150 miles of electric car range for under $10,000?

Posted by Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling

A Silicon Valley start up developing electric vehicle systems technology claims to have built an electric car prototype which can retail for under $10,000 and get rack up a 150 mile driving range.

While this all sound really wonderful, Kleenspeed Technologies currently lacks at least one thing to bring it to market – a manufacturing partner.

Kleenspeed, which earlier this year set an electric car speed record in its EV-X11 at Laguna Seca in California, recently unveiled its KAR GT prototype at the San Francisco International Auto Show. The design is based upon the company's GenESSys Energy Storage System, which Autoweek reports could be up to 40 kWh of batteries, which is enough energy storage reportedly for the claimed 150 miles  of range.

The KAR GT design is propelled by a 100 kW/134 HP electric motor with 221 lb ft of torque, according to Kleenspeed. It boasts a top speed of 85 miles per hour, hits 0 to 60 MPH in 6.5 seconds and has an estimated battery recharge time of around six hours. The estimated $9,995 price tag (there is a more sporty model for around $14,000 as well) could even have a potentially lower price tag as it could be eligible, at least on the federal level and in California, for special EV rebates and tax incentives.

In order to help keep costs down on the KAR platform, the company has developed a leasing program for the battery. This energy storage design, said to have an estimated number of charge cycles in its lifetime of around 1500 charges, is tied to a "smart battery management system" that, among other things, helps keep the battery fit for second life applications (commercial, home & others) after its use in an electric vehicle is over.

The KAR platform is described as being modular in nature, meaning it is something Kleenspeed could license to auto manufacturers for use of in their own vehicles. The company made use of what's described as a "Chinese-sourced vehicle" for its prototype, but is on the prowl for actual corporate partners looking for a plug and play relationship.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling