1980 Comuta-Car Electric Runabout

Summary

The Comuta-Car, and its predecessor the CitiCar, were electric cars designed for limited use in cities. Sharp increases in gasoline prices in the 1970s persuaded some 4000 people to buy the tiny vehicles. But every time the price of fuel spiked, it always fell again, and demand for specialized urban electrics always fell along with it. Will the time for such cars ever come?

The Comuta-Car, and its predecessor the CitiCar, were electric cars designed for limited use in cities. Sharp increases in gasoline prices in the 1970s persuaded some 4000 people to buy the tiny vehicles. But every time the price of fuel spiked, it always fell again, and demand for specialized urban electrics always fell along with it. Will the time for such cars ever come?

Artifact

Automobile

Date Made

1980

Driving America
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Driving America

Object ID

2006.84.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Strong National Museum of Play.

Material

Metal
Plastic (Organic material)

Color

Black (Color)
Red

Inscriptions

Sides and rear: ELECTRIC Inset metal nameplate, passenger side: COMUTA-CAR Inset metal nameplate on hood: COMMUTER VEHICLES Motor Nameplate: GE DC Motor Mod: 5BC 49 JB 327 C RPM: 4000 HP6 V: 48V A: 125A Time Rating: 15 Min. Wound: Series Fr: 49 AMB 40 degrees C Class F Serial No.: MRN Fort Wayne, Ind NP 180051

Specifications

Make & Model: 1980 Comuta-Car electric runabout

Maker: Commuter Vehicles, Inc., Sebring, Florida

Engine: DC, lead-acid batteries, 48 volts

Range: 40 miles

Height: 58 inches

Wheelbase: 63 inches

Width: 55 inches

Overall length: 95 inches

Weight: 1300 pounds

Horsepower: 5

Pounds per horsepower: 260

Price: $5,000

Average 1980 wage: $15,757

Time you'd work to buy this car: about 3-1/2 months

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