Pininfarina Designs Electric Car Future

Dec. 31, 2007: Source – Reuters

Lexus GS450h

Miles XS500, a practical and affordable electric car sedan designed by Pininfarina.

Legendary Italian car design house Pininfarina is getting into the electric car business. The company, best known for sports car designs for Ferrari and Maserati, signed a 50/50 partnership with Groupe Bolloré of France to build a four-seat electric car to be marketed using the Pininfarina brand name.

Pininfarina says the as-yet-unnamed car will go from zero to 31 mph in 4.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 80 mph. The company hopes to have a car on the market by 2010 and is targeting sales numbers of 15,000 a year in markets including Europe, Japan and the United States. Pininfarina will focus marketing efforts on leasing the cars, at a monthly cost of about $730. Drawings of the Pininfarina EV have not yet been released, but Pininfarina’s design heritage and the relatively high price tag conjure up images of luxury and style.

On a more practical note for EV shoppers, Pininfarina also recently provided the design for the Miles XS500 electric four-door sedan— which promises to be a more affordable mass-produced vehicle. The style of the XS500 is decidedly dressed down, showing little of the design cues from Pininfarina’s signature work. According to Miles Electric Vehicles, the Miles XS500 can travel at a maximum speed of 80 miles per hour, and achieve a range of more than 120 miles. The company plans to offer the vehicle for approximately $30,000, with production targets of 38,000 units in 2010 and approximately 100,000 units in 2011.


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