Commuter Cars - The Tango, ultra-narrow electric car for commuting; 0-60 in 4 seconds
New Zealand

The revolutionary Tango combines the speed and agility of a motorcycle with the security of a high-performance sports car.

Using the right tool for the job
People want to go where they want to go, when they want to go, while being able to take along things they need now, or might need on occasion. So they drive cars with four or five empty seats. None of the alternatives to the automobile (like bikes, motorcycles or public transportation) come close to replacing it, at least to the workers in the US who commute in over 106-million single occupant vehicles, the direct cause of commuter traffic congestion.

A car now exists that is the right tool for the job of commuting and running errands alone or even with a passenger. This is because the Tango fits in half a lane with more clearance than a truck has in a full lane. According to a Booz-Allen-Hamilton/University of California, Berkeley study, a car the size of the Tango would increase freeway lane capacity from 2,000 to 4,400 cars per hour.

For most commuters, the Tango is the fastest, safest, most practical, time saving, and fun way to get to where you want to be. That may sound like a lot of hype, but studying the various aspects of the Tango, one will find it to be absolutely true.

Why would a carpenter use a sledge hammer to drive finish nails? Only if it was the only hammer he had. This is precisely the situation with commuter traffic in dense cities. The Tango is the right tool for urban commuting.

Trading boredom for freedom
The Tango's ability to maneuver through traffic is second to none. Being 5" narrower than many motorcycles, it can get through traffic like no other car in history. Where lane splitting is permitted (i.e., driving between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic), the advantage can be staggering. In extremely heavy traffic, a Tango or motorcycle can travel in 20 seconds the distance that cars travel in 20 minutes.

Forging a congestion-free future
The Tango can fit in a 6-foot half-lane with more clearance than a truck has in a full 12-foot freeway lane. This doubling of lane capacity can solve traffic congestion. The Tango can also park perpendicularly to the curb like a bike, allowing four Tangos in one parallel parking space.

Acceleration and top speed
With over 3,000 ft-lbs of torque starting at zero rpm and a 600 kW (805 hp) motor controller, the Tango accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, has finished the standing 1/4 mile in 12.255 seconds at 106.86 mph, and can reach over 150 mph with no gear shifting.

Safety and Stability
The Tango is far safer than it looks at first glance. It has an FIA-certified roll cage (the structure required for race cars traveling over 200 mph) and 4 times more side protection bars than the typical SUV. Its 4-point harnesses and weight (comparable to a midsize sedan) combine to make the Tango extremely safe. With 2,000 lbs under the floor (mostly batteries), it is ballasted to achieve a low center of gravity, giving it the rollover threshold of a sports car.

Most importantly, with its narrow body and quick maneuverability, it can avoid trouble better than any other car in existence. During the Automotive X-Prize competition, Consumer Reports stated that the Tango had the fastest time recorded through the emergency lane change maneuver (Moose Test).

At 8'6" long, the Tango is no longer than a large truck is wide. This allows it to park perpendicularly to the curb and extend into traffic no more than a truck would. This means that the Tango can utilize small spaces like the 4-foot spaces between many driveways in San Francisco  or fit four to a typical parallel parking space as motorcycles could.