With plans to bring an electric vehicle to market by 2014, Sim-Drive is closing in on a final design for its aerodynamic, in-wheel-motored passenger car. Looking a little less Star Wars-inspired than the previous SIM-LEI prototype, the new SIM-WIL has now been revealed and is said to have a range of 218 miles on the JC-08 cycle. For comparison, the EPA 73-mile-rated Nissan Leaf gets about 124 miles on that Japanese cycle.

Although it is less efficient than its predecessor – 66 Wh/km versus 99.7 Wh/km – the SIM-WIL can cover a bit more distance, thanks to a larger 35.1-kWh battery and a 154.3-lb weight reduction. Its exterior dimensions have also significantly changed, with the design team chopping over 21 inches from the length and adding 4.5 inches to the width. The result is the ability to carry five passengers in relative comfort.

Another performance trade-off has been made in its accelerative abilities. The first-gen prototype could manage a blast to 60 mph in an impressive 4.8 seconds. That metric now stands at a still-quite-respectable 5.4 seconds, but it does it more smoothly with huge reduction in a vibration known as "torque ripple."

With the help of 26 partners, SIM-DRIVE hopes to build yet a third vehicle in the coming year with vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-house capability. In the meantime, hit the jump to check out its first two cars, along with a low-floor bus its developed, that are being demonstrated to its various partners in the venture.


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