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Hazel Southwell @HSouthwellFE
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Was going to do that '1 like = 1 F1 opinion' but that seemed a bit off brand, so:

For every like this tweet gets I will tweet about a weird electric vehicle
Ok, so, you've heard of that one South African guy who makes electric cars but you probably haven't heard of the Optimal Energy Joule, a Cape Town project that never went to commercial production. Designed by the guy who did the F-Type, it collapsed as a project in 2012:
This one you can actually buy, despite looking like a retrofuristic concept, so long as you have a very large amount of cash. It's the Mercedes Maybach Vision which is one of the weirdest cars I've ever seen - there's basically nothing in that enormous bonnet and it's 2.2m long
In my endless quest to piss on Elon's chips I must also reveal that electric trucks have been knocking around since the late 1930s in Italy. Here's a 1942 Auto-Lux
Oldsmobile sounds like an insult but is in fact an American car manufacturer for realsies and has made quite a few attempts at electric vehicles. Here is an 1899 Olds Electric Stanhope, featuring the company's founder RE Olds and his wife:
Back to the present day with the Fisker Emotion, which has these bonkers doors I really loathe and also a 400mi range. However, it's mostly notable for having been *announced* to be the first car with a solid graphene battery - sadly it's actually gone to production on LI though.
Can't do this thread without mentioning the Sinclair C5, in which a computers man tried to make an electric bicycle and it went terribly wrong on almost every level. Did u know: the chassis was made by Lotus. (then a successful F1 constructor)
Sears automobiles made an EV in 1977 to celebrate the success of their 'Diehard' car batteries - it had a 100mi range and a top speed of 70mph and generally looks like a quite cool rally car. It lives in a museum in Alabama now.
This is real - although it's not in the wild yet, that's next year - the Ariel Hipercar, which will have 1180bhp. No, I have not typo'd, that is a road-worthy supercar with the bhp of a finely tuned LMP1-H. It looks... mean.
Back to 1967 - here's an AMC Amitron, a three-seater (ok?) urban commuter car that showed some really innovative features, like regenerative braking (this wouldn't appear in hybrids for decades) - sadly, high battery costs meant it never went to production but how cute is it?
Now, I promise this is not some shit I've made up from Fallout: introducing the Nu-Klea Starlite, a 1959 on-off electric vehicle made in the US. It was a 950kg monster but had a plastic body - and twin pancake motors, twin pancake motor fans!
Behold, the TECNOBUS - which operates for free on local routes in St Helens, Liverpool. There's six of them and they're all electric.
Another public transport solution - Mahindra (the huge manufacturer behind the Formula E team) have unveiled electric rickshaws this year. Rickshaws are short-range, low-speed vehicles so basically perfect for electrification, especially given the need to fight air pollution.
And here, from 1967 is Clark Forklift's first three-wheeled electric lifter (the first electric forklift was 1923 but I can't find a photo!)
Back on the present-day retrofuturism, here is the Kalashnikov CV-1, brought to you by the people who do, err, Kalashnikovs. At present the specs are dreadful ( 90 kWh battery but only 220 miles range) but my goodness if you've ever had a thing for Ladas...
I implore you to enjoy this converted electric milk float which services a small Cornish village with "trams" - the Polperro Tram Co transports passengers from a bus stop and car park at Crumplehorn (I didn't make this up) down to the harbour.
And here is a Microlino, a recent Swiss design based on the Bubble Car - I really enjoy that people seemingly cannot resist slapping retrofuturist design onto EVs, there's something in there about harking back to a stage where automotive technology was hopeful.
I have to do a lot of work now for a bit but I will be back this evening with more EVs you might not have heard of.
17. Right, back with a classic; the ComutaCar. 2,000 or so of these babies were made at none other than Sebring. Also known as a Citicar, I love the sci-fi set designer’s dedication to rhomboidism:
18. Oh and they made a solar-powered van, obviously which I must include for obvious reasons:
19. And here’s a modern-day Citicar which is frankly even odder; the Hiriko, Basque Country’s own EV, which “folded” - designed at MIT, the project was funded and ultimately destroyed by Spanish politics during a financial crisis:
20. Now let’s get back to the 1890s with a Jeantaud. The French electric vehicle manufacturer set the first ever land-speed with racer Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat at a colossal 39.23mph in 1898. Look at this g/d thing:
21. The first ever *purpose built* land-speed vehicle, however, was another Jeantaud la jamais-contente (‘the never-satisfied’) which was driven to beat that record by Camille Jenatzy, a Belgian with an incredible beard. Every photo is 💯:
22. Which brings me to modern-day land-speed record holder the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3; first gear will take you up to 275mph in this baby. Also known as the ‘jamais contente,’ the VBB-3 reached 341.264mph. (yes Venturi like Formula E!)
23. Here is a Bollore Bluecar. It might not seem much of note but look at those aerodynamic lines, a little much for a little hatchback, no? That’s because it was designed by Pininfarina, of ‘Ferraris you want to fuck’ fame:
24. Back to the retromodern - and the former Soviet Union, with the Czech-made Luka EV. It uses motors actually *in* the wheel, which is interesting and idk if good but wow how much do I want to drive this through a Prague noir plot?
25. Now, there’s a reason people think EVs are milk floats, which is that milk floats are EVs. There were a lot of electric vehicle manufacturers in the UK in the 1930s, making delivery vehicles like this promotional truck:
25. Morrison-Electricar were one of the largest manufacturers of electric milk floats. Slow (10-20mph) but long-lived (they run more than three decades!) they were the ultimate delivery solution, here’s one in 1949:
27. Back to landspeed records, here is the milk float currently holding the err, milk float land speed record. Not sure how frequently it’s been contended but this managed an average speed over 73mph:
27. Pretty sure this could beat it though. Here is today’s modern milk float, the DHL StreetScooter is about half the weight of an old milk truck, has a heated seat and a top speed of 53mph.
29. Right, enough of milk floats here’s one of the Principality of Monaco’s electric rubbish trucks outside the casino:
30. Speaking of Monaco here’s a 2005 Venturi Fétish which I really feel you have to like for the name alone. Got a spare half a million Euro? Yours. Mind you, only got two seats. It was the first proper electric sportscar and certainly looks the part:
31. Extremely NOT a sportscar, here’s 1970’s The Gremlin. Designed to be affordable during a fuel crisis, its slogan was “if you can afford a car, you can afford two Gremlins.” Widely derided as one of the ugliest cars ever, I actually rather like it?
