Protocom is targeted as a prototype commuter vehicle. It is fully electric, but can have a diesel generator with a 5 or so gallon tank for longer hauls. The basic idea is that it has solar cells that will charge while you're at work all day. It is not meant for long trips. The "com" in the name is for commuter, short bursts of use daily. This will probably resemble a go-kart initially.
The entire vehicle will be run off of batteries and use [an] electric motor[s] to drive the vehicle. The vehicle will have an array of solar panels to charge the batteries during the day time. It may also have a detachable diesel generator tuned to run in a very narrow, but efficient power band for charging.
The simple way to do this would be to take the body of a large gokart and equip it with a single electric motor on the drive axle. Space for batteries could be welded onto the tubular steel frame.
There is no drive train, but it has been suggested that the wheels all be swivelable for easy parallel parking (definitely not in the first version). The steering mechanism for this is up for debate.
What do we need to make this street legal?
- Rear view mirror(s)
- Signal lights (brake, turn)
- Head lights