The whole story begins with Professor Hiroshi Shimizu of Keio University in Japan. For recall, the father of the famous Eliica, this bizarre electric car showed up a few years ago. This man who has over 30 years of experience in the field of electric cars (he has built no less than eight working prototypes) takes the lead of the conglomerate SIM-DRIVE just launched in August 20. The purpose of this company is the commercial development of a new revolutionary propulsion system. So instead of having a central engine that provides powers the car, SIM-DRIVE provides an engine for each wheel. According to Professor Shimizu, the system ‘can halve the energy required’.
Using this new system of motorized wheels, SIM-DRIVE aims to make an economical car (Luciole – Firefly) which provides a range of 300 km. Professor Shimizu even claims:
“I am confident that with the technology we’ve developed, it will be possible to develop a car which, mass produced, will cost less than 1.5 million yen. ”
With the current exchange rates, 1.5 million yen represents about 11 000 euros. But the car battery is not included in that price. For now, SIM-DRIVE has planned to release a prototype by the end of the year and thinks to achieve a production of 100 000 units by 2013.
Regarding the specifications of this electric car, SIM-DRIVE announces that it will have a range of 300km on a single charge. For the model to be marketed to the general public, rumors are stating that the car could be a compact 5-seater.
SIM-DRIVE has also announced that its project is open source!, As the goal is to improve the technology of electric cars. Thus, the technology developed in this project is freely available to all interested manufacturers. SIM-DRIVE only asks some financial assistance for the ongoing research on this project.
In addition to its electric car project SIM-DRIVE, also has in mind to develop a method to convert cars with internal combustion engine into electric cars.