindingly fast acceleration for only few seconds- and then shifting out of Traction Mode 4WD, the front motors can then be reversed to recharge the batteries at 70mph. The Stinger's voltage is regulated from full power in 'T' 4WD to the lowest possible voltage 'E' 12-24V needed to maintain interstate speed (setting the cruise control from 50-80mph); all the while the controller is lowering the voltage (and pulses) until the speed dips below the set amount. For example, say you've accelerated rapidly in 4WD (288V) to reach interstate on ramp merging speed and then shifted into 'S' 2wd (168V) to retain good throttle response while switching lanes in traffic. After a few miles, you're out of town and traffic congestion and are ready to settle into a constant steady speed. So, you shift into 'E' 1WD (84v) yet still have plenty of power to climb long grades.
However, the road is looking pretty clear of traffic and fairly flat so you're ready to click the thumb button on the stirrup style shifter to set the cruise control (like an electric overdrive switch on many current transmission setups). At this point, the controller locks in/maintains the speed, but more importantly, for power savings, begins rapidly lowering the voltage supplied to the left rear wheel until the speed drops to just below your set speed (e.g. you set it at 70 and it drops down to 69 and recalculates the fewest pulses/least voltage needed to maintain 70mph). By dropping down to as little as 24v and perhaps only a couple thousand pulses per second- maximum efficiency is achieved. By mechanically shifting and cutting the voltage in large increments and then asking the controller to only modulate that chosen voltage setting, both the durability and safety mechanisms of the controller are also preserved- not to mention that the drivers themselves have taken all driving modes into consideration. Most people accustomed to a stick shift would drive the car in just this manner.
On the other hand, a driver used to simply shifting an automatic into 'D' could just as easily shift The Stinger into 'E' and drive in a similar fashion to current driving behaviors.
Similarly, we have preserve the common layout of currently solid ergonomic designs for an easier driver transition and a familiar driving experience once inside.
Q. Won't the black solar shell generate a lot of heat inside the car?
A. Yes, like other black or dark colored vehicles, the car will attract and retain heat. Unfortunately, this coloring is both necessary and designed to be an integral aesthetic feature of the body design. To efficiently offset heat buildup while the car is in motion, our patented corrugated solar shell allows cool air near the road surface to enter at the leading front edge of the upper shell and pass directly under the black solar surface. Since the car is 100% powered by electricity and doesn't require a drive engine to be running in order to operate the climate control system (instead of a remote start keychain feature), we offer remote climate control. If your car has been sitting with the windows up in a brightly sunlit parking lot (recharging the batteries) while you are at work, shopping, etc...just hit the remote climate control button and set the temperature selector anywhere between 60 and 80F and your car will be climate controlled before returning to the car. So that you don't forget and completely drain your batteries, the remote flashes and beeps once the desired interior temperature is achieved- until you actually sit in the driver's seat. After 10 minutes of continuous pre heating/cooling, the system automatically resets and shuts down. This is quickly and efficiently accomplished via the front wind alternator system that also serve the dual function of acting as cooling fans (for the batteries and cockpit) while the car is motionless or moving very slowly in traffic on a hot day. Just remember that two minutes of driving on the freeway will cool your vehicle more quickly than 10 minutes of remote climate control in a hot Summer parking lot and conversely sitting still for several minutes in your garage, before driving, will generate more heat quickly in the Winter months of operation. Part of our innovative battery wash (exhaust system) design utilizes variable venturis to capture and recycle battery heat in the Winter- while conversely using the venturis to direct battery heated air through the vehicle's exhaust during the Summer. Note: the actual air passages carrying out battery heat and fumes are a separate but adjacent system designed to work in conjunction with the cockpit heating and cooling system. Therefore, no battery gasses are ever directed into the Stinger's cockpit.
