The Return of Seven

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Re-designed Seven at Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
Re-designed Seven at Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

The resurrection of Seven is upon us. The wait is over. As we breathe new life into the redesigned and re-engineered Seven it’s important to remember what hasn’t changed and why: its heart and soul, the spirit that first brought Seven into existence. We have been anxiously planning several public events to celebrate the completion of the project. The best way to celebrate, and the best way to educate the public, is to take her out for a spin and take as many of our friends and followers with for a ride. Come see what makes Seven tick, what we’ve changed, and what’s next for the Illuminati and Seven. Most importantly, come to get a ride and experience for yourself, if you haven’t before, what makes the EV revolution tick…zip…grin.

Seven, originally built to compete in the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, a competition to build the world’s first consumer-viable 100+ MPGe vehicle, was capable of: 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, 130 mph top speed, an EPA tested 207.5 MPGe, and 216 mile range on a single charge. With everything Seven could do it still had rough spots that needed smoothing and weak links that needed replacing. So we cut, sanded, ground, bolted, imagined and created … with the help of a few talented individuals. And we finally came up with a fully composite body, custom single speed transmission and coupler, and someday maybe even a paint job.

Seven’s new body, to replace the old, and to our surprise unstable spray-foam core body, is constructed completely of high strength composites including carbon fiber, Kevlar, and honeycomb. Thanks to Reg Schmeiss of Motorvation Inc. for the help, guidance, education and his infinite patience. The new body is lighter, stronger, cleaner and has a more aggressive look. Other body design changes include reduced frontal area, raised hood angle to increase downforce at higher speeds, and a tapered back end incorporating tail fins to fit more with the original concept design and to help prevent the ill effects of undirected air-wash off the back of the car.

The custom gears for the transmission were designed and built by John Frana of Frana Vehicles (815-639-9183) and they are beautiful. At almost 4 inches wide, made from heat treated gear steel, this gear set has a ratio of 1.11 to 1, bringing our overall reduction, including the all new differential (also made by Frana Vehicles) to 4.1:1. Our transmission is no longer a weak link.

There are many other improvements in the planning stages for Seven, but more about that as they happen.

If you’d like a chance to see Seven in person, head out to EVCCON 2013 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri from August 6th thru the 11th. Seven, along with dozens of other electric vehicles, will be on display. Presenters from many of the top minds today in the EV conversion world will also be attending. Better yet, come to EVCCON to experience Seven for yourself (check the public day(s) schedule at EVTV.ME for details on times and locations).

I owe more than a few of you rides…since I have a habit of burning up clutches and breaking transmissions. And yes there is a difference: one costs you $5,000,000, yes that’s million, when it burns up. The other costs $5,000 for some custom gears when you break the old ones. I’ve done both if you haven’t guessed and breaking gears is a lot more fun, dramatic, and cost effective. So, back to the ride part, did I say ride??? Why yes I did! Everyone knows of my filibuster prowess, and yes even I know that no one wants to hear it, so let’s go for a ride and get the biggest EV grin of your life!

Ingenious BookThe big news for this year is the upcoming book by Jason Fagone: “Ingenious: A true story of invention, automotive daring, and the race to revive America.” Due out 11/5/2013 and available now for pre-order at Amazon.com. The story of a small group of tinkerers, garage hackers, racers, and entrepreneurs who tried to do something they were told was impossible: build the world’s first 100 MPGe car. This is more than the story of Seven, it is the story of American ingenuity. It is the story of all of us who have walked out into an empty garage, rolled up our sleeves and with no more than our imagination filled that empty space and drove out in something we created.

It’s your turn to start filling that empty space, so take advantage of this opportunity before it slips, like a clutch, through your fingers, and come to EVCCON in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on August 6th-11th and see Seven. Better yet, come to EVCCON and experience this car first hand by getting to ride in Seven! And let’s find out together what we’re now all capable of: high MPGe, 0-60, grins per mile, so we can create what is possible for the future.

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