An Edmonton man has built the first BugE in Canada and juiced it with a lithium iron phosphate battery and an AC motor.
The BugE is a 3-wheel "semi-enclosed" vehicle that its maker calls a "single passenger cyclecar." It’s got a low power-to-weight ratio of 1 hp/40 lb, is powered by a DC motor, and uses hand-operated drum brakes.
Its maximum speed is estimated at about 80 km/h and range is about 50 km. The BugE is sold in kit form andrequires a motorcycle licence for operation on public roads.
Nap Pepin, an electronics engineering technologist, says he has improved the Bug E to get nearly 200 km on a battery charge and reach 130 km/h. His electric motor produces 38-hp, about twice the rating of the kit-supplied motor. It’s also extremely cost efficient, he says, getting the equivalent of 628 mpg.
The BugE was designed in the U.S. and is available as a kit from bugev.net, but since kit vehicles cannot be legally imported into Canada, Pepin had to buy his parts from a number of sources. He told the Edmonton Journal that the most difficult part of the 10-month construction project was developing an effective battery management system for the special battery and AC motor.
Total cost for the project: $15,000.
Here’s video of another BugE in action.