The Universal Automobile (UA) is a "public domain" vehicle used by subscribers; it is powered by batteries which can be automatically trickle-charged using "charging mats" deployed across preferred downtown locations designated as "UA Parking Areas" , or alternatively, their batteries can be quickly exchanged at traditional gasoline stations converted to accommodate automatic "swapping"..

So You Want Electric Cars??

Jack Bonney | UA Systems, JBJ Transportation Group

So you want electric cars

So You Want Electric Cars?
by Mr. Jack Bonney, UA Systems, JBJ Transportation Group

Have you ever wondered what you could do with all the money tied up in the car that you use to go back and forth to work?? Everything considered, commuter vehicles are very wasteful -- at the same time, driving is becoming more and more frustrating as it takes longer to get where you want to go.

While it may be exciting to accelerate from 0 to 100 in less than 10 seconds, the fact is that when vehicles are stuck in grid-locked traffic they are all essentially rendered to the same level of uselessness regardless of their individual cost, power, and styling.

This article will most assuredly raise a lot of questions regarding the widespread strategy being used to introduce electric cars; it also proposes a comprehensive solution that should stimulate readers to "think outside the box" -- here are some examples: why aren't all batteries made to a single specification, why do batteries have to be built into the vehicle, and why is recharging restricted to a power cable?

This is part of a much larger world-wide dilemma presented by rising petroleum prices caused by scarce oil reserves and incredible waste from inefficient use and war.

The most critical issue is the gas-guzzling single-occupant vehicle (SOV) that is primarily used for daily commuting to and from city centers -- the reality is that society remains "drugged or hypnotized" on owning cars simply because auto manufacturers apparently do not want change and so there is no viable alternatives from which to choose, until now….

THE QUESTIONS ARE VERY BASIC: Can electric power be simplified and widely distributed as a cheap fuel? Why do you have to own a vehicle? Is it possible to improve mass transit? Are there new benefits that may become available?

First, let's examine just 4 of the problems that now exist…..

Problem #1:

Mass transit, HOV lanes, specialty passes, and other "temporary fixes" generally have not provided broad, long-term benefits - commuter roads remain clogged with automobiles as the preferred choice; the majority of all vehicles used for commuting are occupied by only the driver and then take up "dead space" (parking lots) in valuable downtown locations for most of the day.

Traffic infrastructure costs are soaring while pollution is increasing taxes and other financial penalties at every opportunity, there is apparently no end to what can only be described as a mess across North America.

Problem #2:

Cities are struggling with the dilemma of increased demand for parking lots on valuable land, but improved roads simply promotes increased traffic congestion; "expensive" city locations are being vacated for the suburbs, eroding important tax revenues, and using up valuable agricultural land - ultimately, all of this could mean that all transportation facilities to downtown today may actually be used less in future; there are many examples of this phenomenon across North America.

Using self-owned vehicles (regardless of fuel) that are used for commuting only makes the mess worse; this is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline, right?

Problem #3:

Development of new technology for batteries, fuel cells, and "hybrid" vehicles from automobile manufacturers are presumably presenting problems that are conspiring to delay the widespread and economical use of electricity as a viable alternative to gasoline and diesel; in other words, the author of this article believes that all the component technology already exists and that manufacturers are simply resisting to embrace any alternatives.

Electric trams, trolleys, and rapid transit use only 15% of the electricity that is made available to them; the rest is wasted.

Problem #4:

Since the early 1950's, cars continue to be marketed on ego and sex appeal, power, styling, and handling, with the result that society is resisting the concept of the "universal" use of electric vehicles -- this psychological hurdle must not be underestimated.

Furthermore, the press and media have become so dependent upon the money involved with automotive advertising that any new proposition is typically ridiculed instead of being logically presented as newsworthy.

Some Of The Opportunities:

(1) More than 50 million car batteries exist throughout North America, of several different sizes/shapes, but almost all could be fitted to a standardized compartment and integrated into three charging methods to provide enough power for local commuting around downtown core areas initially and then expanded to accommodate suburbs and long distance travel as power stations expand geographically.

(2) Electricity from solar and wind technology has matured and can be cost-effectively distributed by converting existing gasoline stations to handle battery recharging and swapping as another form of fuel along with propane and diesel.

Integrated charging strategy enables continual performance: (a) "charging mats" which deliver 12-volt direct current electricity, (b) traditional gasoline stations modified with underground charging carousels that automatically swap the batteries in a vehicle while the driver remains inside, and, (c) standard power cord.