Q. Why choose to make all lower bodies in yellow?
A. Besides the Stinger design theme being inspired by a wasp, the colors are also functionally designed to gather solar energy (black) and dissipate that heat (yellow). Yellow is highly visible and therefore also a color typically associated with caution. By choosing only one color and using bulk quantities of gel coat to finish the GRP lower shell we are also (in addition to offering only standard features- with no options) keeping the cost of the vehicle down. Should you choose to have your Stinger's lower body painted another color at a reputable body shop and at your own expense, you will not void the warranty. However, Stinger Motors Inc. takes no responsibility for any cracking or pealing of cars not painted at our dealership (at the specified ten year interval). After ten years of exposure to the sun and elements, we foresee minor fading and surface irregularities as being likely. However, with proper maintenance painting should not be needed before this time. By waiting until the tenth year before painting (renewing the lower body surface) you are preventing paint buildup and thus cracking and pealing from prematurely appearing before the 20 year vehicle life expectancy. Under no circumstances whatsoever are customers to ever paint the upper solar shell- as this would render the solar charging characteristics completely inoperable and thus void the warranty!
Like other automobile makers, we understand that upgrading sound systems, customizing the paint, wheels or tires is a commonplace practice, but should any of these modifications interfere with the safe or reliable operation of the vehicle you may affectively void the warranty or cause yourself harm at no fault of the manufacturer. For example, improperly wired sound systems/electronics could cause electrical shorts or excessive battery drainage; incorrectly offset aftermarket wheels or tires could change the suspension geometry and cause undue wear or even unsafe driving characteristics; getting paint overspray on the solar shell or the (4) battery charging contact post junctions could cause ineffective charging or electrical problems, etc...
Q. Is the car safe for passengers in a crash situation?
Absolutely! Considering its' size and weight- the car is just as safe as other lightweight vehicles. We have taken great measures to adapt, similar to NASCAR type of, safety features to our lightweight car by offering a full- aluminum roll cage integrated into the cockpit design. Though the front, rear and side-bar cage are hidden beneath the finished interior upholstery, you can visibly see the brushed aluminum overhead safety bars just below the interior ceiling. Also, the strictest international automotive glass and bumper standards have been applied in order to sell the car unchanged worldwide. Additionally, both the forward and leeward overhang sections of the car were designed to flex upon an impact of more than 5mph and have internal baffling to absorb collision impact. Note that the rendering below would closely resemble the Stinger's lower body section, with the one-piece solar shell removed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Re: Solar Electric Sports Coupe Q & A (2)

Q. How can a car have no frame underneath?
Unibody construction has come a long way and since there is no torque being applied from an engine, transmission, driveshaft, rear-end...the body suffers very little torsional stress by using this motor in the wheel-hub design. Simply stated, the power made at the wheel stays at the wheel. Therefore, by strategically increasing the GRP thickness, in addition to the stiffening forces created by the internal passenger safety cage - we can offer an entirely plastic shelled design that has no rust prone steel frame exposed to the elements! In fact, all four outboard wheels use a lightweight aluminum double wishbone suspension component system; these (and the wheel motors themselves) are the only metal components exposed to outside elements (snow, salt, water, mud, sand, etc...). The specially designed (to cool the hub motors) wheels are even high strength, color co-coordinated, non-corrosive ABS plastic. We mean no planned obsolescence, from all LED lighting to plastic wheels!
Q. Why are the motors in the wheels?
A. We wanted a system with no gearboxes, differential, axle, drive shafts, etc... to save weight, improve performance and reduce maintenance. These lightweight designed and powerful compact motors are also part of our plan to upgrade battery and solar power as newer technology becomes reasonably priced. These motors have been over-engineered to handle much greater power loads than are currently being delivered. Therefore, should more powerful batteries become available (as your originals wear out) these motors will easily accommodate the upgrade and you benefit from the greater power and or longevity of the new design. In fact, we're so sure of our motors that they have a limited lifetime warranty. However, should a motor need repaired or replaced, this, in the wheel, design is much more easily serviced than under hood motors.*Warranty is not transferable from the original owner.
Q. Doesn't 4WD make the car more expensive?
A. Yes and No: Could the car be produced for less money without the front drive motors or even the small wind turbines? Yes, of course it could, but the wind turbines also do the double duty of cooling the batteries and cockpit while the front hub motors act as additional power generating sources under normal driving conditions. More importantly, just as building the car watertight to enable brief periods of floatation- in an emergency- 4WD can mean the difference between having enough traction to avoid or overcome an accident and perhaps being stuck and/or injured miles from any services. Keep in mind, The Stinger's 4WD system is designed for limited brief periods of usage and not continuous operation in Traction Mode. Whenever possible, we recommend driving The Stinger in Economy Mode to achieve maximum energy efficiency.
