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USA: Taking on Tesla: Pulse Motors

Micah Toll, mechanical engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh, believes that electric vehicles, much like computers in the late 1970’s, are poised to explode in popularity.

“We think we’re right at the beginning of when the electrical vehicle market is really going to open up,” Toll says. “It’s like where computers were in the late 70’s; we’re just starting to open people’s minds.”

Toll, a senior, is the founder and CEO of Pulse Motors, a start-up launched in 2011 that designs and produces a two-wheeled electric vehicle called the Personal Electric Vehicle Zero, or PEV0 (pronounced pee-voh). Pulse Motors was also founded by two of Tolls’ friends and classmates, Thorin Tobiassen, who graduated from Pittsburgh in December 2011, and Max Pless, a junior that will graduate in 2013.

The PEV0 is essentially an efficient electric motor bike. It can drive over 100 miles on just $0.25 of electricity (about 30 times more than a Toyota Prius). The bike also charges from any standard 110 volt outlet with its onboard charger, making it extremely convenient for the end-user. It’s also completely street-legal and does not require a license or registration in all 50 states, and can travel at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. When it’s fully charged, it can go about a 30 to 45 miles.


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