The all-electric car, Joule will be on display at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. The zero-emission car will go on sale at the beginning of next year. The model is powered by a 36 kWh traction battery that features 15 modules and each of them has 30 Lithium-Ion cells. The power delivered goes up to 65 kW and 280 Nm of torque. The external charging infrastructure is ensured by an integrated, programmable on-board charger. Joule will be exceptionally energy-efficient from the cradle to the grave.
BORN TO BE ... ELECTRIC
South Africans visiting the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland next month can look forward to seeing their very own all-electric car - Joule - proudly showcased at one of Europe`s most important automotive industry events.
A plug-in, zero emission vehicle, Joule on show gives a very strong indication of the final design and layout of the car when it goes on sale early in 2013. However, South African motorists can also expect to spot Joule on our roads within months, as a fleet takes to our roads to gather technical feedback on the car and also to gauge public response. These cars, like the show car, will be hand-built in Port Elizabeth.
Volume production for Joule will take place at a state-of-the-art facility in its home country, with key design goals including a range of 300 kilometres based on the UDDS cycle, a genuine freeway cruising capability, seating for five, a 5-Star NCAP safety rating and an on-sale price starting from R235 000 in today`s retail terms.
Conceived by Cape Town-based Optimal Energy and originally designed by South African-born Keith Helfet, Joule has been refined by Zagato`s Total Design Centre, and will form the centrepiece of a stand at Geneva shared by Optimal Energy and the iconic Milanese design house.
"We`re extremely excited about Joule being displayed at Geneva," says Optimal Energy`s CEO Kobus Meiring. "With Optimal Energy, South Africa now also has its own OEM. The EV market is expected to grow exponentially over the next decades, and owning an EV brand will increase South Africa`s role substantially. It is Optimal Energy`s vision to lead the EV industry in South Africa and to expand globally, and as a flexible company with no legacy investments in outdated technologies, we have the opportunity to position Joule uniquely in an awakening market."
Since the first spark of an idea for a home-grown zero emissions vehicle in 2005, Joule`s mantra has been Born Electric, and as a result a key strength and differentiator of Optimal Energy`s design is a clean sheet approach. Optimal Energy is the only local automotive manufacturer focused exclusively on electric cars for the mass market. By harnessing both the latest technology and the best brains in the automotive and electrical spheres, Joule will be exceptionally energy-efficient from the cradle to the grave.
At its heart is an advanced 36 kWh traction battery, consisting of 15 modules, each module containing 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, programmable on-board charger ensures that no external charging infrastructure is required and that charging can be synchronised with off-peak electricity. A holistic approach to energy regeneration and energy conservation (including an optional photo-voltaic solar panel mounted on Joule`s roof) will ensure that Joule takes advantage of all potential power sources.
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