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PHOTO CAPTION: KleenSpeed KAR concept drawing: goal is a basic electric car costing less than $10,000US.

KAR Aims For Electric Version of Original VW Beetle

Vision is to have KAR available in two models: the S model costing under $10K and the sportier GT model: both would have 40kWh battery and 150 miles range.

Published: 23-Nov-2012

What would be the modern electric car equivalent to the old school VW Beetle? Small, inexpensive, designed for the people, that's what the original Beetle stood for (unlike today's caricature of the Beetle that's on sale now). Calling it the "Car of the Future" and the "VW Bug, in the electric version," KleenSpeed CEO Tim Collins unveiled the KAR on Wednesday evening at the San Francisco Auto Show. The KAR is a very small, two seater, inexpensive ($9,995) electric car that amazingly delivers a lot of power and a massive 150 mile electric driving range.

The combination, of a massive electric range and a tiny price has not yet been done by any electric car maker. KleenSpeed has a business model with which they could pull this off. The ultra-low price does depend on a high manufacturing volume, and a leased battery pack. By leasing the battery pack its' cost is removed from the KAR's MSRP, and is replaced by a monthly lease fee. How much? That's envisioned to be $175 per month.

The Renault ZOE is also sold under a similar model, with a lower up-front cost and a leased battery pack.

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One minute 35.99 seconds lap time at Sonoma works out to an average speed of just over 150 kilometers per hour, and the car hit a top speed of about 210 kilometers per hour.

Kleenspeed KAR rolling chassis prototype.

KleensSpeed KAR would come with 40kWh lithium battery, giving it a range of 150 miles.

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