• Nov 8th 2010 at 11:02AM
  • 14
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]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I remeber seeing that 8x8 car on engadget a couple of years back, liked it despite the crazy styling!:P Nice to see the company behind the car is still around.:D
        • 4 Years Ago
        Company? It was developed and built as a research project at Keio University, which would be really stretching the definition of "company". Nor is this the only EV developed by the good Professor Shimizu and his students. Needless to say, the University isn't going to go into the car production business, that's why involvement of other auto companies is so important. .

        Nice to see other companies interested in licensing the technology and designs, though. We'll be seeing lots of really impressive EVs on the road in a few years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "It's safe to say that Shimizu, the President of research company SIM-Drive..."
        I'm aware of that, I was refering to this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dear lord, that is ugly.
        • 4 Years Ago
        a stretch hummer would still look better.. LOL
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't worry, this 8 wheeler was built as a research project, and is unlikely to ever go into production. I suspect their next design will be much better looking.

        Gotta admit, it would make a great limo! Makes a stretch Hummer look pathetic, both in performance and fuel economy!
      • 4 Years Ago
      an investment price of $250,000 per corporation seems a small price to pay for technology that is proven to work.

      $250 thousand ?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes is pocket change to a major automaker - very cheap R&D.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How do you say snake oil in Japanese?
        • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      the craziness of the car aside it was actually quite pioneering as I recall. it's from before the EV revolution in 2006 when EVs were only a hazy concept in my mind like I suppose it is to many today. it was fast at a time when EVs weren't considered fast.
      It has done 370km/h which is pretty good for a goofy design.

      I'm starting to wonder if some of the big automakers might actually be afraid of electric propulsion because they don't understand it and can't imagine how to make it. sounds odd I know but it sort of looks that way for some. like a boss of a company afraid to use computers because he's afraid he can't do it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        electric drive does lend itself to sub 20k$ super cars. which is why I'm advocating it
        • 4 Years Ago
        There were two versions made, one was tuned to maximum acceleration, 0-60 mph in 4 sec. and a top speed of 200, the other was tuned to a maximum top speed of 240 with less acceleration. The performance is absolutely awesome when you consider that this is a rather large and roomy land yacht.

        The newest EV sounds like it will also be impressive, even though the top speed will probably be less. The proposed price certainly sounds impressive!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Doesn't 5 million seem a little high for the price? Or does this cost reflect development from scratch? Anyhow , give anyone 5 million & anyone could make a go at developing an electric car for less with aceeptable acceleration to get from point A to B!
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