32. A few years later, on the same principle, City Light developed the RT1 prototype which… is much uglier. It never actually saw production and I do not know how four people were supposed to fit in there without… intimate arrangements:
33. Which leads me to a modern-day Portuguese effort also called an RT1. The Veeco is a three-wheeler that looks like a Transformer and in theory was going into full production in 2012. Then 2016. And now… not sure. :(
Right, that's all for a bit. I notice it's now on 186 likes so err, lots to come!
Ok time for some weird concept cars.

34. You will all immediately see why I have included this when I tell you it is the Citroen EGGO (all caps a must) - contrary to the mock-up it is in fact for traversing earth surfaces and not Mars.
35. This home build doesn't have a name; Iowan Joseph Rush made it himself and it has solar panels that give up to 75 watts total in sunlight and a wind turbine on the front that generates up to 400w on a 28mph wind. I love it, what an awesome shed creation:
36. Now, I hear what you're saying: that's not a car it's some kind of weird airblade and yes, I entirely agree. However, I feel the need to flag this bizarro 2049 concept from Opel, called a Flow Solar Car, because it is designed by someone called Miika Heikkinen
37. This looks like some sort of weird startup bullshit but it's the en-V from General Motors. Sort of a ...personal... networked... capsule... thing? The idea is they form a sort of on-demand autonomous Uber, apparently unaware everyone uses Uber to carry stuff back from IKEA.
38. A dystopian solution that doesn't quite know what dystopia it's catering for, REDS is a car designed to spend time in. To virtually live in, since we spend 90% of our time in cars in cities stationary. Except people actually do live in their cars in high-rent cities. :(
39. The problem with concept cars is you can just draw any old Pokemon and announce it. This is the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation's YeZ (which means Leaf, according to the PR spiel) and it looks this way because it's meant to farm moisture for hydrogen fuelling.
40. Is this how wheels work? It's a concept car, who cares. This is the Toyota I-Road 'personal mobility vehicle' which does this in uh *taps earpiece* some... way... in order to move around urban areas better. This concept was from 2013 - the resulting prototype was more Twingo.
41. This is the P-Eco designed by Jung-Hoon Kim; it won a Michelin Design Award and is genuinely wildly conceptual and innovative, despite looking quite "real" - instead of motors it would use four piezoelectric devices, triggered by movement tension and weights to power the car.
42. Right, time to get more real again. Here's Terry Hatfield's Quiet Riot, a converted golf cart drag racer that's gone over 100mph:
43. Apropos nothing other than the name here is an entirely real, cheap urban EV called..... THE BOOK OF SONGS
44. Another competitor in the 'superb names' category, here is Tang Hua's 2009 amphibious vehicle the Detroit Fish. I love it, I have no idea how its propellor is supposed to work or if death by drowning would not be an immediate result but I would protect it with my life.
45. But don't imagine the modern era has a monopoly on naming. Here's ELECTROBAT, an early EV created by Morris and Salom, sort of early Elon Musks of the late 1800s. Here's them on one in 1894:
46. It's a bit difficult to get specific photos of early EVs due to the lack of decently tagged smartphone photography but I must also add that they made an ELECTROBAT II (electric boogaloo) and I think this is it - sort of the original in reverse.
47. This is a actually a concept but still has a great name; the Brooks and Bone Box, surely none more likely to be an East London funeral parlour. Which is where it's designed for - well, not the funerals but London car-sharing. I appreciate their nod to actual car share usage:
48. A nod to this car's commitment to concept naming: United Nude are some Amsterdam shoe designers who got a photo of a Lamborghini Countach and pixelated it until they somehow ended up reverse-designing this, the Lo Res, built via 3D modelling. Evil Triangle:
49. Historical AND named after basically my favourite thing, is the 1942 L'Oeuf Electrique which is so called because well look at it and it's electric. It was designed by Paul Arzens and it's gorgeous. 100km/h range on it and all:
50. Oh christ how am I only at 50.

Right lets look at cute EVs; here's the bizarre Honda Puyo, the body of which was meant to be made of soft, sensual gel designed to look and feel like skin. It's so completely creepy but also so cute:
51. The Bamgoo - it's uhh, made of bamboo and it uh, go-o? It's a super-lightweight (60kg) single seater urban concept.
52. I'm not sure if this is actually cute or just painfully weird but allegedly Jaguar Landrover made some autonomous vehicles that they wanted to convince people were friendlier and less dangerous so put giant googly eyes on them? Idk, weird if true.
53. The Cleco Electric Van - looks sort of continental but actually from Leicester in 1955. I don't know why but the cute sort of bumper nose makes me slightly want a children's television programme about these delivering wholesome goods around the midlands.
54. To offset all this cuteness, here is the beyond-self-parody grade masculine Bollinger B2, an electric SUV so ruggedly manly it only comes in gun-metal grey. I hate it. Their website must be witnessed to be believed: bollingermotors.com
55. I don't know why I find these so cute but I do - the Canadian Electric Vehicle company's Might-E Tug (lol, etc.) which is a small electric vehicle primarily for airport logistics. It can pull a plane!
56. One more for the self-parody archives, for some reason this unfortunately marketed vehicle which seems otherwise not especially notable is called: the eGo:
57. Back to 'things that are actually cool and interesting' here is TUM's aCar, which is designed to be rugged and small enough to deal with rural African roads. EVs tend to heavy and clunking, due to the batteries - but this is a 4WD nippy endurance car:
58. Speaking of rugged - I genuinely applaud anyone with the guts to heroically fail in motorsport, which is what Albert Bosch and Agustin Paya did with this Acciona in Dakar in 2015. Not finishing Dakar is no shame - but they proved an EV could compete in the extreme rally.
59. Mmm, time to bring up a car for oooh, no reason. It's from 1953 and only six of them were ever made, in Hove in south England. It was prohibitively expensive to ever be a success and had a massive 1.5bhp. Only one still exists. I present...

...The Hazelcar.
