Although a bit pricey, the eBox has an advantage over other electric cars expected to compete in this category: Toyota reputation. The eBox is a Scion xB converted to run on electricity by AC Propulsion. Therefore it has all the amenities offered by Scion and enjoys the reputation of quality and durability from Toyota. Other electric cars coming to market in the $50,000 price range are based on less-known platforms.
The eBox has been seen before in various circles as it was developed. The company's Web site shows a demonstration in Taiwan. But the eBox made its first public appearance at the Alt Car Expo on Saturday. The obvious draws were the spacious interior and funky looks for which the Scion xB is know. "It's a lot of car for the money," said Owen Emry of AC Propulsion.
Another photo, more info and AC Propulsion press release after break.
The xB costs around $15,000, depending on options. The AC Propulsion conversion costs an additional $55,000. Phoenix Motorcars is looking at selling its SUV and SUT for around $45,000 complete, but they're based on the SsangYong vehicles that are made in Korea but unknown here.
The eBox is powered by 635 pounds of lithium ion batteries that are cooled with air from the air conditioning. Range is 140 to 180 miles and top speed is 95 mph. Full charge at normal rate takes five hours. An eBox can be equipped with power windows, cruise control, heater, leather interior, navigation system, power brakes and traction control. AC offers a one-year limited warranty on the conversion and warns that the Toyota warranty on the remainder of the vehicle may not be honored. The company does say all maintenance and repair work can be performed or subcontracted, including pickup and delivery.
Fleet sales where government incentives or mandates may be available are the primary target. If the numbers are strong enough, perhaps the price will come down for mainstream consumers. Also, if the Phoenix vehicles earn strong reviews, then perhaps there will be market pressure on the eBox pricing.
December 8, 2006
SANTA MONICA – The eBox from AC Propulsion makes its public debut today at the AltCar Expo in Santa Monica. The eBox is an all electric car – not a hybrid – that uses Li Ion batteries to achieve effortless performance and a range of up to 180 miles, without a drop of petroleum. With the first eBox deliveries scheduled in January, AC Propulsion will pry the lid off the EV coffin – the electric car is not dead after all.
The eBox is a full-function electric car. Whether cruising on a high-speed freeway or slogging through gridlock, the eBox transports its occupants for their daily business in serene comfort, with smooth acceleration, amazing regenerative braking, and informative instrumentation. Recharging is as close as the nearest electric outlet because the eBox can plug in anywhere.
The eBox is a full-function car. It seats five and has one of the roomiest back seats in the business. Fold the rear seat and the eBox takes a huge haul. With air conditioning, power steering, power windows, power mirrors and remote door locks, the eBox matches comfort and convenience with any car.
And it adds one convenience no conventional car can match – refueling at home. Plug it in and it charges while you sleep. In the morning, the tank – a 35 kWh Li Ion battery – is full, with more than enough juice for a typical day's driving. Say goodbye to your friendly neighborhood dealer of petroleum fuels, the eBox never touches the stuff.
The eBox benefits from 15 years of electric vehicle development at AC Propulsion. It represents the state of the electric car art, 2007. AC Propulsion has changed the perception, and the reality, of the electric car with innovations such as light and powerful electric motors, maximized regenerative brakes, integrated high-power chargers, bi-directional grid connections that let the car supply AC power, and high-performance Li Ion traction batteries assembled from commercial cells. This portfolio of innovation has inspired the electric vehicle creations of Venturi Automobile in Monaco, Courrèges Design in Paris, Wrightspeed in Woodside, and Tesla Motors in San Carlos.
The eBox comes with all of these innovations as standard equipment, making it not just a new car, but a signpost for the path toward transportation without petroleum.
AC Propulsion designs, engineers, and manufactures advanced propulsion systems for electric and hybrid vehicles, and provides hardware and engineering services for an international roster of clients. With facilities in San Dimas and Shanghai, AC Propulsion is building technology and capacity to supply electric propulsion systems to electric vehicle manufacturers worldwide.