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The HMV FreeWay EV was a 4 HP response to the 1979 gas crisis


Gasoline prices are at an all-time high, but it’s not the first time in automotive history that we’ve been forced to pay through the nose at the pump. And every time those prices go up, someone comes up with a crazy idea to help drivers save money.

One such crazy idea was the HMV FreeWay, the brainchild of Minnesota-based Dave Edmonson, who must have really hated parting with gas money during the 1979 oil crisis. and the petrol version of the FreeWay was definitely that. Edmonson claimed 84mpg for the fiberglass single-cylinder single-seat trike in 12hp (12hp) form, and a somewhat less spectacular 60mpg for the more performance-oriented 16hp (16hp) version, although we ‘ We definitely use ‘performance driven’ in its loosest sense, rather than its Ferrari, meaning.

Power was sent to a CVT transmission, then to the rear wheel via a chain. If you wanted to reverse, you had to ask for a push or get out and do it yourself. Braking, courtesy of the battery, was equally rudimentary, but you got fully independent suspension and the option of electric power, but don’t get too excited. HMV quoted just 4 bhp (4 PS) for its EV, and while the Freeway should be light, that’s very low power output.

If the thought of owning an electric vehicle with 0.2% of the power of a Rimac Nevera makes your engine roar, you should give it a go. Bring a trailer at Check out this example from 1980. Listed as a non-running project, it will take some time to get it back on the road, but this could be an opportunity to upgrade the running gear and make it the kind of EV that Edmonson probably dreamed of building, but the technology of the time did not allow it.

Related: Goldman Sachs says fuel prices at the pump will get worse

Apparently acquired last year from its original owner, this FreeWay is equipped with a single black vinyl bucket seat, an 80 mph (129 km/h) speedometer, the top two-thirds of which are surely virgin territory, well, that’s about all you get. When you move from point A to point B using as little energy as possible, you don’t want or need anything else.

Edmonson managed to produce approximately 700 vehicles from its Burnsville, MN base between 1979 and 1982, and given gasoline prices have gone up in the wake of the Iranian revolution and the resulting slowdown in oil exports, one can imagine that interest was reasonably strong at first.

But by the early 1980s, oil prices were falling again, and that was why you had to submit to the terror of driving a hard-shell tent alongside 18-wheel tractor-trailers on your way to work. save a few cents. Hopefully someone preserves this one, though. Vehicles like the FreeWay are interesting steps on the road to mass adoption of electric power, and a reminder of the trade-offs some people were willing to make in the past to skip the line.

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