Q. How does the regenerative braking work?
A. When you brake, the car's kinetic motion energy is converted to heat through friction - throwing away the energy that was previously used to accelerate the car. Conversely, regenerative braking, in city driving, recaptures about 30 percent of a typical car's engine output that was previously lost due to braking. This proportion drops to almost zero in highway driving, where braking is much less frequent and the front alternators are also generating power. Along with a direct and sustained solar charge from the sun- your Stinger can travel great distances at freeway speeds!
An electric vehicle uses an electric motor to create torque to drive its wheels. Electric motors can be designed to be virtually identical to electric generators. This means an electric motor can either use electricity to create torque, or can reverse the process and use torque to create electricity. We have designed the Stinger to make the best usage of both technologies.
When an electric vehicle is approaching a stop light, it does not create friction and useless heat in order to slow down. Instead it reverses its electric motor turning it into an electric generator, creating electricity which is fed back into the battery and stored for future use. In fact, any time an electric vehicle decelerates it causes the system to use the vehicle’s momentum to generate electricity- this is why we have chosen to incorporate motors into the design of the front wheels as well -and have even designed the front wind turbines to reverse the charging process for quick vehicle cooling! Even at the lowest speeds, the front wind drive alternators are recharging the batteries as the vehicle is being driven. Note, the front wind alternators cool both the batteries and cockpit.
Q. Where can I get the Stinger serviced? When should I replace the batteries?
A. Facilities will be available at the dealership from which you took initial delivery. Every dealership is factory inspected for service standards prior to taking delivery of their first Stinger. In fact, completely new running cars will be shipped and then disassembled for parts supplies- right at the dealership- prior to opening their doors. This is our final test of each dealer's preparedness to handle any parts or service diagnostics issues that might arise! However, as the Stinger has no oils or other fluids to change and far fewer mechanical parts to fail than internal combustion vehicles- the first service is not scheduled until 70,000 miles. At this time, all electronics will be carefully diagnosed for performance and safety- as well as the wheel hub motors, suspension and other moving parts. It is recomended that all of the hub motors be rotated during this inspection. During this estimated three year period (before the first service), we anticipate significant battery design improvements. Meaning: Rather than simply replacing the few batteries not functioning at full capacity- these batteries could be strategically upgraded with newer and more efficient batteries as each older unit becomes badly worn. Using this method of only replacing the older defective part with a newer and more efficient replacement- we estimate that all older batteries will be retrofitted by the fifth year of ownership.
Likewise, though the solar shell is warranted for 20 years, by the fifth year, we plan to offer an improved shell that operates at least 10% more efficiently (capturing more solar energy) and will offer this upgrade at a very cost effective (as measured against buying a completely new Stinger) price. Imagine driving to your local dealership with a five year old car and having the entire upper portion of the car replaced within an hour!
While we envision the battery replacements to follow a three to five year recycling/upgrade pattern and the solar shell to be significantly improved at five year intervals- the suspension component replacement will follow a more traditional 100,000 mile schedule around the seventh year. By the tenth year, advances in motor hub design might warrant retrofitting upgraded units (though this is not foreseen), but in addition to the third generation solar shell being offered- it is likely the Stinger's GRP gel coat would need its' first coat of paint; this would be the ideal time to change vehicle's coloring (if desired) and replace badly worn interior trim components (such as the driver's seat upholstery, etc...). Imagine driving to your local Stinger Dealership in a ten year old car and leaving with a brand new upper section (solar shell) and a restored interior along with perhaps a new colored coat of paint on the lower body!
