The 2001 Opel RAK e concept is a lightweight electric vehicle that had its world debut at the 64th Frankfurt International Auto Show. With a maximum speed of 120 km/h, it aims to reach customers who are 16 and upwards as it boasts energy costs (100 kilometers for one euro), efficiency as well as lightweight design, opening a new chapter in electric mobility and extending Opel's pioneering role in alternative propulsion systems. The useable battery capacity of 5 kWh enables a range of 100 km, which corresponds to fuel consumption of just 0.6 liters of gasoline. Karl-Friedrich Stracke, Opel CEO, stated at the press conference in Frankfurt that they wanted to develop electric vehicles that every person could afford and the RAK e experimental vehicle aimed to offer pricing that even young customers were able to reach. The RAK was also the "1 euro car", providing cool looks and production-potential. Around three meters long and 119 cm high, the aerodynamic RAK e offers zero-emission driving at minimal running costs. A steel space-frame structure beneath a skin of conventional synthetic material was the base for the lightweight concept of RAK e, while Opel engineers refused to use extensively composite materials, aiming to make electric mobility affordable for as many people as possible. Mark Adams, Vice President Design, explained that the name Rak e recalled the pioneering spirit inspired by Fritz von Opel together with his revolutionary rocket-powered car in the last century and they were eager to see the public's reaction to the show. The innovative design of the striking experimental vehicle includes a bodywork made of fully recyclable synthetic material, a large cockpit canopy which gives a feeling of spaciousness to both the driver and passenger and pedals and steering wheel which adjust to the size of the driver.
The visible chassis components which comprise a motorbike-derived rear swing-arm and wheel-integrated front disk brakes, enhance the sporty appearance of the two-seater, while the rear agility show agility with a tread width of only 600 mm.
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