Detroit has the Chevy Volt, California has the Tesla Roadster, Japan supposedly will have a plug-in Toyota Prius at some point. Now South Africa has their first electric vehicle in the six-seater Joule MPV developed by tech startup Optimal Energy. This all-electric car, just revealed at the Paris Motor Show, claims to have a 125-mile range on one battery back or double that with two packs. The drivetrain includes motor-driven wheels up front and allegedly in-wheel magnetic propulsion in the rear. With an exterior and interior designed by a former Jaguar designer, the company hopes to launch the car in South Africa in late 2010 and export it to other countries shortly thereafter. Press release below the jump.
Joule is Africa’s first battery electric engineering masterpiece from Optimal Energy. The silent passenger MPV is manufactured as a standard six-seater which complies with UN-ECE safety standards offering an optimal, no-compromise, and zero emission urban driving experience. Joule is as beautiful and elegant as it is stylish with a classically timeless appeal set to transform the face of the urban transportation landscape. Developed from the outset as an electric vehicle, Joule delivers optimal design, maximum interior space and a minimal exterior and environmental footprint. * Maximum 400km Range * Regenerative ABS Braking system * Steel space frame and side impact protection * Two dynamic drive train options * Excellent vehicle handling and dynamics * Sports-like acceleration from standstill * Optimal interior space with minimal exterior footprint[Source: Optimal Energy/ The Good News - South Africa]