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There were four cars made and they were painted different colors But this green one was his favorite. Walt had each of the cars made to look like a 1901 Oldsmobile. He drove many celebrities around Disneyland in this car. Top speed was around 25 mph. A switch on the side selected forward, neutral and reverse.
The batteries were under the front seat. Under the car is an electric motor with a right hand drive to a sprocket driving a chain to the differential. It doesn't take much power to go 25 mph.
I don't know the top speed, but I would guess it to be somewhere
around 40 mph. It takes a little less then 2 seconds to get up to
that speed. The whole ride is getting up to speed, then slowing quickly
down to make a turn, back up to speed, etc. My son says the ride is
like a horizontal roller-coaster.
It looks like the Rod Rocket is driven by a large electric motor. On each side of the vehicle are three rails which probably contains the 480 volt 3-phase power for the vehicle. Between the motor and the rails is probably a power converter that is somehow controlled by ground sensors and/or an RF radio link. I.e. all vehicles can be shut down by remote control. The electric motor drives the real differential through a (cogged?) belt.
This picture was taken a few years ago at the Electric Vehicle race in Chandler Arizona. Batteries are on each side of the car.
General Motors pulled every trick in the book to make the EV1 the most efficient freeway legal vehicle ever built. With a very aerodynamic Cd of 0.19 and custom low rolling resistance tires with an estimated drag of 0.5%, the EV1 was one of the most efficient vehicles ever built. With lead-acid batteries, one EV1 went over 120 miles.
The Prius is a gasoline / electric hybrid. Over long distances it is said to average about 44 mpg.
The Aptera out did the EV1 with an even lower aerodynamic drag coefficient of about 0.11. It also has low rolling resistance tires. Using composities, it has a weight of about 1500 lb. Only 4.5 kW is enough to maintain 65 mph on a level freeway. A current prices, that is about $0.01 per mile. Using a lithium battery, it has a range of about 130 miles. To judge relative size, my decimeter stick is shown in these pictures. [1 dm is about 3 15/16 inches] Aptera