Venturi, the company that is self-proclaimed as having produced “the first production electric sports car in automobile history,” successfully taps into the ultra-rich’s unending pursuit of exclusivity. By only building 25 units a year, they can charge $400,000 for each of their high-performance, all-electric luxury sports cars. Somehow oddly fitting, their first EV is called the Fetish.
Before building only new electric vehicles, Venturi catered to a similarly wealthy clientele by manufacturing mid-engine sports cars. The Fetish, Venuturi’s first EV effort, appeared in concept form at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show, and from there made the rounds at other events before the beginning of its production run in 2004. Similar to other electric-powered concept or show cars, the Fetish was designed to overcome the public’s often negative opinion that electric cars lack performance, style and range. They have only been marginally successful in their efforts. Although the 330 horsepower carbon-fiber Fetish can reach 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, top speed is a paltry 112 mph. That’s certainly plenty of power for most EVs, or most any other car for that matter, but with a supercar price tag, you’d expect a similar super car punch in performance. What Venturi counts on is that there are at least 25 eco-conscious billionaires ready to plunk down 400 grand a year to be seen in the attractive Fetish. And when all is said and done, despite Venturi’s sports car building history, it is their ability to build long range electric vehicles that has made them money. In the case of the Fetish, when fully-charged it can go 220 miles before needing to be juiced up again. A rapid battery charge is also available, which yields about one mile of driving for every minute of power that it is allowed to take in. The ability to go 220 miles on one charge is largely the result of weight, or more accurately, the lack of weight of the Fetish at only 2,425 pounds. Other technological advances include a wireless information system developed between Venturi and partner, Intel that remotely monitors the energy storage status to conveniently update an owner that may be at work or at home waiting for the car to be charged. As expensive as the Fetish is, delivery from Monaco to your destination, according to Venturi, is the buyer’s responsibility.