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Electric Joule set to sparkle

2010-02-22 11:54
South Africa’s very own electric car is set to make its world debut at next month’s prestigious Geneva Motor Show.

Joule was conceived by Cape Town-based Optimal Energy with the original designs done by South African-born Keith Helfet.

Although the zero-emission plug-in electric car goes on sale here in early 2013, readers in and around Port Elizabeth can look forward to spotting a few on the roads as a test fleet is being prepared. Over the next few months, these cars will be used to gather technical data and gauge public response to Joule.

The electric car uses a 36 kW/h traction battery, with 15 modules each holding 30 Lithium-ion cells.

The battery provides power to a synchronous permanent magnet motor capable of generating 65 kW of power and torque of 280 Nm.

An integrated on-board charger ensures that charging can be left to the off-peak grid, although Joule’s option photo-voltaic solar panel mounted to the roof ensure it takes advantage of a number of power sources.

In its production guise, Joule will have a range of 300 km, a top speed of around 135 km/h and a five-star safety rating.

According to Optimal Energy, the price will start at around R235 000, although this figure is expected to inflate ahead of the car’s 2013 introduction.

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