Renault Dauphine / Henney Kilowatt (Wikimedia Commons)

Few people know about the Renault Dauphine. Sold in the U.S. in the late '50s, it was a creation by Renault usually powered by a 0.845 liter engine good for 32 hp. Yup, that made the car really slow. Road & Track magazine measured the Dauphine's 0-60 mph acceleration time in moons at 32 seconds. Nevertheless, we mention it here today because a special version that ran on electrons was shown during this year's Paris Motor Show. Back in the day, the Dauphine impressed Russell Feldman, CEO of the National Union Electric Corporation, Henney Motor Co and Exide Batteries. He ordered 200 engine-less Dauphines and made them electric. Fitted with a 36-volt system of 18 sequential two-volt batteries, the car could reach 60 km/h (40 mph) and had a range of 60 km (40 miles). Of course, the weight didn't help. A standard Dauphine weighed 650 kg, but the array of batteries made the Dauphine Henney-Kilowatt weigh almost twice that. The second generation, though, featured an improved 72-volt battery pack with a top speed of nearly 100 km/h (60mph) and a range of about 100 km (60 miles).

[Source: The Blog Auto and Wikipedia]

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