By following the aforementioned, three, five, seven and ten year recycling intervals suggested above- you are not only constantly upgrading to newer and more efficient operation of your Stinger, but you are also visually refinishing your car at the five and ten year intervals throughout its' 20 year lifespan of production!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Re: Solar Electric Sports Coupe Q & A (3)

Q. Why use LED lighting? Wouldn't halogen or Xenon be brighter and cheaper?
A. Though the initial price of the car might be lowered by using other types of lighting, the light emanating diode (LED) has been designed to last over 100 years. The choice to use the LED design, however, is based on the lower amperage needed (less electricity) to effectively generate lumens (light). Newer LED lighting has been configured to shine as brightly as other designs, so there was no safety tradeoff for the power savings. This is part of our "No Planned Obsolescence" corporate pledge to our customers.
Q. Will the car be inoperable if the computer goes down?
A. Under almost any imaginable circumstances, if the controller went down, the answer would be no. Unlike a typical metal bodied ICE vehicle with an external frame design that can afford to haul lots of weight in the form of extra electronics to do sophisticated tasks- part of our goal in building the car was to keep it lightweight and simple. For example, before ever delivering the electrical current to the controller- all of the vehicle's power from the batteries is directed through our innovative shifter. It's the shifter that actually determines where the current is directed- which could be to one or all four wheels. So, given the scenario where the controller developed a malfunction- the shifter would still direct the appropriate raw voltage to the wheels you select, though the car might suffer from excessive wheel spin if not careful (since the controller is no longer modulating the electrical pulses/traction). Under these circumstances, we recommend using 4WD Traction Mode (though less energy efficient) until your local dealer could diagnose and rectify the electronic malfunction.
Similarly, we have opted for mechanical rather than electronic solutions throughout the vehicle's design whenever possible. In sum, the controller is only used to improve the driving experience but isn't absolutely necessary to sustain it. The controller essentially does three jobs: 1. Matches the incoming solar charge to the batteries most needing the charge, 2. Modulates the electrical pulses sent from the shifter to each wheel (mostly to prevent wheel spin) 3. Measures and then sends key vehicle performance data to the driver's instrument panel. So, though it might malfunction and fail to send calculated data to the instruments (like distance before battery discharge), it would still send the driver speed and basic raw charging information (just as your speedometer and gas gage function on your current car).
Though we have acknowledged the possibility of controller failure- the actual likelihood is quite slim considering that it is located in one of the coolest (receiving airflow to prevent overheating) and safest locations in the car- on the front fire wall underneath the aluminum safety cage structure.
Q. How reliable is the solar shell?
A. If the question is how long will it operate effectively, we've stated elsewhere that 20+ years is a reasonable expectation for it to deliver at least 80% of its' initial capacity when new. If the question is can it be easily damaged, likewise we've stated that the polymer coating is extremely durable and chip resistant. If the question is more about what might happen if an individual cell or group of solar cells ceased to function, then the answer is built in redundancy. At the individual cell level, each cell is connected to at least two adjacent cells (perhaps as many as six depending on the location). So, even if one cell went down, the surrounding cells would continue to function properly. The same principle holds true for the four quadrant design of the shell (with two front and rear sections); should an accident cause serious damage to one quadrant (hitting a deer on the left front, for instance), the entire quadrant would likely ground itself out and cease to function (until repairs could be made), but the other three quadrants would function normally. This would effectively allow you to return home (albeit with less power to charge the system) from the scene of an accident.
Q. Is the Stinger's high voltage electrical system safe?
A. The electric Stinger can demonstrate that occupant safety is a priority through its' many design features:
The Stinger has no large fuel tank containing explosive gasoline. Instead it uses a compartmentally sealed battery system with a unique patented sealed "Battery Wash" exhaust system- yet is easily serviced when the sealed solar shell has been removed. Most importantly, all of the high voltage currents running through the car are well insulated from the passenger compartment. There is no more exposure to electrocution while riding in this car than in any other design. Furthermore, unlike metal bodied vehicles, if there were to be a short in the high voltage circuits (located in front/behind the passenger compartment and in the central sealed tunnel) it wouldn't electrify the body of the car!