NOTE: All the component systems and integrated functionality have been designed and documented in detail.

(3) Stored Value ('Smart") cards, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Bar Code Scanning (BCS), and miniaturized computer technology are cheap solutions that are easy to integrate.

(4) Universal Automobiles (UA) would release a lot of valuable "dead space" currently used for parking; on the other hand, subscribers would enjoy access to all preferred parking locations currently off-limits; deployment of curbside "charging mats" would be determined according to parking patterns mapped out by computer analysis.

(5) Every mass transit trip has two "legs" which are described as being "negative":

  • Starting leg : Getting to a mass transit station from a point of origin
  • Ending leg: Arriving at a final destination from a mass transit station

This is actually a "window" of opportunity because people want to travel more independently and more completely than mass transit can currently provide; a universal automobile would enable commuters to quickly and cheaply "customize" the negative legs of their trip.

(6) Fiberglass is excellent for body parts, but it also means that manufacturing can be decentralized to provide local employment nearer to urban tax bases where the vehicles are being used.

(7) The free enterprise economic system has prevailed and there are many instances of large-scale projects being financed by public share offerings; users will therefore participate more proactively and responsibly as stakeholders than as taxpayers.

The Universal Automobile
A Complete Solution For Electric Motoring

3-wheel Electric Vehicle

General Vehicle Description:

The Universal Automobile (UA) is a "public domain" vehicle used by subscribers; it is powered by batteries which can be automatically trickle-charged using "charging mats" deployed across preferred downtown locations designated as "UA parking areas", or alternatively, their batteries can be quickly exchanged at traditional gasoline stations converted to accommodate automatic "swapping".

Those converted power supply stations will use underground battery carousels for recharging -- batteries are automatically swapped as vehicles "pull up", a process that will utilize a combination of solar and hydro power and require less than 2 minutes while the driver does not have to leave the vehicle.

In order for a "subscriber" to purchase a stored value ("smart") card, s/he must have a valid driver's license whose individual record will determine the cost per kilometer -- i.e. from $.25/k to as much as $1.00++/k -- the value purchased will be applied against the number of kilometers driven, being recalculated by on-board software; smart cards are widely used in many mass transit systems world-wide.

If a vehicle exceeds 60 kph, an increased rate is used against the stored value on the card, vandalism or accidents will cause the card to be locked inside the vehicle for driver identification, and GPS can report vehicles that sit idle for longer than 24 hours, lose charge, or that leave the designated UA-usage zone.

NOTE: All component systems and functionality have been designed and documented in detail.

The proposed vehicle can carry 2 passengers and 100 kilos (50 pounds) of goods at up to 75 k (40 miles) per hour on level roadways; it is very efficient because it utilizes a light but durable fiberglass body and its 3-wheel design is safe and stable; the smart card will not eject if anything over 100 grams is left in the vehicle - the integrated charging strategy enables vehicles to operate 24 hours per day.

Subscribers can only retrieve their stored value card if they leave a vehicle in a charging state (on-board systems signal several conditions) -- the vehicle can then be immediately used by another subscriber; GPS can monitor each UA electronically so that computer analysis of usage patterns can ensure that UA supply always meets demand.

Commuters can make better use of mass transit, reduce city core parking and traffic costs, and provide a variety of new-found benefits to everyone involved; to this end, user "buy-in" is vital for maximize usage -- offering public shares in the enterprise encourages the public to become "stakeholders" in their own enterprise.

This solution is not intended to completely replace self-owned automobiles regardless of what fuel they use, traditional fuel delivery, nor their related products and services, but it should provide a way to adjust dependence on them all without significantly disrupting inter-related and inter-dependent economies during a reasonable adjustment period.

There is a migration path: As the urban solution matures, the system can easily be expanded into the suburbs; then, as more fuel stations offer the battery exchange service, private ownership of semi-customized electric vehicles will enable cheap recreational and even cross-country travel.

Properly implemented along with government, this electric vehicle and its overall system will introduce a long-overdue solution to regular commuting and better usage of existing transit systems; this comprehensive solution will solve the most challenging problems and present new-found benefits to every city that embraces it and to those who use it.

Everyone concerned about overall economy of commuter travel should be excited about this article, especially those who must control their time, route, and destination more precisely than traditional mass transit has been able to provide.

This electric vehicle system will provide a solution to commuting by complementing mass transit not competing with it --- It is an exciting new option that has been missing until now........

For more details, contact: Mr. Jack Bonney, UA Systems, JBJ Transportation Group, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. e-mail:

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