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The dream of having a practical electric vehicle from South Africa has ended. At least, for now. Optimal Energy, which first trotted out its Keith Helfet-designed Joule at the 2008 Paris Motor Show has announced that it is shutting down.

The credit crunch is not only playing havoc with plans at Tesla and other green (or not) car companies. Indeed, the effects of the financial crises are global and so it comes as little surprise that Optimal Energy, the South African company that recently showed off it's all-electric Joule at the Paris Motor Show, is now saying that they expect their car to take a little longer to bring into existence than first suggested. The companys need about $130 million to build an assembly plant and that k

Optimal Energy is the latest company to announce that they are unveiling a new electric car at the Paris Motor Show this year and it's one that should definitely impress. Coming all the way from South Africa, the Joule may very well be the world's most practical electric car to date as well as one of the more stylish. Although it has been shown to a handful of journalists there haven't yet been any published photos but it has been described as "an uncluttered mix of a Renault Scenic and a Citroe