60. Hey you know that one really weird conspiracy theory that F1 cars are powered by compressed air? These cars are powered by compressed air. MDI's AirPod could have up to three passengers and uhhhh up to 6bhp which is slightly more than three average humans I guess.
61. For reasons I do not fully understand, Infiniti (the same who partner with Red Bull in F1) made a super-retro electric race car called the Prototype 9 and thousands of Nissan employees volunteered time to build it. It has a maximum output of 120kW and a top speed of 105mph.
62. Here's a genuinely weird one. Turkey decided it wanted a "national car" that was an innovative EV but instead of designing one just bought the designs off National Electric Vehicle Sweden, to general outcry. I don't know what happened to this knockoff Saab:
63. Speaking of national cars, here is a recent Armenian concept effort towards that elusive solar-charging car. Well, technically it's the first concept from a meeting where people announced they were volunteering to make one and the government said that was good. But still:
64. Beyond the realm of concept, however, is the Sono Sion, which actually gets close to cracking the solar concept. It has 330 solar panels across its bodywork and can manage, on a good day, to get 18 miles extra range from the power generated on them. Small but huge steps:
65. One of my problem with EV startups is they're all dead-eyed venture capitalists building saloons. Which Liquid Motors undeniably are; however, their Air, which isn't *quite* at production yet, can pull up to 1,000bhp so is very *hefty* meaningless vapourware currently:
66. This is more like it. In 1965 someone at General Electric was like hey we should make a walking truck that's unbelievably hench and deeply uncanny. It ran on hydraulics the for which came externally so very plugged in. Force feedback was developed for the onboard controller.
67. Do you want to see some sharp-ass microcars from the 40s? Hell yeah you do. Here's the Peugeot VLV (Voiture Legere de Ville) which was a sharp little 3-wheeler electric vehicle. Up to 3.5bhp and a top speed of 30km/h:
68. And here's a modern-day Peugeot concept for a three-wheeler city car, the Stylight, which won a design competition for the marque. (Designer is Ognyan Bozhilov) Probably the nichest feature on this is variable-luminescence tail lights you can turn up by pressing a button.
69. Nice. I am morally compelled to tell you at this point about the Alke XT420EL truck, a rugged off-road hauler capable of tugging four tonnes. It only has a top speed of 58km/h but it can tackle slopes of up to 46% even with a load:
70. I wonder if I will make 100 this evening? Ok here is a segment I call 'great old adverts for your consideration,' starting with the Buffalo Stanhope, which would be my drag name.
71. Buffalo became Babcock, who offered a cure for all your automotive anxieties:
72. Meanwhile the 1932 Dynosphere Auto promised the opportunity to live out some of your most lurid nightmares:
73. This 1903 electric Studebaker is a smooth operator. The drivability of early electric vehicles was a big part of their appeal, rather than highly technical and ass-pain-inducing early combustion vehicles; they were preferred except that fuel was cheap and batteries trickier:
74. Before silicone valley, the Electric Car Company of California made these, the Shopper. This one is from 1960 and was sold with the, uh, ambitious idea it would be reliable for 25 years. Its top speed was 18mph and it had a range of about 35 miles.
75. The Shopper's big rival was the Taylor-Dunn Trident - which even for the earlier days of electric vehicles played low in the power stakes with one whole entire horsepower. That's about half the force I have pulling a wheelie suitcase.
76. Please enjoy the boxy delights of possibly my favourite sixties microcar, the B&Z Electra King. Another one horsepower monster here but goodness me look at the *gestures* entire thing.
77. This is a small photo but I like it - a 1960s American truck made by Batronic and dubbed The Voltswagon. That's the battery being moved -
78. Skipping back towards the present, before Formula E there was Formula EV or specifically the Formula EV X-01, which was this 2005 car. It had half-ton batteries that gave it up to 209kW output, up to 164mph speed.
79. I love this S.A.T.A.M. advert more than maybe the car - although it is also cool, here's a 1943 model discovered lurking on a French farm.
80. I need to go and do other things (like sleep) at least briefly, so I will leave you for this evening with the Cock Cockpit, which was a 1960s car from the Netherlands that uh, was basically coming up with the same thing we're being disruptive with now 🧐
81. Ok a few to fit in before work - here's another Amsterdam ride-sharing EV, this one is the Witkar, backed by cannabis legalisation group Provo
82. Post-Soviet retrofuturism from the 90s, here is Slovakia's Wusam: my Slovak is not good enough to work out anything much about these other than they were 26% state backed as a project and sadly did not make it into the new millennium.
83. Another bit of turn-of-the-century optimism; Neighbourhood Electric Vehicle Company's Gizmo. Is it a boat? Is it a car? I adore this banner from its official website more than words can say.
84. Earth-1 - this uses the same basic principles as the Hiriko Citicar to 'fold' itself into smaller spaces, only looks a lot more like it ought to also continue folding until it becomes an Evangelion:
85. Getting deep into the roots - and the constant reminder that EV tech is not new, the automotive industry made a *conscious decision* to burn hydrocarbons, this jaunty early 1900s ad for a London runabout:
86. Here's an early range-pusher: from the Nic-L silver battery company, it could do up to 150mi with its lightweight fibreglass body.
87. Ok let's GO TO THE ANTARCTIC, the most inhospitable places on earth, in an electric vehicle 3D printed out of ACTUAL GARBAGE! That's what Liesbeth and Edwin ter Velde are doing in just two weeks. Follow the Solar Voyager here: clean2antarctica.nl/en/blog-updates
88. Electric vehicles are also popular at the other pole, here's a converted VW Kupla done by Finnish group Arctic Electric Vehicles Oy. It's got a range of about 70-80km, which is not bad for a heavy DIY conversion:
89. At the other end of the scale, meet Venturi's ultra-tech Antarctica, the aim of which is to create an EV capable of operating ruggedly and reliably at -50C, a temperature that would test anything and especially battery chemistry:
90. And something a little less high-tech, the Didik Arctic vehicle, designed amphibiously. A hybrid of human (it has paddles) and electrical power and one of Frank Didik's more extraordinary constructions. The cabin is heated, even though it looks flimsy.
91. Now would you like to see some

𝕖𝕩𝕥𝕣𝕖𝕞𝕖𝕝𝕪 𝕝𝕒𝕣𝕘𝕖 𝕓𝕠𝕚𝕤?

