The Earthrover Ecology Car

A reader presents his own version of a highly fuel efficient vehicle he calls the Earth Rover Ecology Car.
By Bob France
July/August 1974
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The author with his Earth Rover Ecology Car.

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MOTHER EARTH NEWS' support for electric cars has inspired me to tell you about my Earth Rover Ecology Car, which cost me $250 to build. At present it's running on regular gasoline and getting over 45 mpg from a 36 hp engine.

My vehicle's features include a recycled VW beetle chassis, a shock-absorbing bumper and a body of aluminum panels pop-riveted onto an angle-iron roll-cage frame. Because of its lighter weight and lower wind resistance, the Earth Rover wears longer and stops, goes, and corners better than it did as a VW. It drives through the woods on jeep and dune buggy trails much more efficiently than an ordinary auto.

A body like the Earth Rover's can be constructed and repaired easily because it doesn't have expensive establishment styling, tricky hardware, or curved glass.

Apart from that, though, I think your electric car idea is right on. I feel that a light vehicle with two or more electric motors and several batteries can run much better than the majority of consumers are being led to believe. Alternative vehicle seminars and meets—organized and publicized through national magazines like MOTHER EARTH NEWS—might enable the people to develop a simple, reliable form of transportation that could be produced, driven, and maintained without ruining our planet.

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