From the same University that brought you the insane 8-wheeled Eliica electric car comes something a little more practical – the SIM-LEI EV car that gets up to 333 KM per charge, which is quite a bit more than Nissan’s claimed 200KM per charge for the Leaf.
The car has been built by SIM-Drive, a venture company spun off by Japan’s famous Keio University, and headed by Professor Shimizu. SIM-LEI is a 4-seater with a top speed of 150KM/h and will hit 100KM/h in 4.8 seconds. The latter is well into junior supercar territory – just 0.1 seconds behind the current base model 911.
The most impressive thing is the use of in-wheel electric motors. No commercially-available electric vehicle has yet used this kind of design. Despite this, Shimizu is confident that if production levels reached 100,000 or more per year, then the price per car would be able to be reduced to a level that is below the equivalent gasoline engined car in the same class.
Whether that can be achieved remains to be seen, but it is good to see small private ventures taking on the EV challenge and bringing a dynamism which the large manufacturers can sometimes lack.