Paris Motor Show: Venturi Eclectic charges via solar or wind power

Autoblogger Eric Bryant at the Paris Motor Show keeps 'em coming.

Having transformed themselves from a low-volume sports car manufacturer to a twenty-first century "CarbonNeutral" car-maker, Venturi is showing a pair of very interesting concepts at the Paris Motor Show this week. The first is the Eclectic, looking like a modern avante-garde rendition of an old horse drawn buggy, this vehicle definitely doesn't need a horse. Venturi describes it as an autonomous vehicle, being powered by the sun or the wind. The roof is covered with solar cells and it also has an integrated wind-turbine for charging the batteries. More images and information after the jump.

Function dictates the design

Of decidedly original design, this is a vehicle that has no desire to look like other cars which depend on "black gold" : priority has been given to integration of the photovoltaic cells which compose its translucid roof.
Eclectic thus does not pass unnoticed in traffic: its elevated central driving position offers exceptional panoramic vision and considerable space, for both driver and passengers.

Eclectic's message is loud and clear: this is not an ordinary car, but an avant-garde way of getting around. Owning an Eclectic is also a personal commitment : it means changing one's way of getting from one place to another by exchanging one's role as a "consumer" for that of a "producer" and this, in the general interest.

Its designer Sacha Lakic describes Eclectic as : "a modern, autonomous and intelligent automobile. The energy that drives it exists all around it : it simply has to deploy its wind turbine, expose its solar cells or, if necessary, find a simple electric plug. It is usual practice to "stylise" a car. In the case of Eclectic, its contours were born of an approach to design. Its appearance reflects its function. Its silhouette pays homage to certain icon-cars such as the Lunar Rover, Mini-Moke and Méhari. Though its technology positions it clearly in the present and, above all, the future".

Technological and environmental advances

Venturi marks a new era in technological history by launching the production of Eclectic, an urban 3-seater electro-solar vehicle which goes well beyond anything offered so far by car manufacturers of today :

  • 1 st vehicle powered by renewable energies ;
  • 1 st solar production vehicle (2.5 m2 of photovoltaic cells) ;
  • 1 st vehicle that can be directly recharged with a personal wind turbine ;
Eclectic is thus the vehicle with the least possible impact on the environment.
Unlike other vehicles which are not used for over 90% of the time, Eclectic takes advantage of moments of immobilisation to store energy in its batteries ; contrary to a petrol tank, this energy reserve remains available for other uses. It's well worth betting that one day, and at national level, this could comprise a considerable reserve of energy which could compensate for breakdowns in the production of electricity as already seen, for example, in California.

Available with last-generation NiMH (NIV-7) batteries (liquid cooled), Eclectic offers a range up to 50 km at a speed of 50 km/hr (electronically restricted), which suffices largely to cover daily movements in urban areas. The share of solar recharging is approximately 7 km per day of exposure. When using electricity, a full recharge requires 5 hrs using a standard connection (16 A).

Finally, as an option, Eclectic can be recharged with one or more wind turbines, fixed either on the roof of the vehicle when it is stationary, or to the ground with a specific mast. In this case, the share of recharging is approximately 15 km per day in windy areas.

More Information