Miles Electric Vehicles

Miles Electric Vehicles

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Miles Electric Vehicles is a manufacturer and distributor of all-electric vehicles manufactured by FAW Tianjin in China to meet international car safety
Car safety
Automobile safety is the study and practice of vehicle design, construction, and equipment to minimize the occurrence and consequences of automobile accidents. Automobile safety is the study and practice of vehicle design, construction, and equipment to minimize the occurrence and consequences of...

 standards. Miles was recently given the "Electric Car Company of 2007" award by Good Clean Tech.

Miles Electric Vehicles is based in Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, with several facilities throughout the United States, is privately held by "Green" magnate Miles Rubin. The company gained prominence in 2005 when it began sales of the ZX40, the first street-legal Chinese-made automobile sold in the United States. The company's vehicles, built on steel unibody chassis, are the world's first crash test
Crash test
A crash test is a form of destructive testing usually performed in order to ensure safe design standards in crashworthiness and crash compatibility for various modes of transportation or related systems and components.- Types :...

ed NEVs to achieve United States Department of Transportation
United States Department of Transportation
The United States Department of Transportation is a federal Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with transportation. It was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, and began operation on April 1, 1967...

 (DOT), California Air Resources Board
California Air Resources Board
The California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB or ARB, is the "clean air agency" in the government of California. Established in 1967 in the Mulford-Carrell Act, combining the Bureau of Air Sanitation and the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, CARB is a department within the...

 and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is an agency of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, part of the Department of Transportation...

 (NHTSA) compliance.

Currently the company offers four electric vehicles designed primarily for low-speed fleet use, the ZX40, ZX40S, ZX40S Advanced Design, and ZX40ST electric truck. These are currently available in the United States and in use by organizations such as NASA, the U.S. Navy, Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, Rice University
Rice University
William Marsh Rice University, commonly referred to as Rice University or Rice, is a private research university located on a heavily wooded campus in Houston, Texas, United States...

, Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, UCLA, California Polytechnic State University
California Polytechnic State University
California Polytechnic State University, or Cal Poly, is a public university located in San Luis Obispo, California, United States. The university is one of two polytechnic campuses in the 23-member California State University system....

, the San Francisco Airport Authority, and Provo, Utah
Provo, Utah
Provo is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Utah, located about south of Salt Lake City along the Wasatch Front. Provo is the county seat of Utah County and lies between the cities of Orem to the north and Springville to the south...


All Miles Electric Vehicles are DOT/NHTSA Federal Standard 500 compliant, offering steel chassis, steel impact-resistant frame, steel doors and DOT-approved glass throughout.

NHTSA/FMVSS Standard 500 law requires all low-speed vehicles (LSV) be electronically limited to 25 mi/h, and are street legal for use on roads with posted speed limits up to 35 mi/h.

AC motors

For the 2008 Miles introduced AC (alternating current
Alternating current
In alternating current the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction. In direct current , the flow of electric charge is only in one direction....

) motors for its low-speed vehicles. The advanced three phase, brushless AC induction motor offers 4 times the available power as typical DC motors, and has a 100,000+ mile estimated lifetime (yet to be warranted by the company). The AC motors are paired to Curtis-Albright AC Motor Controllers and optimized for superior hill climbing performance — historically a problem for many electric vehicles.

Miles has produced an "Advanced Design" version of its flagship LSV, the ZX40S Advanced Design to use the motor, as well as using the motor in all versions of its ZX40ST work truck. Along with the AC motor upgrade, these two models come with regenerative braking and vacuum assisted braking pumps. Due to the increase in available power from the AC motor, the two vehicles also offer true air conditioning as an option.

ZX40ST Electric Truck

The most powerful "fleet" electric utility truck on the market debuted at FedFleet '07 in Orlando in the summer of 2007. The truck is governed to a maximum speed of 25 miles (40.2 km) an hour and travels 50–60 miles per charge. Like the ZX40S Advanced Design, this truck also uses an advanced three phase, brushless, AC induction motor, which comes standard with regenerative braking and optional air conditioning. MSRP $18,400.


