Click above for a gallery of the Pininfarina B0 (B Zero)

It's a tough time to be an automaker these days, but especially so for Pininfarina, which counts on small manufacturers such as Ferrari and Maserati to generate continued work for its designers. To combat this serious problem, the Italian design firm has branched out, collaborating with the French industrial giant Bolloré for the production of electric cars. The first production model to bear the fruit of this joint effort is the B0 EV, which features four doors, four seats and a hatchback for the ultimate in practicality. Fortunately, it's also quite a good looking machine.

The B0 is expected to be badged as a Pininfarina, which is something new to the styling house but an important step towards guaranteeing its place in the competitive global marketplace. In any case, the fledgling automaker has a tough road ahead, with the first bout of real-life road-testing for its new electric vehicle scheduled to take place in the second half of 2009. Count us among those rooting for Pininfarina's future sucess.

[Source: Inside Line]

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