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This gorgeous interior is emblematic of the change marking the NMG2 electric vehicle from its precursor, the NMG, from Myers Motors in Ohio. Two years ago, Myers was the only company in America with a true freeway speed (up to 75 miles an hour) fully electric vehicle on the market; the three wheeler NMG EV. At under $25,000, even. There was just one problem, and it was huge. The thing looked as if it just escaped from the circus:

Myers had inherited the Sparrow from Corbin, which packs a punch, (speed in this tiny thing is just exhilarating!) with 140 lbs of torque.  But you had to be willing to look completely ridiculous, to get into it. I’m all for saving the planet, but design matters. I offered free design help and suggested they contact a design school with a competition.

It turned out that Kammy Willis and CEO Dana Myers are really into crowd-source design, and they were very open to the idea of some perfect stranger providing input on design, which is both endearing, and worrying. (Now they are looking for your input on a new name: If you win you and you get to lease it for 6 months)

They are just really nice approachable people with a casual attitude to the business, and are really focused on the altruistic side of the electric vehicle business. They were getting a lot of requests from Sparrow NMG buyers who needed to be able to pick up a kid from school, so the redesign was to be able to snugly carry two people, yet keep the same tiny footprint.

I gave up after I discovered just how hard it is to design for two passengers in front on three wheels in that short of a space (112″) where there is room for two butts with legroom in front and yet the back must quickly get narrow enough so that one wheel doesn’t look too ridiculously tiny under it. The actual trained car designer they contracted with came up with excellent solutions. He has made the Sparrow NMG without all those strange lumps and bulges.

I love how well he solved that problem in the back, using this black wrap-around thing at the base to gradually step down to the narrowness of just one wheel at the back, and yet make it feel routine; as if we always had only one wheel in the back.

Making a complete paradigm shift like that look comfortable and familiar and relaxed is a difficult feat, but he’s done it. And without bulgy sides. It’s sleek.

And in the front, those are some really nice elegant lines dealing with the hood and the headlights. The whole shape is definitely not silly now. I love everything about the professional redesign. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer company. Congrats to Myers Motors of Ohio.

Bonus: The EV subsidy available in the form of Federal tax credits also applies to three wheelers now. Myers new 75 mile an hour fully electric car will get 60 miles per charge, and you can top it up at night on your 110 V plug in the garage. Made by a company that has been producing 75 mile an hour electric vehicles for a while, so you know it’s not vaporware. And it is not silly looking. What more could you ask?

Image: Myers Motors