Urban electric vehicles (UEVs) are regular passenger vehicles with top speeds of about 60 miles per hour (mph) and a per-charge range of about 50 miles. Unique benefits of UEVs include easier parking and driving characteristics. UEVs usually have two doors and a hatchback, and are designed to carry two or four passengers. They typically have airbags and seat belts, disc/drum brake systems, heat and air-conditioning systems, and windshield defrosters. In other words, they are the same as traditional full-size passenger vehicles but in a smaller package that is ideal for urban applications. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has classified UEVs as regular passenger vehicles, subject to the same Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards as full-size electric and gasoline-powered passenger vehicles.
Because UEVs have limited top speeds, they cannot be tested by some EVAmerica test procedures. Specifically, UEVs cannot attain the preferred 65-mph top speed required for dynamometer testing.
A new set of EVAmerica performance goals has been developed for UEVs because their limited top speeds require a different set of performance characteristics. Some of the UEV performance goals include acceleration time of 0 to 30 mph within 8.5 seconds, a minimum top speed of 45 mph within 1 mile, and a minimum range of 30 miles when tested on a dynamometer using the Urban Drive Cycle.
The Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity has started baseline performance, accelerated reliability, and fleet testing of UEVs.