Still Needs Energy
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The fact that they choose an odd
design tells you
Venturi Eclecticby Alexander Popple - 10/11/06
Regular motor show visitors find Venturiís swish Fetish, the worldís first all-electric sports car, is a familiar sight. But they might be surprised by whatís alongside it in Paris.
Looking rather like an overgrown golf cart, the oddball Eclectic could hardly be more different from the Fetish in appearance and purpose. But at heart itís just as true to Venturiís mission Ė to push the envelope of electric vehicle technology and move the world towards environmentally sustainable but emotionally appealing individual mobility.
With its doorless open sides, sheer vertical windscreen, exposed suspension, tiny thin-spoked wheels, aluminum frame construction, and Ä24,000 (£16,000; U.S. $30,000) price tag, the Eclecticís distinctive looks will suit only those who want to make a statement. Given the lack of weather protection itíll also have limited appeal for users in cooler climate regions.
Recognizing the limited market, Venturi has opted for exclusivity with a limited production run of 200 units. The companyís marketers expect sales to be split between commercial users and well-heeled private buyers.
Seating three in a one-plus-two configuration, the Eclectic has a range of 50 km (31 miles) and an electronically limited top speed of 50 km/h (31 mph). Its Ni-MH battery packs takes five hours to charge on outlet power. Solar panels in the roof can add up to 7 km (4 miles) a day when itís bright enough. Similarly, a small wind turbine can be attached to the roof while the Eclectic is parked, adding up to 15 km (9 miles) in windy areas. Keep your mileage down, and you might eliminate both fuel bills and emissions completely.
Regenerative braking reclaims energy during deceleration. A 16kW motor drives the rear wheels. The Eclectic comes with a two year guarantee and a claim that the battery will last for 10,000 charge-discharge cycles.
Eclectic is in pre-production now and Venturiís sales representatives will be pleased to take your order right away if youíd like one. If youíre not sure yet, donít worry: they foresee a cheaper version for around 2009, as well as a single-seater version.