13.9.2011 Vauxhall reveals 'RAK e' at Frankfurt
Vauxhall have unveiled their new concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which is expected to revolutionise emission-free urban transport, especially for younger drivers.
The RAK e concept will open a new chapter for Vauxhall's electric mobility plans – the focus of the concept concentrates on minimal energy costs and weight – and is particularly aimed at young teenage drivers.
The all-electric RAK e has true production potential, zero tailpipe emissions, a 60 mile range and a 75 mph top speed. At 380 kgs, it also weighs around one third of a conventional small car and has been designed to be especially affordable so that it will appeal to young drivers. Rumours are that Vauxhall will expect to sell the RAK e for no more than £8,000 or £9,000, which will make the model particularly appealing, considering its specification.
"We want to develop electric vehicles that everyone can afford," said Karl-Friedrich Stracke, Vauxhall CEO. "The range-extending concept of the Ampera demonstrates our leadership in electrification of the car. The RAK e aims to deliver pricing that even younger customers can afford. It also has cool looks and production potential. In future, efficiency will be measured in money-terms, not litres per 100 kms."
The lightweight RAK e is based on a steel spaceframe beneath a body formed from a conventional synthetic material, which is fully recyclable. This allows a high level of safety combined with affordable pricing, which would not necessarily be the case had a more expensive composite material been used.
The RAK e's development objectives – low mass, optimum efficiency and maximum simplicity – are packaged to appeal to a young and eco/technology-savvy audience, to whom the cool looks of an electric vehicle are as important as its energy consumption.
At around three metres long and 119cm high, the RAK e offers zero-emissions driving with minimal running costs. After charging the battery for three hours, the car has a range of up to 60 miles, thanks to a combination of low weight, a small frontal area, low rolling resistance tyres and efficient electric propulsion. Energy consumption per person is ten times lower than that of a typical small car.
Inside, the cockpit features displays showing the battery's state of charge, the nearest charging station, as well as infotainment equipment and a heating/cooling system.
Weighing just 380 kgs, the RAK e is one third the weight of a small modern car. The turning circle is 5.5 metres, making it agile and wieldy in towns and cities. But with a top speed of around 75 mph and a 0-60 mph time of less than 13 seconds, the car can still be used comfortably on motorways and main roads.
Thanks to the RAK e's light weight, very little energy is needed for the car to perform well. Peak power is 49 PS, with at least 14 PS being constantly available, while a 5 kWh battery capacity ensures up to 60 miles of range. Based on an average annual 6,200 miles, the RAK e's energy consumption would be a modest 525 kWh, which could even be supplied by a five square metre, 500-Watt solar panel mounted on the garage roof!
The revealing of the RAK e at Frankfurt will be its world premier – the all-new Zafira Tourer and the Astra GTC will also premier at the show and will be available to order in the UK before the end of the year. Complimenting this trio of premieres will be the revised Insignia, the production-ready Ampera and five new Vauxhall ecoFLEX models, all which emit between 94 and 120 gCO2/km.
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