Geneva Motor Show: Optimal Energy Joule

March 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

South Africa’s Optimal Energy has shown a near-production version of its Joule electric hatch. The Joule, initially designed by South African Keith Helfet and developed by Zagato, is scheduled for production at the end of 2012, with cars in showrooms by mid-2013.

Target specification includes a 230km range, a five-seater interior, highway cruising capability but only a rather disappointing four-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. Pricing is set to start from around E24,300.

A test fleet of 100 cars is to be built at a small facility near Port Elizabeth, with some cars to be on the road in time for the football World Cup in South Africa. Optimal Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding with German coachbuilders EDAG over further larger-scale production, and is also in talks with a Korean supplier of lithium-ion batteries to explore the potential of opening a battery-making facility in South Africa.

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