The Miles Electric Vehicles ZX40 is a subcompact electric car
Electric car
An electric car is an automobile which is propelled by electric motor, using electrical energy stored in batteries or another energy storage device. Electric cars were popular in the late-19th century and early 20th century, until advances in internal combustion engine technology and mass...

 built by FAW Tianjin (Tianjin-Qingyuan Electric Vehicle Co), a subsidiary of the First Automobile Works
First Automobile Works
FAW Group Corporation is a state-owned enterprise with publicly traded subsidiaries: FAW Car Company , Tianjin FAW Xiali Automobile Co Ltd , Changchun FAWAY Automobile Components Co Ltd ....

 in Tianjin, China. The car is a licensed version of the Japanese Daihatsu Move
Daihatsu Move
The Daihatsu Move is a kei car, produced by Japanese automaker Daihatsu since August 1995. The Move is designed to be as tall as compact cars like the Suzuki Wagon R. Daihatsu successfully sold 500,000 Moves during its first three years of production. The Move is built upon the chassis of the...

 minicompact and is sold in China as the Xinfu ("Happy Messenger"). Miles takes a vehicle without a drivetrain and adds the motor components.

It is powered by a single 48-volt electric motor, which produces 4.2 kW
kw or KW may refer to:* Kuwait, ISO 3166-1 country code** .kw, the country code top level domain for Kuwait* Kilowatt* Self-ionization of water Kw* Cornish language's ISO 639 code* Kitchener–Waterloo, Ontario, Canada...

 (5.6 hp) and uses a 150-amp-hour battery pack
Battery pack
A battery pack is a set of any number of identical batteries or individual battery cells. They may be configured in a series, parallel or a mixture of both to deliver the desired voltage, capacity, or power density...

. The car uses an on-board charger
Charger may refer to:*NATO code name for the Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic transport*Convair Charger prototype light attack and observation aircraft which competed unsuccessfully for role filled by OV-10...

 that charges through a standard 110-volt 20-amp outlet. An empty battery fully charges in six hours, but only two to three hours are needed to charge it fully if the car is less than 80% empty. The ZX40 can travel up to 64 km (40 mi) at speeds limited to 40 km/h (25 mph). It is a 2- or 4-seat car and is DOT
- Typography :* Full stop, also called period in American English, used as a sentence terminator and as a decimal separator in numerals - Typography :* Full stop, also called period in American English, used as a sentence terminator and as a decimal separator (decimal point) in numerals -...

-approved for street use.

The ZX40 has been discontinued for the 2008 model year, in favor of the more powerful ZX40S and AC Motor-powered ZX40S Advanced Design.


The ZX40S was designed to accelerate faster than the ZX40. It is powered by a 72-volt system instead of a 48-volt system, which extends its range to 50–60 miles (80–96 km). To comply with federal law, the ZX40S is also electronically speed-limited to 25 mi/h like the ZX40 (except in Washington State and Minnesota where electric vehicles which meet federal safety standards are allowed to operate up to 35 mph (56 km/h) as Medium Speed Electric Vehicles).

The ZX40 and ZX40S are classified as "low-speed vehicles", meaning they have fewer regulations to comply with. Such vehicles must include standard lighting and seatbelts, but do not require passive restraints, typically airbags in higher-speed vehicles. The vehicles should not exceed 25 mph (40 km/h) on streets with posted speed limits of 35 mi/h or less. These vehicles also fall under the Washington State speed exemption cited above and may be operated up to 35 mph (56 km/h). MSRP $19,499 USD.

ZX40S Advanced Design

This vehicle uses the same body as the two above models, but uses an AC induction motor that offers greater power and torque, extended lifetime, and regenerative braking.


Miles Electric Vehicles also makes the OR70, a variant of which travels above 35 mph (56 km/h), but it is not legal on public roads. Currently, NASA employs this model as their campuses are exempt from this particular law. The company has reported the suspension of OR70 model production for the 2008 model year.

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