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Myers Motors’ NmG Personal Electric Vehicle

NmG is a direct descendant of the Corbin Sparrow

Myers Motors has introduced its NmG (No More Gas) personal electric vehicle: a sealed lead-acid battery-powered tricycle with a top speed of 70 mph and a range of 20–40 miles.

The NMG is a direct descendant of the Corbin Sparrow, which was made at the Corbin plant from 2000 until late 2002. In March 2003 Corbin Motors filed for bankruptcy; Myers Motors resurrected the company in 2004, and completely re-engineered the entire transport system, electronics, and charging systems, while retaining the distinctive body of the Sparrow.

The NmG uses a 156V 20 kW (30 kW peak) DC Motor to drive the single rear wheel. Thirteen sealed lead-acid Optima batteries provide the power. Six are located under the front hood and the remaining 7 are under the drivers seat. The batteries recharge in four to six hours at a 110-volt, 20-amp outlet, or two to three hours at a 220-volt, 20-amp outlet. A 110-volt charger will recharge the batteries in six to eight hours.

Optima sealed AGM batteries

The Optima batteries are absorption glass mat (AGM) lead-acid batteries in which the acid is absorbed by a very fine fiberglass mat between the plates and immobilized. No silica gel is necessary. With the acid absorbed and available to the plates, the glass mats allow for a fast reaction between acid and plate material.

The AGM battery has low internal electrical resistance. This, combined with faster acid migration, allows the AGM batteries to deliver and absorb higher rates of amperage than other sealed batteries during discharging and charging. In addition, AGM technology batteries can be charged at normal lead-acid regulated charging voltages and it is not necessary to recalibrate charging systems or purchase special chargers.

The three-wheeler is considered a motorcycle for the purposes of registration, insurance and parking.

The NmG offer cabin features such as power windows, AM/FM stereo and CD player, power ports for laptop and cell phone and a fan-operated heater/defroster. The trunk offers six cubic feet of storage.

The NmG fits the way Americans use their cars. Research shows that 87 percent of all commutes are less than 20 miles and 93 percent of those commutes are with one person only in the vehicle.

—Dana Myers, president of Myers Motors



Fine example of how EV shouldn't look. It looks like an ugly duck. Would love to have an EV but not like this one.
How guys who created it didn't notice that its shape is not up to date. To bring customers the EV should look futuristic and not like ala 1970 threewheler. Besides 1 seater is highly unconvinient. 2 seater I believe is the starting point to increase sales. Though the best formula is proabably 2+2.

Mike Weindl

I had exactly the same thought about that design. I don't want allways point to europe, but the two seater SMART which is so popular there is in my opinion a example that a small car can be economic and stylish. I saw yesterday
a electric vehicle here in Hawaii that looked a bid like
a golf cart driving on the road..looked very nice..does anyone know here about the company who builds it? Thanks..

Sam L.

Most commutes may be less than 20 miles, but I guarantee you that most American's do not want to wait 8 hours to recharge before they can go on another. This technology will not be main-stream until battery technology improves and electricity proves to be actually cheaper than gasoline.

tom deplume

Ugly is in the mind of the beholder. The Sparrow is a cute and safe motorcycle and if I could afford one I'd buy it.

Richard Burton

Speaking of price, how much is it?!


Please stop your foul fowl defamation. Comparing this thing to a duck is offensive to birds everywhere.

Too bad they just went bankrupt and not out of business.

Ouch! I will back off, but there are alot of things I don't understand about this car. Can anyone give me a good reason for not having four wheels? I can't imagine the drag would be much more. Drag from the wheels is based mostly on how much weight they are carrying and that wouldn't change much throwing on another wheel. The friction from the wheel bearing can't be much. I can't tell what size the wheels are.

I am also surprised they are using a lead-acid battery. This isn't even a deep cycle battery is it? I know optima makes one, but I don't think this is it.

I do appreciate them trying something though while I sit in my room carping. I think the way to get something going though is to be able to go the hybrid route and turn a conventional car into an electric, rather than making a "science project". If the technology is not there, then it is not there.


Four or so years ago at the CA plaza where I work, someone was trying to sell the old Sparrows. IIRC, those went for $15,000 (with about $5000 downpayment); had a loooong waiting period. A couple pople managed to buy them cause I saw them on the street a few times. Id on't see them at all anymore, despite Peak oil wierdness. The old Sparrows had a lot of problems IMO (like weak trunk locks, and mystery power draining/leak).


yea, y 3 wheels? Even golf carts have 4 small wheels. 3 Wheelers just like a 3 legged horse. The main reason for lead acid is cheap, CHEAP. But we do not need an entire industry to make a lead acid electric car, one could just convert his car into EV at a personal garage.


Mike W., what you saw might have been a GEM (Global Electric Motorcars) http://www.gemcar.com/

(Division of DaimlerChrysler)

hampden wireless

I also feel the thing is ugly, but it is hard to design an electric vehicle that is affordable and usable. If it was easy it would have been done by someone. The EV1 for example really cost about $40,000 to build. My biggest problem is the batteries, why not use someone more modern, laptops have driven the cost of LIon batteries down and nimh is much beter for long term use. Neither cost too much to be used in this vehicle.

Ron Fischer

They're building 35 of them and they cost $35,000 each (from readings elsewhere, could be wrong). They're built using body shells from the Corbin purchase. It has three wheels because, as a motorcycle, it doesn't have to be crash tested or meet (numerous) passenger vehicle regulations. Corbin was working on Sparrow II when they tanked. MM website says they'll a next gen vehicle in a year or two.


