Hiroshi Shimizu is an inventor, and his electric Eliica concept car actually works. In fact, with eight wheels, each powered by its own electric motor, the $5 million EV can reportedly hit 60 miles per hour in just four seconds and has a ridiculous top speed of 200 mph.
It's safe to say that Shimizu, the President of research company SIM-Drive, has taken the path less traveled. But Wards Automotive reports that 30 companies, including Mitsubishi and Isuzu, have chipped in $250,000 apiece to attach their names to the project. Simizu says that he's working on a more conventional four-wheeled concept that should debut in January, and if that vehicle were to be produced to the tune of 100,000 copies per year, it would cost $17,500 per unit without electric motors or a Lithium Ion battery pack. The inventor claims that four in-wheel electric motors would cost $1,400 and 24 kWh battery (the same power as the Nissan Leaf) would add another $6,000 to the price.
The icing on the cake? Simizu claims his vehicle will net 200 miles per charge, or double the distance of the Leaf. Keep in mind, though, that companies that have never produced a mass-market automobile tend to be a bit optimistic when it comes to pricing. Shimizu's technology is probably a long shot to make a dent in the market, but an investment price of $250,000 per corporation seems a small price to pay for technology that is proven to work.
[Source: Wards Automotive]