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1980 Comuta-Car

Page history last edited by Chad Conway 14 years, 2 months ago

My 1980 Comuta-Car Project


Chad Conway's 1980 Comuta-Car


This is a 1980 electric Comuta-Car designed and built by Commuter Vehicles, Inc. The vehicle has a aircraft-grade aluminum roll-cage with ABS(plastic) body panels. The car is run by a direct current electric motor that is rated at 6 HP. The vehicle is capable of driving at up to 50 miles per hour. The car's power source is a string of 8 - 6Volt deep cycle high-output batteries. When fully charged the car has a total of 48 Volts. The batteries make up approximately 600 lbs of the car's 1400 lb curb weight. They give the car a range of 33 to 60 miles per charge. The original car was equipped with an AM/FM radio, but that is the only creature comfort. There is no air conditioning, and the heat for the car is created by running a fan across the electric motor, which gets warm during operation. Although basic, the car's many features ranging from its tubular aluminum frame to its plastic body and complex electrical drive made it leading-edge technology for 1980.


The Project

I have loved cars for as long as I can remember. In my sophomore year at Duxbury High School, I decided I wanted to rebuild a car. I thought about selecting a 1950s classic, a 1970s Mustang or a Factory Five reproduction. As I got closer to selecting a project, my Technology/Engineering teacher, Mr. Connors, got me interested in alternative energy. He showed me pictures of a 1980 electric car that needed some serious work. With gas prices above $3 per gallon and my strong environmental concerns, I was quickly won over by the idea of an all-electric vehicle. The electric Comuta-Car had not run for many years. In fact many of the components were in boxes on the floor or mixed together in the battery compartment under the seat. The first couple of days on the project were incredibly overwhelming. Going into the project, I had excellent mechanical skills. However, my electrical knowledge was limited to the difference between a series and parallel circuit. I will never forget opening the dashboard for the first time. After I removed the last screw a rainbow of different colored wires sprung out at me. About a quarter of the hundred wires behind the dashboard were either cut off or dangling free with disconnected wire connectors. Over the past seven months I have rewired much of the high voltage drive circuit, fixed the wiring to the driving lights, signals, speedometer and safety circuits. Taking on this project has taught me an incredible amount and has given me real hope that we can limit our dependence on oil powered cars.


I would like to thank my Technology and Engineering Teacher, Chris Connors for his many hours of encouragement and support. Special thanks also to Matt Conway for his electrical knowledge and patience, and to Mike Turley and my other friends at Duxbury High School for their general assistance.


In the News!


Boston Globe




The Duxbury Clipper



* Interviews

* Articles


Specifics and Performance of my Car


C-Car Form Post -The message I sent to the yahoo C-Car forum when starting the project.





Going to the prom with my date in my Comuta-Car:

Prom '07 1

Later that night, I won the award for best ride.

--> Photo Album <--


1980 Comuta-Car General Information


Other Comuta-Car Web Pages-A list of all the other Comuta-Cars


C-Car forum-A place where all Comuta-Car and Citicar owners talk about the cars and help each other with problems that they encounter.


The History of the Citicar and Comuta-Car


The Truth About EVs


EV Emission Analysis


The Parts for the Comuta-Car


License Plates


Golf cart places




Contact Me: ChadConway@gmail.com






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