South Africa joins the Electric Vehicle Race

The Paris Motor Show is in full swing, and as expected, the new concepts and hybrids are among the top reveals. One of the more interesting vehicles present at the show is the Joule MPV, which is the first electric vehicle to come from South Africa.

The Joule MPV is an all-electric vehicle that uses a combination magnetic / electric propulsion system. Small electric motors power the front wheels, while a system of in wheel magnets power the rear wheels. The system was designed by a company called Optimal Energy, which is based right in South Africa. When running on a single battery, the MPV is said to go for 125 miles per charge. If you add in another battery, you can double up your range. Some additional range will be provided via a regenerative braking system.

Optimal enlisted the help of a former Jaguar designer to create both the interior and exterior. Even for such a small vehicle, they were able to make room for 6 adults to sit comfortably inside the cabin. There are no official estimates on how much the new MPV will set local buyers back, but Optimal Energy is hoping to begin production as early as 2010.

Hat Tip : AutoClerks
Oct 6, 2008
by Anonymous

That is interesting; the

That is interesting; the three seats in the front of the car.

And it isnt just South Africa, the world over EVs are sparking considerable interest: Europe, India, China, the US, New Zealand everywhere; and if the car show in Paris is any indication, most car manufacturers are putting their money where their mouth is, where EVs are concerned.