This is not the actual thing, which there are no photos of yet but mining giant Caterpillar have made an electric LHD - one of these - which has been sent to test its proof of concept in Canadian mines.
92. Not large enough? How about a 40-tonne electric vehicle made for heavy excavation? Artisan Vehicles claim the Z40 has the most durable powertrain in mining and at that size it is tempting to assume it probably does.
93. Epiroc, another mining specialist, make these underground loaders that are fully battery electric. That's right kids, just because you don't want to choke to death on fumes doesn't mean you have to give up diggers
94. And Atlas Copco make all these for your underground mining needs:
95. This might be the coolest underground mine specialist, though; this is the Voltra ecruiser, which is essentially a repurposes Landcruiser (in principle at least) - anyone who's worked in the humanitarian sector or mining knows these well as the all-terrain essential:
96. Enough mining how about an eight-wheeled road car? Yes? Here you go, the KAZ Eliica. You might think 'hmm, tanky' but no, this is built for speed - it has reached over 230mph and is aiming to break 250. (it's real, although there's only one - sorry)
97. Outright bullshit with the Takayanagi Miluira, which is a sort of steampunk golf cart EXCEPT it can't be steampunk it's got an electric drivetrain SMDH when will steampunk stop persecuting my interests like an aesthetic Elon Musk. (max speed 37mp/h)
98. Forgot to mention this cute little autonomous battery electric dumper truck concept built by Volvo for quarry and surface mining:
99. This is Community Cars' Kenguru, a small EV designed specifically for wheelchair users. I really like this - EV design means you don't need acres of space for an engine and this takes advantage of that in a great, accessible way.
At 100, the Dreamcar 123 which is a kit project you too can own for about $20k. It's not fast - top speed remains about 50mph but it does 240mi on a single charge thanks to extreme shape, which - no really - optimises downforce perfectly. AND you can start your own cult.
Right I've got 5 minutes of lunch time to bang out 5 times early electric vehicles were marketed to women - and why that's had a lasting impression that petrol cars are for ~~~~real~~~~ men. The results will shock u etc.
101. The Waverley Electric. It won't mar your gowns - given in 1912 the percentage of people of any gender with a car was almost meaninglessly tiny, it may surprise you to know this seems to be the tipping point of marketing nice, clean electric against honking dirty gas:
102. Two years later, the Detroit Electric was even more specifically marketed at the woman who wanted to "preserve her toilet immaculate, her coiffure intact." Ok yeah, difficult on a horse but also:
103. Allegedly the Argo Roadster was marketed - due to its sporty stylings - as "a woman's car that any man is proud to drive"
104. This was in the US, obviously. In Europe we were having a war. But still, the message from advertising was clear - unlike other vehicles, EVs were for women. With no hand-cranking starter you could get them going much easier, even in a corset.
105. Radical social change in Europe caused by women taking on "masculine" roles during WWI didn't happen in the US. And somehow - at least in the anglophone world - we absorbed their car adverts. Limited-range EVs were for a "woman's sphere"
106. Anyway, that's why Jeremy Clarkson won't drive an electric car in 2018 or whatever.

Here is JCB's first electric digger.
107. Only 243 to go. Have a mid-afternoon rocket-shaped thing, the FVT (Future Vehicle Technologies) eVaro, which is a three wheeler that gets from 0 to 60 in less than 5 seconds and I never want to try to turn a corner in.
108. The virtually unclassifiable e-pallette, developed by Toyota as a space-flexible storage logistics solution that can self-drive around a specific area. So it might be useful for, say, goods in at a large shopping complex. One exists but the concepts are good enough to see:
109. 🎶little red Chevette🎶

The Electrovette was a GM prototype Chevy that was designed in case a 1977 fuel crisis worsened. It only had a range of about 50mi and a cruising speed of about 30mph, as a full-scale car (mostly only microcars were electric at the time)
110. Ok you've heard of the Smart car. Which didn't even start as an EV but now is. And you've heard - via this thread, if nowhere else, of the trend for cheap, electric microcars. But have you seen these court case carbon copies, like the 2011 Wheego Whip LiFe?
111. Or the 2015 Zotye E200?
112. The 2006 HuoYun Electromobile?
113. The 2007 FlyBo?
114. The 2012 Shuanghuan Noble? This one actually went to court.
115. I'm not gonna mug you off by listing all of them. There's so many I found this one on Alibaba.

What's fascinating is people'd tell you there's no US market for tiny smart cars. But knock a tiny bit off the price (all told) and the appetite (for a bargain?) is endless.
116. Speaking of short-lived brands that knock off ideas, let's head to the 1980s. Blue Monday is playing, an oil crisis looms as large and glittering as nuclear war and you're a yuppie. May I suggest: The Electrica Jet 007:
117. These final Cold War babies are as old as me - and allegedly still being made somewhere in Germany. But this is an original 90s CityEL from Denmark. Imagine the rush of bellowing into an enormous mobile phone in one of these.
(I was not born in the 90s, they were first around in the mid-80s but it's hard to date the photos) (much like me har har har etc.)
118. Speaking of Cold War and indeed the 90s, how do you like this 1999 electric concept car from Lada? It will go with your Nokia.

To be honest, this was heavily ridiculed at the time - and I slightly hate it for looking like a Vogon nightmare - but it is a departure for Lada.
119. I've uhmmed and ahhed about the Lucas-Reliant Hybrid because, well, it is a hybrid. However, it was a serious plug-in hybrid, that could run on electric power alone and reach up to 75mph doing so. So this early 80s Brit gets an entry:
120. We can't talk about the 80s and 90s (a weird, oil-soaked time when the move from leaded petrol was challenging enough) without talking about General Motors EV1. Produced from 96 to 99, over 2,500 units were made. It was cancelled as an R&D avenue at the turn of the century.
121. Ok enough sad failed projects time for strange, realised concepts. Here is the Peugeot Moovie, entered by André Costa into the make's annual design competition. It has two huge wheels in the sides - each powered by its own electric motor, for steering and power.
122. How about a silly modern three-wheeler? The Vanderhall Edison was announced this year. Weighing in at over a tonne, I don't know if it's really as racey as it tries to look but it's definitely got some raw car-ness to it in a specific way:
123. Technically the Rinspeed iChange, designed by a Swiss think tank, did make it to chassis production, as pictured. Whether it ever was an 'iPhone controlled car' this Android user cares not - anyway, it clearly has a steering wheel. But here's one of those ones that got away.
