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Autonomously Powered Venturi Eclectic

Posted in Auto Show, Concept Cars, Electric Cars, Emissions, Gas Prices, Plug-In Vehicles, Solar Cars by Geoff | October 24th, 2008 | Leave a Reply |

Venturi Eclectic
Venturi Eclectic

Few cars live up to their name like the Venturi Eclectic.  The electric 3 seater which began life as a concept two years ago, is a complete 180 degree departure from the ultra-rare (and expensive) sports cars produced by the Monaco automaker.  Even though the Eclectic has futuristic looks that got it a role in Vin Diesel’s latest movie “Babylon A.D.,” the car pictured here is not some sort of non-production concept, but very similar to the actual vehicle Venturi intends to sell in Europe in 2009.

The Eclectic is a $20,000 electric city car with seating for three.  The driver is seated in the center with a passenger on either side.  As you might have already guessed, the optional tiny spinning propeller-like windmill attached to the roof is connected to the batteries and capable of generating an extra 10 miles worth of driving after spinning for 6 hours.  In actuality, owners will rely mainly on plugging the Eclectic in to a normal power source and not the windmill or solar panels to recharge the vehicle.  Depending on a customers choice of battery unit, the Eclectic will cost buyers either 15,000  or 18,500 Euros.  The being that the less expensive version uses lead-acid batteries that will last 2 1/2 years before replacement and the pricier vehicle will receive a lithium-ion battery pack that will last 8 years.  With either battery configuration the range is 31 miles. 

Venturi very proudly talks the Eclectic up as being the most economical environmental vehicle ever built.  Their justification to such a claim is that because it employs both wind and solar power and does not have the capability to run on traditional fuel, theoretically, the car could run entirely on free energy for its entire lifespan.  What about non-windy, rainy days?  Venturi is quick to point out that even in overcast weather conditions; the solar panels are still working-just not as well.  In fact, the solar panels employed on the Eclectic are rather weak to begin with, a problem the maker is hoping to resolve in order to further juice up the potential power capabilities.  Before being available for sale, there are also several additional pieces to be added to make this car road-worthy even for the more loosely safety-regulated European market.  First and foremost on that list will surely be doors.

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