Electric Car Maker Turns to Solidworks

CONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—April 9, 2007— Green cars are tame cars, right? Well, the Tango - a head-turning, lane-splitting, all-electric two-seater that sprints from zero to 60 in four seconds - debunks that inconvenient truth while tackling a part of the transportation problem most alternative vehicles overlook: traffic congestion.

Now being redesigned and refined in SolidWorks(R) 3D CAD software, the Tango travels two abreast with ease, safely switches lanes through impossible gaps, blithely glides through gridlocked traffic, and, at 39 inches wide, can park four to a space. On top of all that, George Clooney bought the first one - and drives it regularly when staying at his Southern California residence.

Commuter Cars of Spokane, Wash., outsourced the initial Tango design to an engineering firm that used a hodgepodge of CAD software and handed over a set of files that, while well-engineered, were a disorganized mess, according to President Rick Woodbury, who dreamed up the car concept while parked in an LA traffic jam.

"A sheet metal contractor told us to get SolidWorks software and straighten out our files, and we did," Woodbury said. "We're now in complete control of the car from the ground up, and we're using SolidWorks to refine the design every day."

Woodbury and his mechanical engineer used SolidWorks to converge scattered part files in smoothly operating assemblies and to optimize Tango systems like the high-performance suspension, NASCAR-grade roll cage, and stabilizing ballast. Though tiny, the car boasts many impressive safety features, according to Woodbury, including four times more protective steel in its doors than in those of the biggest SUVs.

Commuter Cars mechanical engineer David Mounce says SolidWorks' 2D functions let him complete drawings nearly 10 times faster than he could in AutoCAD(R) software, and he is learning new 3D capabilities every day mostly just by happening upon SolidWorks features. "Moving from 2D to SolidWorks 3D CAD puts you in a world that somehow prompts you to tinker, or refine, more frequently to produce a better product," he said. "Rather than designing something in black, white, and numbers, you can spin it around, check it out, and change a little here and there to hopefully improve it."

Commuter Cars has purchased SolidWorks COSMOSWorks(R) design analysis software to help the company further develop and test its designs and ensure they are sleek, efficient, and strong.

"The Tango is more than just an alternative-fuel vehicle," said Rainer Gawlick, SolidWorks vice president of worldwide marketing. "This is a potential sea change in the way we live our lives, at a time when every environmental resource is precious. It's a better product for, one hopes, a better world."

Commuter Cars manufactures Tangos to order for $108,000 to $148,000 depending on battery options and plans to ramp up volume-production as soon as the required funding is available. The company works with authorized SolidWorks reseller Quest Integration for ongoing software training, implementation, and support. ***

Tango Range: 50 to 200 miles depending on battery selection; Lead-acid, NiMH or Li-Ion

Cost per mile: about one-sixth of gasoline-powered auto travel (retail price of electricity vs. gasoline)

Waste due to traffic congestion in the urban areas of the United States: 3.6 billion hours of travel delay and 5.7 billion gallons of wasted fuel each year (2002 figures from Texas Transportation Institute).

About Commuter Cars

Commuter Cars is the maker of the Tango, the world's fastest urban car with unique abilities to beat traffic, reduce congestion, free up parking space, and address global warming. For more information, visit www.commutercars.com.

About Quest Integration

Quest Integration provides engineering and manufacturing software, consultation and training services. These solutions make our customers more competitive in the world market place. Our focus is on manufacturing companies and technical educational groups in Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.qintegration.com.

About SolidWorks Corporation

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. It is the leading supplier of 3D CAD technology, giving teams intuitive, high-performing software that helps them design better products. For the latest news, information, or an online demonstration, visit the company's Web site (www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000). # # #

SolidWorks is a registered trademark of SolidWorks Corporation. COSMOSWorks is a registered trademark of Structural Research & Analysis Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2007 SolidWorks Corporation.


SolidWorks Corporation
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