124. Which is a good intro for me to tell you FARADAY FUTURE HAVE MADE A CAR. I repeat: Faraday Future have made an actual FF91 car. Sadly, I hate it because it's one of these huge American things that look like shit but I'm happy for this guy who can maybe sleep sometimes now.
125. No small feat for FF - comparatively, this 2009 effort from Aptera, despite having plenty of hype and alleged orders, did not make it. I... cannot imagine why. There's a line between the two, somewhere, I feel.
126. I was going to lay off the pure concept cars because they are indeed fictional and this thread is largely concerned with facts but looking at the Aptera reminded me about the self-shredding Chevrolet FNR concept that you need to see: (it was autonomous/beyond human ken)
127. This is the sort of concept stumble-block stage; in March this year BMW Mini converted a classic Cooper and put it on display. But they can't actually seem to get an electric Mini into production - famously light, I guess the batteries may be chassis puzzles somehow.
128. This reminds me, on the "seems fake but ok" front here is the absolutely 100% real Baker Torpedo Kid electric race car from 1903. Allegedly it did a mile in 56 seconds - over 60mph, a record for the day. But the account is unverified. Either way: a wild beast.
129. For some reason - probably that it's a pleasantly warm and I suspect flat place with space to get around - Long Beach was the home of American microcar EVs for the mid-C20th. Here's the 1950s Autoette, which is just a really cute vehicle. Sadly its place was insecure. :(
130. These were quite famous as a sort of 'shit car' meme if you're my age or older. The Pilcar, which surely was not shit as it came with a 7-year warranty and was 'perfect for towns' is a mid-70s German four-seater.
Tell you what, next time I'm going to take the sensible route out and say I'll do 'one fictional startup VC pitch for every like' or something and then the worst thing that might happen is someone gives me millions of pounds. Back shortly with more EVs.
Right. 131. This looks like it's from the 50s but it's actually a modern Estonian build by specialist firm Nobe. Designer Roman Muljar wanted you to "want to lick it" but even if you don't, it still allegedly does 0-60 in less than 6 seconds:
132. The Nobe 100 looks a little boat-y, which obviously made me think of amphibious vehicles and specifically this heroically adaptable rickshaw, the Salamander, made by Filipino disruptors H2O Technologies. Only a 6kW motor but it really does float:
I thought I might really be sick of EVs by this point of tweeting and scheduling tweets about them but if anything I'm more into them and way angrier the automotive industry let the tech languish for an entire actual century. (that's probably all for tonight, lots scheduled)
133. Oh shit - I forgot to tweet the car that tied the Smart cars and the 90s together; the Hotzenblitz. German-made, it had a range of 200km and a maximum speed of about 120km/h, designed to be a useful, load-bearing runaround. The adverts are... so 90s. So pure. Misunderstood.
134. Honda made this prototype EV that I don't think has actually gone to mass production in partnership with Kabuku, who are 3D printers. The concept was to keep both end-cost to user low and production agile, able to assemble them on-demand almost.
135. The eLi Zero is *not* a car, legally. At 5.5bhp it considerably outstrips the microcars of the past but is limited to 25mph to specifically avoid being classed as a car by the US department of transport. This is a Neighbourhood Electric Vehicle - a hark back to the Autoette.
136. The NEV acronym is confusing because in the US it means Neighbourhood Electric Vehicle and in China it means New Energy Vehicle, which is EVs eligible for subsidies. Like this electric taxi made by Chinese utility EV giant BYD:
137. What's this ugly-as-sin SUV? It is a Kandi EX3 and it is coming for the US market after being the biggest-selling pure EV in China. If you like buses I guess this is the car for you. It has a 200mi range and a top speed of 64mph but I guess SUVs are for cruising.
138. The same company make the infinitely cuter Kandi Panda EV, although apparently with apparently exactly the same drive train as it too has a top speed of 64mph and a 151mi range, with a smaller, lighter battery. I can't fault the make's production level but the tech is hmm
139. You cannot, however, fault the speed of the Concept_One - a supercar from Croatia, it hit 60mph in 2.6 seconds in 2016. Only eight have ever been made and sold but in theory it is the fastest production EV and makers Rimac are continuing with a C_Two.
140. Also extremely nippy is the NIO EP9. Since it has the advantage of, unlike Tesla, not being built like a tank this has broken multiple lap records (including a briefly held Nordschliefe title) and is generally regarded as *the* electric hypercar.
141. At the whole other end of things, Takeoka Jidosha Kogei's 2010 T10 "eco-beagle," which is a handmade, ultra-green microcar with only room for one plus a (small, I assume) pet
142. I no longer know my own thought process here but here's the Drayson/Lola B12/69EV which sounds like a vitamin complex but was a one-off 852bhp electric hillclimber/race car using a Lola chassis and a Cosworth power train.
143. I did not expect there to be photos of these - like the 19 Dodges turned electric, this was another 1981 Jet project to electrify Ford Escorts:
144. Delivery vans for use in towns and urban areas used to be electric - this is a Victor, a popular 1930s UK model that weighed, as the caption notes, two entire tonnes. (as much as a Tesla)
145. Faintly obsessed with the need to write ELECTRICITY on these, not gonna lie. This is a MetroVick, also 1930s.
146. The advantage was that they were easy to start and stop - remember starting early ICE vehicles was a total fiasco, so would eat into any delivery round. Here's one that did 46 years of service in Boston (on original batteries! see: reliable)
147. The obvious advantage now - especially in comparison to high-emissions diesel - is that electric vans do not produce unbreathable air while doing their urban rounds. So they're having a revival, like these UPS vans (150mi range) made by Arrival for London and Paris usage:
148. Sadly this is the closest you can get to something with ELECTRICTY emblazoned over it. Come on, designers. This is the VW E-crafter, developed to rival the Nissan NV200 which otherwise has the electric van market sewn up.
149. This isn't a vehicle but here are some EV charging points for public use from... 1910!
150. Let's talk about buses. Buses have been electric since forever, pretty much but most of them were like this one - in Penang, Malaysia in the 1960s - in that they didn't have batteries but ran off wires. A bit like rail-less trams, basically.
