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'[OT] Legality of using a petrol powered 12v genera'
2006\09\30@073411 by Chris Gavin-Egan

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Here's and interesting question for you all.

Most of you would have heard of the Sinclair C5 electric car. Until this
week I owned and ran http://www.c5alive.co.uk (now sadly moved on because of
emmigration plans), anyhow I digress.

The legalities of using it in the UK is that it is a 3 wheeled electric
tricycle that has a 12v deep discharge battery (12v 36amp/hr) running a
250w 12v motor. Maximum legal speed is 15mph and it has pedals should
the battery run flat.

One of my customers has simply replaced the battery for a 12v petrol
powered generator (in the boot compartment of the machine)

So... the generator is producing the required 12v in place of the
battery but it is not connected in any direct fashion (ie gearbox etc)

Do you think this is arguably legal as a electric vehicle for the above
road use ? (I guess you  could substitute fuel cell/nuclear power/steam
turbine/ wind turbine or any other electricity generating mechanism in
place of the petrol generator for arguments sake, but being petrol
powered makes it comparatively intreguing)

Its of no great importance but an interesting conversation.

Cheers

Chris


2006\09\30@080918 by Tony Smith

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> Here's and interesting question for you all.
>
> Most of you would have heard of the Sinclair C5 electric car.
> Until this week I owned and ran http://www.c5alive.co.uk (now sadly
> moved on because of emmigration plans), anyhow I digress.
>
> The legalities of using it in the UK is that it is a 3
> wheeled electric tricycle that has a 12v deep discharge
> battery (12v 36amp/hr) running a 250w 12v motor. Maximum
> legal speed is 15mph and it has pedals should the battery run flat.
>
> One of my customers has simply replaced the battery for a 12v
> petrol powered generator (in the boot compartment of the machine)


I don't see why not.  At the basic level, the legalities are mainly
concerned with top speed and safety gear, such as lights.  Since the top
speed won't change, it'll probably be still legal.  Of course, there may be
additional considerations, such as weight, noise and pollution.

What's considered a vehicle is always interesting.  Where I live,
rollerblades are considered 'toy vehicles', meaning they cannot be used on
roads, or after dark.  Where's the fun in that?  Bicycles are in a class of
their own, considered vehicles but exempt from registration.  Putting an
engine on a bicycle and using it on the road would probably mean it's
classed as a motorcycle (well yes!), but that depends on power/speed, I
guess.

The little 50cc 'pocket bikes' or motorised scooters usually aren't street
legal due to top speed (over 60km!) and lack of lights.  I have seen one of
the little bikes with licence plates, so it is possible.

Tony

2006\09\30@122316 by Howard Winter

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Chris,

On Sat, 30 Sep 2006 12:33:55 +0100, Chris Gavin-Egan wrote:

{Quote hidden}

No, it's a petrol-driven tricycle with an electric transmission system, IMHO.  

If he had a battery and the generator charged that, he'd be in a better position - and if it had two batteries, one being charged and one driving the
motor with no cross-connect, I'd say he was high and dry, but with no battery I think he'll get done for not having a tax disc, and it not being
registered, at the very least!  Not to mention insurance!  Note that the Police have a lot of new powers these days, which include confiscating and
destroying untaxed, uninsured vehicles.

It must cost a fortune to run - those little generators normally work out at around GB£1 per kWh for fuel, at least ten times what it would cost to
recharge at home.  It's a shame there's no such thing as "Agricultural Petrol", the way there is with Diesel - you'd save a lot of money that way, but
the smallest diesel generators cost around GB£1,000 so that pretty much puts it out of court.  You can get LPG conversions for some of the petrol
generators, and that may be worth considering, if you can find space for the tank.

> (I guess you  could substitute fuel cell/nuclear power/steam
> turbine/ wind turbine or any other electricity generating mechanism in
> place of the petrol generator for arguments sake, but being petrol
> powered makes it comparatively intreguing)

An open and shut case, I reckon!  :-)  He might get away with it being a moped (although having three wheels may clobber that) but it certainly isn't
electric powered, any more than a car with automatic transmission and a torque-converter is hydraulic powered.

> Its of no great importance but an interesting conversation.

I still think it's a shame the C5 didn't take off - Uncle Sir Clive has had some good ideas in the past, but this one fell at the marketing stage, IMHO.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\30@170847 by Chris Gavin-Egan

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Interesting thoughts on that.

I know that he got 5 hrs (60-75miles) riding for a single (4ltr ?) tank.

It must have been excrutiatingly dull though at 15mph.

I am still unsure as to your definition of
"petrol-driven tricycle with an electric transmission system"

although I can see your thinking with the second battery idea.

This is all academic now as he has emmigrated to Australia (with it I
think) last year.

But i had some interesting conversations with him.

He didn't do it in any serious attempt to flout the law - more just to
see if it could be done and how it would work. As i understand it, the
generator never came off idle.

I suppose the other advantage was that he would never have that nagging
doubt about how much charge was left in the batteries and that constant
degradation of battery power wouldnt happen. Not only this but if he ran
out of fuel - he shouldn't have to pedal too far to get some more petrol.

Chris



Howard Winter wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>


'[OT] Legality of using a petrol powered 12v genera'
2006\10\02@034749 by Alan B. Pearce
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>So... the generator is producing the required 12v in place of the
>battery but it is not connected in any direct fashion (ie gearbox etc)
>
...
>
>Its of no great importance but an interesting conversation.

I guess it depends on wether or not he wants to avoid the congestion charge
in London ... ;)

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