The Stinger's lower than average compact body has a uniquely rigid carbon fiber/GRP plastic shell with built in front and rear "flex zones". Unlike metal cars that are designed to crumple upon impact, the Stinger is designed to bend but not break in the front and rear. However, the actual passenger compartment has a rigid endo- skeleton frame similar to those found in race only vehicles- including hidden aluminum safety beams built inside of the doors. Plastic material has been used throughout the car as well as around the battery area. Considering the centralized location of the battery packs distributed fore and aft of the vehicle and the non-corrosive/non-conductive/weatherproof characteristics of plastic- we feel so confident that, barring a serious collision, we warranty the lower body shell along with the electric motors of the car for life! *This is limited non-transferable warranty.
Q. Do the batteries require any cooling or heating and will the car operate in low winter temperatures?
A. The batteries are a sealed designed to be used in motor vehicles and hostile environments. They will work in temperatures between 120F and 0F once running; this is accomplished, in part, by Patented "Flow Through" vehicle ventilation system that keeps the dark colored solar shell cool while the vehicle is in motion. However, it is highly recommended that the vehicle be stored in a heated and cooled garage that moderates the temperature extremes below 20F or above 100F to preserve battery life and speed warm up and cool down cockpit temperatures at start up. Batteries in electric vehicles do need to be kept cool when charged/used and heated to get them to perform properly in sub zero temperatures; both of these considerations were designed to be accomplished efficiently while the vehicle is in motion. So, other than the recommended garage storage, the Stinger has built in heating/cooling systems for both its' occupants and operating systems.
Q. Are the batteries like the "laptop variety" of small cells, thousands of which are used for the battery pack?
A. No, each sealed battery unit is about the size of a large car battery and approximately 28 such units make up a complete four quadrant battery pack. These are situated throughout the car to give the desired center of gravity and optimum weight distribution both front and rear. The small "laptop" sized lithium ion batteries would more than double the selling price of the Stinger and therefore were not incorporated into the vehicle's design. More importantly, these batteries are prone to excessive heat buildup and are known to burst into flames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Re: Solar Electric Sports Coupe Q & A (4)

Q. Do the batteries take up the entire trunk and under hood space?
A. As there is no fuel tank, The Stinger offers plenty of trunk space (10 cubic feet) as well as fold down seats in the rear. However, the front (typical the under hood engine area) of the vehicle is only accessible with the entire solar shell removed; this area houses almost half of the batteries and almost all electronics on board. This designed weight in the optimum positions allows the Stinger to have ‘designed-in’ weight distribution and low roll center for cornering stability. The ride height, combined with the high technology chassis, achieves excellent general road holding performance characteristics.
Q. How will the Stinger be charged away from home?
A. As I'm sure you're already aware, the Stinger primarily uses sunlight to charge the photovoltaic cells at all times- while driving or parked. Unlike other electric vehicles that would require a recharge after a long commute to work- simply park the Stinger in an area exposed to sunlight (even shade works- though not as well) and your vehicle's batteries will likely be fully recharged offering you full-power for the commute home! At night or on an extremely overcast day, a standard single phase home type power source can be used to charge and is available just about anywhere by using the onboard "Four Corner" chargers (which are easily accessible just above the wheel wells). For a fast charge, a 3 phase power supply is required and with the interest in electric powered vehicles increasing significantly, more high power charging stations will be installed for other less efficient vehicles. Most garage forecourt and industrial areas already have this level of high power source available and therefore can be fitted with a universal charging station for emergency recharging. This industrial charge line can be accessed through the small door located just above the Faux Exhaust outlets in the rear.
Q. Is the technology proven?
A. Yes, though this is the first four passenger, highway legal, every day usability design- solar racers have been built for almost 20 years. Likewise, we plan to demonstrate the viability of the design in the upcoming Automotive-X Design Competition with a Stinger design submission. For a full reconciliation of how we've designed the Stinger to meet or exceed all competition standards see: http://auto.xprize.org/auto/automotive-x-prize/draft-guidelines for comparison with this product description.
Q. Why doesn't the Stinger come in a four door version?
A. There are several reasons for not offering a four door model. Most of those reasons are directly related to overall vehicle weight and the need to maintain a very rigid and strong passenger compartment balanced with creating as much solar charging surface area on the vehicle as possible. Notice the solar surfaces are located on the shell that are directly behind the side windows; this is a uniquely curved and louvered shell that actually allows for some solar charging to take place even when the sun is just rising or setting at low points on the horizon. The resulting benefit is more charging time during the entire dusk until dawn day. However, since the solar design does not lend itself to four traditionally placed doors, the oversized gull-wing type doors were designed to promote much easier back seat ingress/egress than typical two door coupes. Plus, the gull-wing design has the additional benefit of opening nearly straight up in tight parking space situations.
