The car may look like a throwback, but the important bits are on the inside. South Africa-based Metair takes a retrofitted two-door hatchback and uses it to show off what the group says is the most advanced lead-acid battery around.

By US and Japanese standards, Metair went decidedly low-budget, spending the equivalent of about $6,500 in component costs and about $55,000 in total development costs for what it calls the Met-Elec-R60. The company isn't disclosing much on the vehicle's performance except, according to Engineering News, to clarify that the car's a plug-in with a small gas engine used as an on-board generator. As for Metair's battery, the Raylite Ultimate is the "most recyclable" of its kind, while being leak proof as well as a stronger charge than comparable lead-acid batteries.

Metair took the EV into public, even stopping by a Shell gas station to impress and confuse the workers there. Check out Metair's two-minute video of its extended-range plug-in below, and note that the charge cord is stored, coiled, in the car. This is unlike every other EV we can think of, and probably only works on one-off conversions like this. Oh, and based on the lean, we're pretty sure the batteries are stored in the rear.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      They are making it just too easy to make fun of this...
      • 2 Years Ago
      Might need to beef up that rear suspension don't you think?
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lead acid? And all that weight in the back for a FWD is not good (front tires won't have enough traction).
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like an old 1980's Fiesta 67 MPG diesel. Back to the future in a 80s Fiesta & lead acid battery, rear shocks could do with replacing, no seats behind the driver, what a great idea no seats for the Mother-In-Law, this could be really big hit with those that have a Mother-In-Law.
      Captain Stu
      • 2 Years Ago
      Haha funny joke. April 1st is over a week away. Der.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Um, kinda interesting, but there are far better conversions out there to feature... cmon, guys..
      • 2 Years Ago
      You must be kidding posting this DC conversion with a lead pack. Just post a link to the EV Photp Album and be done with it fot the year. Charge cord in the car- that's called an etension cord. LOL.
        fly by wireless
        • 2 Years Ago
        It's not DC, it's AC, look at that Curtis 3 phase AC controller at 1:37. It looks like an HPEV's setup, the same (or similar) one I used in Japan to convert a kei car! That said, you're right, it's just a conversion most people here could do themselves once spec'd. Stupid they talk about how great the batteries are without discussing a single thing about what makes them "special." Longer life? Lighter? Faster charging? Better discharge curve?
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think his gen system is the wave of the EV future , with relatively few batts that are 2 generations away.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks heavily overloaded or maybe just unbalanced. But with new EVs mostly in premium-price-range (especially in countries without incentives), startups like this could realy make a difference. With battery prices coming down (or cheap batteries evolving like here), conversions will become a huge market.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are we to assume they ditched the seatbelts to save weight?
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some of the school projects on this blog were better than this thing ( and more cost effective ). I would like to see a test of their "most advanced lead-acid battery" vs. any Optima battery.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Um, good job?
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