Sim-Drive has unveiled its Advance Development Model No. 1. Nicknamed "SIM-LEI," (LEI being an acronym for leading efficiency in-wheel motor) the electric prototype has exceeded the target of at least 300 kilometers (186 miles) of range on a single charge. How far can it go? 333 km (207 miles), according to Japan's JC08 test cycle. That's impressive, but remember that JC08 is a wee bit generous. The 2010 Toyota Prius, for example, is rated at 89.4 miles per gallon under JC08.

However far it can go in the real world, the SIM-LEI is equipped with a Toshiba-supplied 24.5 kWh battery, which is nearly identical to the capacity of the Nissan Leaf's pack. The SIM-LEI has a more efficient electrical power consumption – 77 Wh/km, compared to the Leaf's estimated 173 Wh/km. In addition to lower power consumption, the SIM-LEI's longer range is helped by a steel monocoque body that cuts weight, low-rolling resistance tires and the vehicle's drag-decreasing aerodynamics. On the performance front, the SIM-LEI accelerates from 0 to 62 miles per hour in an impressive 4.8 seconds.

In total 34 Japanese corporations, including Isuzu and Mitsubishi, participated in the development of the electric prototype. The SIM-LEI's commercial launch is tentatively scheduled for 2013. Keep those batteries charged, because it's a long way from here to there. Hat tip to Dan!

[Source: Green Car Congress]

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