151. But now we have actual battery electric buses like this cool Scania one which is intended for suburban use and has a top speed of 70mph.
152. In 2005 Greg Coleman bought a notoriously terrible Yugoslavian car (the Yugo) and converted it to be electric at a cost of under $800 all in. It only has 5bhp but that is a cheap as hell EV.
153. Also from the Balkans, Elvis Cero - a Bosnian inventor - made this folding electric vehicle that's so lightweight you can carry it easily. A sort of Brompton-like commuter solution, it's so light it can carry on for five hours on its small battery.
154. The Balkans most southern cousin, Albania is one a small number of countries whose electricity is 100% from renewable resources - I really want to go there to do a project on EV usage as despite economic issues, Tirana have really pushed EVs for public transport, police, etc
155. Two years ago the Pehlivan Elektrak, the first Turkish-produced EV went on a tour of the Balkans (it was a concept built by a university but on the basis of design for production) and then sort of went quiet(er) for a bit.
156. You may remember the kerfuffle about the Saab 9-3 designs that Turkey bought to be the national car from earlier up thread? I hadn't actually ever looked into what happened after that but it turns out it's going to production in 2019 as the TM-480
157. Another tale of international cooperation - Ukraine has one of the highest percentages of EV take up in the world, which is bizarre when you think about anything else you know about Ukraine - and some Ukrainians built this EV taxi for... Monaco:
158. Honda have had a tricky relationship to EVs. On the one hand, the company has sincere environmental values, on the other hand, they're spending on the F1 hybrid R&D. Fortunately MGU-K translates well so they're relaunching the small, Fit EV with a range of 186mi.
159. Back to Ukraine, this is Electra 2. It's a totally handmade EV made by a 75-year-old inventor in Kyiv called Mihalich but unfortunately literally everything about it, including several videos in English, don't say what the rest of his name is. Argh!
160. Ukraine actually has a large home conversion community - and recently awarded prizes for some really exceptional homebuilds like Dmitry here who designed and built an alternating current powertrain entirely from scratch. See the rest here: electroavtosam.com.ua/2018/11/pobedi…
161. As far as I can tell (my Ukrainian is not so great so I end up blundering through reading things essentially in Russian and getting confused, sorry) the only production EV in Ukraine is the BIO-Auto but there are a lot of them, including 200 taxis in Kyiv:
162. YES I WILL TWEET THE SOVIET ELECTRIC CAR NOW. Here is the AutoVAZ Electro, a city car designed in 1980 that most of the models of ended up in Ukraine. It was not powerful and the range was dreadful but you are entirely right in thinking I obvious want one:
163. This just popped up in my feed and I'm including it for the brashness of that quote alone:
163. Right so an all-EV Chinese supercar racing series has been announced today - e-racing365.com/other-series/c… so let's look at some Chinese EV supercars. Here's the Arcfox-7 which is allegedly inspired by Formula E cars. 603bhp, 0-60 in under 3 seconds:
164. Remember Detroit Electric, of black-and-white photos further upthread fame? They also have a supercar, the SP.01 - unfortunately if you google it you will only find articles announcing it REALLY IS going to production "this time" but no actual produced cars. :(
165. An electric car that got unveiled at an F1 test but has no other F1 connection so everyone ignored it. Applus+ Idiada's Volar-e. It's a Concept One imitator, intended to be the pride of Catalunya but despite being unveiled in 2013 I don't think it's gone to factory.
166. ALSO unveiled in 2013 (rebooted from a 2011 launch) the Exagon Furtive eGT seems to have similarly floundered. The problem is: do people actually want supercars or do they want a Leaf? Probably a Leaf. (also Furtive makes it sound like it'll touch your boob in the cinema)
167. Another thing car companies are curiously convinced you must want, really, are cars that would be driven by the villain businessman in a dystopia about plucky, rebellious teens. Here's the Chinese-built Zinoro 1e which is "based on" a BMW X1:
168. The Lightning GT. Sort of meant to be a British Tesla, it's made in London by the sort of bespoke outfit more like Venturi in terms of customer base. It does 0-60 in less than 4s and is going to production next year. But aren't we all. It draws heavily on Bond:
169. At the other end of Britishness, here is the Stevens ZeCar, which was "the only five-seater electric vehicle in 2008" - they are sturdily reliable and well reviewed and have an aesthetic it is difficult to get sweaty about but impossible not to be charmed by:
170. They also make ZeVan at their Porth Talbot factory. To my knowledge they are the largest Welsh EV maker 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿
171. Looking at the ZeCar you might be thinking "not a lot of space for the power train" - because it's not needed. Space is a huge advantage in EVs, which is how Nissan Leafs are converted to being electric hearses for a silent final journey by @ElectricBrahms:
172. Space is at a particular premium in the Commuter Cars (remember those guys?) Tango, a single-seater that would seem to have been somewhat ambitiously fitted with a race seat, here except this little monster does 0-60 in 3 seconds. Breathe in.
173. Norway is one of the biggest markets for EVs but not really a traditionally car-producing nation itself. This is the Buddy, which is cute but dear god it can have a range as small as 20km on a single charge. 😬 On the plus side, charging the 10kWh battery only takes... 8hrs.
174. The Buddy is actually an upgrade on predecessor the Kewet, which boasted amongst other things a huge 13kWs of juice to the drive train. Posting these because it can't all be supercars - and this was where a lot of the tech was for the whole C20th. (this is the Model 5)
175. Not so for cute commuter the Zacua, a Mexican EV. I definitely saw a few of these running around Mexico City when I was there for the Formula E. Top speed is capped at a city-suitable 85km/h and the car has a 115km range.
176. You know where's really getting into electric vehicle manufacture? Uzbekistan. ICE imported cars face 70% customs charge, which is totally dropped for EVs and the isolationist country also has a deal with China's Changan to start producing these utilitarian taxi-used EVs:
177. South Korean Rooper-Taikom also intends to produce cars in the country. Uzbekistan is economically in trouble and politically isolated but South Asian investment in Central Asian and Caucasus green tech is major. Resource-rich Uzbek manufacturer could boom with EVs.