Q. Why doesn't Stinger Motors Inc. offer an SUV or pickup truck in addition to the four passenger coupe?
A. In time we will offer other models as the technology to both create and sell these types of vehicles at a reasonable cost, to our middle-class consumers, becomes available. As mentioned elsewhere in corporate literature, presently our ability to produce this car, at a price competitive with similarly sized gasoline powered vehicles, is dependent upon using readily available and affordable technology. Putting the solar powered coupe on the market was our effort to drive the prices down and force other car makers into the affordable electric car "Green" arena. Though we've patented the design, we will offer it to other auto makers for a VERY reasonable price once our worldwide dealer network is in place. However, the technology that allows for much heavier and larger vehicles to become electric powered may not be forthcoming for a while from other large, primarily internal combustion, car makers. Yes, we could make these types of vehicles as EVs, but unlike the Stinger- they would require much more frequent on-grid recharging, beyond the built in solar recharging capacity and that equals more coal and nuclear power plants. No thanks!
Q. Won't the plastic crack or break?
No, it will not break under any normal circumstances. Both the solar shell and lower body shell are designed to withstand far greater impacts than would normally crack or break a typical automotive windshield. Similar technology has been used on American sports cars and boats for over 50 years. Yes, if you are in a severe crash, the vehicle will crack and/or break. However, note the padded interior surfaces, airbags and aluminum passenger safety cage as described in our separate safety feature illustration above.
Q. Does the car really float?
Yes, this feature is a simple byproduct of the sealed plastic shell design, though it was not ever designed to be driven in water (thereby causing the vehicle's tires to loose contact with road surfaces) or even partially submerse the electric wheel motors. Keep in mind, if you intentionally drive your vehicle into water that causes the vehicle to float- unless it's an officially government declared flooding emergency- you have effectively voided the vehicle's factory warranty period. However, even though we highly discourage immersing the vehicle- due to a lack of steering control (The Stinger is not a boat) and other uncontrollable factors, such as floating debris- we also recognize that this accidental feature of the car might also save your life if you are trapped in quickly rising water.* See owners manual for emergency operating situations and steering, in 4WD, towards dry surfaces quickly while the vehicle is afloat.
Q. Are there instances in which the Stinger would not be a good choice for a daily driver?
Though the Stinger is designed to do many things well, there are some driving habits and needs that might rule the Stinger out as a primary vehicle. These circumstances might include:
High ground clearance needed (more than six inches)
Towing a trailer or large/heavy cargo (for which the Stinger has no provisions)
Roof or trunk racks needed (not possible due to solar design)
Regular extreme cold weather operation (i.e. Arctic)
Adults or children unable to maneuver into the back seats
No garage available during very cold (if typical in your area) winter season
Zero Access to on-grid electricity (recharging) during a night time emergency
Regularly exceeding the 850lb passenger/cargo capacity
Primary driving on gravel covered roads causing extraordinary stone damage
Q. Will this car put other "internal combustion" manufacturers out of business?
No, at least not any time soon. Recent advances in electric motor and battery designs and our patented solar shell allow us to offer a family friendly sports coupe at an affordable price. However, in extremely cold or inclement climates that see few sunny days, a hydrogen fuel cell would be a better choice. For heavy towing, primarily long distance or night driving and a variety of other situations- we will still be reliant upon older technology and unfortunately the fossil fuels they consume. However, as technology improves over time, we hope to see these specialized vehicles likewise turn towards solar, electric or non-polluting hydro designs that last longer and are far easier to maintain than traditional metal bodied, fossil fuel burning, internal combustion vehicles.
 

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Dr. Al, the planet has been warming and cooling for ages. Long before man and technology. The Internal Combustion engine is NOT the cause of global warming, or more appropriately, climate change.
 
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