The body is from the purchase of the Corbin Motors bankruptcy. Corbin motors had issues between the owners and they basically shut each other down from internal lawsuits if memory serves right.

They had some really great ideas. Check out the Merlin they were about to release along with the Merlin Roadster. They use Harley Davidson motors if I recall.


Merlin Roadster

Good looking and fun looking vehicles.

I think the Merlin would be a prime design for attemtping to hybrid or make solely electric but with a Lithium/Ion battery upgrade along with the Mitsubishi in-wheel motors (earlier story http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005/12/mitsubishi_to_i.html).


I do understand that there are a lot of hussles that car companies made to prevent new players to enter THEIR bussiness. BUT, even 3 wheeler can be done the way it appeals to younger audience. 2 seater is a MUST whichever way u want to look at it. Even from price per occupant prospective its better to add extra 100kgs to accomodate one more passenger. SMART EV is the way to go as it had past all crash tests required for certification.
It would make sence if 1 company offered SMART EV kit with a few choices of batteries (cheap/short range, expensive/long range/high performance and something in between). SO potential byers would just need to buy a SMART without any
ICE parts, ready for EV kit installation. Who knows maybe those who already have ICE version of smart (lots of those in Europe now) could follow that path: throw out ICE parts , buy EV kit, install it and drive.
EV kit should provide at least 100km range i would guess. AND OUTSTANDING ACCELERATION capabilities to appeal to younger audience.
If youngser in SMART EV can outaccelerate its peers in their hondas than it would create a buzz. Besides paying pennies for 'fillup' would make a big difference
at how they look at their vehicle.
Don't think though that these plans would make happy oil lobby, they would find an army of bashers to say how unsafe that is and bla bla (though any vehicle is way safer than motorbike) in all media sources.

Roger Arnold

I noticed one of these on the freeway just two days ago. It was going the other way, so I only saw it briefly, but it seemed to be keeping up with the 65 mph traffic OK.

Regarding 3 vs. 4 wheels, it isn't a matter of rolling resistance, it's the narrow back end that it enables. That cuts aerodynamic resistance dramatically.

The other big thing that 3 wheels allow is the legal "motorcycle" classification. Makes it much easier to license.

I'm pretty sure the Optima AGM batteries are a deep cycle design. Energy density still sucks, but there's an up side: anybody willing to put up with the high weight and limited range of the current system will be absolutely delighted, once lithium batteries become affordable replacements.

tom deplume

Having only 1 rear drive wheel eliminates the weight of a differential and axle in addition to the weight of the second wheel, brake, and tire. The mechanical simplicity lowers production costs.


My car has four wheels and no rear differential or rear axle (unless you want to count the stub axle). If you are worried about the weight of a brake, leave it off since they obviously don't feel four brakes are needed. How much could a wheel for one of these weigh? And if you were putting on an additional wheel you could possible use smaller tires anyway. As for the narrow back cutting wind resistance, you can still have a narrow back with two wheels even if they have to be outboard. I think you have got the answer with the "motorcycle classification" though.

SMART EV makes this duck look like a turkey.



Like or hate it, please tell me how you guys think about this vehicle.



Prior comment thread on the XEBRA is here.

Charles Cagney

You should check out this guy's site (www.HighTechScience.org). If anyone knows about electric vehicles it's the people from HighTechScience.org
The people from Zap (Xebra)should contact them and bring them on board for any future models.


I have owned a Sparrow and do not think the look is ugly. I have received so many positive comments,just on the looks alone,from people who see me out and about. Most want one themselves. Beauty IS in the eyes of the beholder. You have to think outside the box when it comes to car design. Being a one seater means commuter vehicle in my eyes. Having two seats would be a nice option. I'm not a rocket scientist but it seems to me that the shape mimics the flow of air over/around the vehicle. Wide in front and tapers to tail as it flows to the back of any object. Hence the golfball dimples on fenders and lower part of side panels. Yes, I long to get my mitts on a Merlin "toy". It would be another fun way of driving.Last comment: A car by any other name is still a Corbin Sparrow.

Simon Barnhardt

Why has no one mentioned or explored the placement of solar panels mounted on the roof of a vehicle (just like are mounted on top of RV's) to feed batteries to trickle-charge a car, and thus use the sun's power to run the car? It seems to me the most logical way to give longevity to the running of the EV.

Michael Venable

The design is wonderful. The economy of this vehical is spectacular to say the least.
However, this is a very pricey vehical to purchase, this limits the class of persons you will be selling to.
The middle class is suffering from the gas crunch, and the high class likes a different genre in play toys for the most part, so sales are not looking good in the near future with a price that is currently on the product.

Cut the manufacturing costs, lower the price way down! Later when there has been a legit market created that is stable then tack on the fat retail tag. Its about supply and demand.


Mike V.


Living less than a mile from the factory I see these quite often. I am very interested buying one, but the price is unreal. The middle class won't even buy sedan thats $24,000. There's no way that they would buy a vehicle that only holds one person. Plus, the car would have to be owned for many years to off set the savings in gas. If they could get the cost down to $5000 to $10000 and still make a profit, they'd be in business

Hays Clark

I don't think it's ugly but I would prefer a Venture One if they ever make it to market. But what is nice about the NMG is that it is commercially available NOW, not in 2-3 years like SMART and other EV's. In addition, you can use the HOV lanes in many cities.

A commercial US car always takes longer and more money to bring to market because you have to get DOT crash testing certified, which means you need to pay for about 20 vehicles which will be crashed.

Cars like this are designed for commuters who represent the majority of American drivers who need a way to get to work, but don't or can't carpool.

Randy Hargraves

I live in Yukon Oklahoma.
I would like a used Sparrow.
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