178. Iran is also getting in on things. Here's a concept electric SAIPA sedan, developed for production - which, like so many things, it goes to next year but with decent credibility given SAIPA are the second-largest manufacturer in Iran and also have EV previous:
179. To the best of my knowledge, SAIPA did the manufacture behind this - it was developed by the Islamic University of Qazvin and there's quite a few of them, I think it's called the Avita and it's a Low Speed Electric Vehicle but we all start somewhere.
180. The same university also developed the Parax, which is more of a small car than a personal/commuter vehicle. What's unfortunate is that, while a lot of Iran's industry won't be affected by recent sanctions, this R&D probably will, with the challenge of building factories.
(one of the many reasons sanctions are not progressive, as an international political tool, is that as well as reinforcing existing regimes through isolation, they tend to knock transformative things on the head while old, non-innovative stuff trundles on - from tech to art, etc)
181. Anyway, back to something lighter. Much lighter, in fact. For some reason someone thought it would be a good idea to make an electric Lexus out of cardboard. Does it go fast? They'd admit it if it did so I imagine it's got about 2bhp. It's called the origami car.
182. Bit like this Lego Bugatti Chiron, which they keep mumbling about having an engine but it's actually a load of Technik motors, ie: electric. 5.3bhp, theoretically but it does work.
183. That's all very nice. But while we're building EVs out of unusual materials how about a Chinese homebuild with a fairly impressive (for a garage creation) 30mph top speed - and err, working missile launchers? Made by Liu Fulong, who is not to be fucked with, clearly.
164. Ok, if you follow Formula E there's no way you haven't heard of Mahindra; here's their e20. With a range of 120 miles and a top speed of 81mph, it's relatively modest - and sold badly in the UK. But it's popular with EV fans in mountainous Nepal
It had some cool early concepts including roof-mounted solar panels. The company that made it, Mahindra REVA, worked directly with the Formula E team. (the e20 is not new! It's a 2015 car)
165. Here's a Mongolian electric vehicle called the Salvo. It won a prize for innovation at the Ulaanbaatar vehicle showcase because it has "self charging" - ie regenerative recovery.
166. While I'm talking about Mongolia, it would be remiss not to mention that an off-road Nissan Leaf completed the gruelling 9,000+ mile Mongol Rally - @pluginadventure have never even HEARD of range anxiety:
167. We all know Pechito has made Formula E popular in Argentina but there weren't EVs available in the country without specialist import until a year ago. Here's Chinese-made Baic EX 260, with 72bhp and a range of 250km
168. Skoda are all Paloma Faith adverts and decent safety records now but let's rewind to 1987 when they debuted the Favorit, a fairly embarrassing footnote in EV history. It had a top speed of 50mph, which also happened to be it's range. It looks... real bad. Hard want one.
169. Strongly tweeting this for its livery commitment to a certain popular F1 YouTube channel but also because believe it or not, with under 1000 sales in 2006 this was the best selling electric car EVER (at the time) - it is the REVA G-Wiz which certainly has an aesthetic.
170. Back to range anxiety; NOT AN ISSUE for this 1909 Baker Roadster, which Emil Gruenfeldt drove 160 miles on a single charge.
171. Here is the Rauch & Lang electric Victoria, which is a rather fabulously elegant turn-of-the-century vehicle. Rauch and Lang had generally brilliant adverts:
172. This properly delighted me when I found it. You know what a trolleybus is, right? Buses powered by overhead electric wires. Great stuff. WHAT IF, though, it was in fact a trolleyboat? Perfect for travelling canals, replacing horse-drawn boats.
173. Electric boats actually have a long history - and it's pretty brilliant. Like a 10-oared electric shallop (no propellers yet so motors literally 'rowed' the boat) commissioned by Tsar Nicolas II in 1834. There are no photos but here's a diagram of its motors:
It is a REALLY interesting vehicle in the history of battery development. When it was first tried, battery fluids using an electrolyte flow method created hideous, noxious fumes that trashed its cruise. The following year, a Ni battery fixed the problem - high-density is born.
174. Ok this is a battery but whatever, it was used in vehicles; developed by Gustav Trouve for powering boats, his bichromate battery - presented to the French academy of science in 1881 - could power a boat for 7-8 hours. Look at this thing:
175. Speaking of batteries, swapping them as a way of recharging has never really caught on. But here's a proposal for Tunisian battery swapping - using the 250 sunny days the country has to solar-power the batteries before loading into cars:
176. Here is a MAZ-525 truck converted to run on overhead electricity in Soviet Ukraine, Kharkiv. What an absolutely enormous boy.
177. Trolley trucks were popular across the Soviet Union and before that, Russia. From 1902, here's the first Russian trolleybus, the Freze Trolleycar - named after its creator, Pyotr Freze, who is more famous for designing the first Russian car.
178. This one courtesy @BaronVonClutch - a 1990s Mercedes Benz EV prototype, the W-202 - looking into which has led me to a truly fascinating project on a Baltic island
179. Rugen, the Baltic Sea. Germany's largest island played host to EV research from multiple German manufacturers 1992 to 1996. The cars were not specifically designed EVs but converted ICE cars - and didn't have a huge success. The W-190 also had a go - range 24 miles.
180. This might not look like much but the Th!nk City was, you'll be shocked to know with that name, a turn-of-the-millennium miracle. It was, in the early 2000s, a competitor to the Tesla Roadster as one of only a handful of EVs. It err, isn't now.
181. French energy giant EDF did an experiment in La Rochelle, France, in the 1990s where it gave 2000 EVs to people. They loved them but didn't want to buy them; the solution, 25 years later: essentially Boris Bikes for electric cars at 13 Yélomobile stations around town.
182. I just find this 1940 electric train, currently in a Scottish transport museum, extremely charming It was built by the English Electric Co in Preston:
183. I really like when EVs solve problems that exist - like needing to charge regularly - rather than problems that don't (like 'they don't fly') - this is a ride-on "land train" for a theme par in Seoul. It's not on rails - but the blue line contains magnetic charge strips.
184. The magnetic strip technology is contactless and safe - and specifically Korean. There are lots of these OLEVs (On-Line Electric Vehicles) that do the same job - not sure what we have to call the aesthetic on this one, greenpunk?
185. Sometimes I find myself on Alibaba, typing "electric street sweeper" in and realising they have an entire section for it. Then seeing this and wondering exactly what problems are being solved and simultaneously created by giving a street sweeper 68bhp.
