Pininfarina's innovative electric city car project has
survived the Italian designer's financial
turmoil and is now surging through the
development stage and could hit the streets
as soon as this autumn, was the word from
the Geneva Motor Show.
innovative electric city car project has survived the
Italian designer's financial turmoil and is now surging
through the development stage and could hit the streets
as soon as this autumn, was the word from the Geneva
Motor Show. The Bluecar as it is known, is a compact
urban car with four seats, five doors and an automatic
transmission, and is a joint project between Pininfarina
and French conglomerate Bolloré.
At the Geneva
Motor Show last week, the French financier Vincent Bolloré
told Reuters that the Bluecar could be available by the
autumn, subject to successful crash testing. With an array
of leading manufacturers putting electric cars at the hub of
their future plans, including French giants, Renault and PSA
Peugeot- Citroën, Pininfarina and Bolloré hope to be at the
forefront of their development.
Reuters at the show that two battery
plants that have recently been inaugurated in France would
each have an annual production capacity of 15,000 30 kWh
batteries per year by 2013. "With this capacity we can make 30,000 Pininfarina cars
or 10,000 buses, or 60,000 small urban vehicles,"
Reuters reported Bolloré as saying, he added that with
banking support the troubled Italian design company is now
free from problems. "Our objective is a mix of the three,"
he added. Bolloré Group is providing the batteries through
its experience in this sector and the car will use the
lithium-metal-polymer batteries which are regarded as more
advance that the lithium-ion batteries that most carmakers
are pushing towards production use.
battery gives it a range of 250 km between charges, well in
excess of the 40 km clocked up on average by a driver in an
urban environment and can be recharged by simply plugging it
into a public power outlet or a standard domestic power
socket. It takes six hours to recharge the car's battery
from a standard power socket but only two hours on the
future fast-charging outlets. If need be, the batteries can
be fast-charged for five minutes, giving the car enough
power to run 25 km. Bluecar will feature a top speed that is
electronically capped at 130 km/h and enough acceleration to
get it from 0 to 60 km/h in 6.3 seconds.
Pininfarina's CEO Silvio Angori told Reuters that he
foresees 2,000 examples of the Bluecar hitting the streets
next year. Initially the electric car will be trialled in a
mass rental scheme before purchase and leasing options come
on stream. Angori also sees Pininfarina's on-going losses greatly
reducing this year.