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
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