186. This is a diagram, yes. But it is a diagram of how to build a functioning electric car, from Horseless Vehicles, Automobiles and Motorcycles, written in 1901 and available in full here - including the chapter on how to built your own electric vehicle:
Whoops sorry forgot the link - it's here: archive.org/stream/horsele…
187. A South African mining trolley truck at Palabora, 1980s - the whole 75 truck fleet had a 170 tonne capacity
188. The Airbus E-Fan, which has done a manned flight over the English Channel. It has space for two people and opts for the removable battery version of charging:
189. The OSCar eO - which has completed Dakar. It's a Latvian build and this one is obviously ultra-rugged; the temperatures alone at Dakar would challenge most electric vehicles.
190. OSCar also make the PP range (this is a PP02) which is based on a Tesla chassis but heavily modified with a custom drivetrain to make it suitable for hillclimb. This one contested Pike's Peak:
191. French Polynesia, one of the most remote countries and also the most threatened by rising sea levels, on its 118 low-lying Pacific islands, took delivery of its first all-electric bus last year which will serve the streets of Bora-Bora
192. This isn't a new vehicle (most of them are Leaf) but this is a protest for public charging points in Vladivostok, eastern Russia (it's just by Korea) where there are a disproportionately high number of EV drivers and yet no infrastructure.
192. I think this has, sadly, not quite happened. Maybe not sadly. It's the Varsovia REx, which is a Polish concept that instead of a passenger seat had a mobile office built into itself. Allegedly. (it was announced in 2016 and crickets since)
193. Mahindra and TATA are making EVs now but India's first electric car was the 1993 Eddy Current Control Lovebird, which is a superb name for this little two-seater. With a range of 60km, it was standard for the 90s and you can still get one today:
194. The Tazzari Zero Opensky, which for reasons I cannot avoid reading in a comedy Russian way and so although Tazzari are comfortably the most successful EV manufacturer in Italy and this is their 10th car, I am reduced to childish laughter.
195. The Aquila TE-A6.F, which is a sort of novelty classic-styled err... well, it's a golf cart, basically, made just outside Chennai. Aquila do all kinds of specialised adaptations including ambulances and although they look flimsy, they're built for hardwearing efficiency.
196. The Toroidion 1MW - if you want a hypercard with an alleged 1,300+ bhp then this is the one. Or maybe not as although several concepts exist I'm not 100% sure any have been sold since it was announced a few years ago. What's certain is this Finnish badboy isn't cheap:
197. Greek-Chinese creation the Ecocar. It's the first Greek EV but with a massive 7.5kW powertrain is not going anywhere at high speed; Ecosun, its Greek parent, are actually renewable energy specialists more than car manufacturers & this is their first city car
198. Kicking today off with a big boy. EVs are often derided for being quiet - but when might that be good? Oh yes, when you're in a honking great US military humvee, like this Chevy Colorado ZH2 they've been testing out:
People often think that hydrogen fuel cells - which this uses - are in opposition to EVs. In fact they *are* EVs, just using hydrogen to store the energy for the drive train rather than a battery. Hydrogen isn't combusted, it's a different chemical reaction (making H2O not CO2!)
Anyway, 199. Here is Leo Motors' E-Sport car, which is a Korean-made hypercard. In theory it was announced in 2011, when a 120kW output and 300km range was a bit *exploding brain* but way more so is their battery plan model, which yep - it's swapping.
Leo's business plan with the (mostly, non-supercar scooters) EVs they sell is that you don't buy a battery, you buy a lifelong lease of swapped, charged batteries. I don't know if this has succeeded.

But I do know that their autonomous driving system's name is not debunking AI.
200. Been thinking about what to put for this slot for ages. Because after 200 interesting electric vehicles that I can think of things to say about - or that might surprise you or that show the breadth and depth of EV application, it feels important to have something good.
Not least because I know the original tweet is at many more hundreds of likes now - which is amazing and brilliant. I hope the thread has shown people stuff they didn't know about or at least given you a good laugh at some of the more bizarre marketing.
I think to go much beyond 200 I will probably have to start pushing the edges of my own knowledge - which I'm happy to do but might make it less interesting to read. There are thousands and thousands of knockoff Smart cars but they don't make good copy.
I haven't even scratched the surface of old EVs - neither the 1800s and turn of the century US carriages, nor snappy little guys like this French Breguet sports three-wheeler EV from the 1940s, found undisturbed near Le Mans in 2012 (it's so cute, I can't bear it)
(that's not car 200)
Or EVs from beyond Silicon Valley or Germany or the white, Western image of a smug guy in a Steve Jobs sweater they have. Like this, a 100% Moroccan-built EV by Imad Morchid, a then-25 yo engineer who worked pretty much alone on it to launch it at COP22, back in 2016. 320kph!
(that's still not car 200)
I think after 200 I have kind of made my point. EVs have a big history - and the move away from them was conscious, the market reasons around the promotion of petrol were weird and gender-based and EVs kept coming back at ever fuel crisis, then fizzling out again.
The reality is petrol cars have been fashionable. Their trappings - from the roar and vibration of something literally exploding to the idea you should be able to empty a 400 mile tank twice in a row without taking 45 minutes rest - are central but unnecessary to car culture.
But EVs are neither new nor an impossible frontier. They're weird, they're classic, they're interesting, they're cool, they're deeply naff and marketed like a bluetooth fridge, they're chugging along with mining and getting your nan to the shops and back.
In that spirit here is entry 200; the Kiira Motor Company's Kayoola Solar Bus. Designed and made in Uganda, KMC are a green mobility solution company. The Kayoola fast-charges in 90 minutes - and charges on the go with roof-mounted solar panels, as well as regen braking.
The Kayoola uses two separate battery packs to allow one to charge and one to discharge at any given time - so that the thermal stress batteries undergo is massively reduced. Buses are perfect for this, with a wide chassis capable of allowing the space. kiiramotors.com/new/wp-content…
I'll probably add to this thread when I find things I want to talk about. I definitely want to pitch a book - it just depends on getting an agent and funding, etc.

For now, here's a moment of the whole thing (so far) - hope you enjoyed it as much as me: twitter.com/i/moments/1081…
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