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Bolloré Brings Road-Ready BlueCar EV to Geneva; Plans to Build More

Bolloré’s Bluecar EV.

The Bolloré Group, through its subsidiary BatScap, brought a road-ready prototype of its BlueCar lithium-ion electric city car to this year’s Geneva Motor Show. The BlueCar made its debut as a concept car at the Geneva show last year. (Earlier post.)

In the year since its introduction as a concept, the BlueCar has logged tests on different tracks to validate its performance specs: a range of around 250 kilometers (155 miles), a top speed of 125 km/h (78 mph), acceleration from 0 to 60 km/h (37 mph) in 6.3 seconds and a six-hour recharge.

The BlueCar is a “a concept-car designed around a battery,” according to the company—a product designed to highlight the potential of the company’s lithium-ion battery technology.

The BlueCar uses a 30 kW electric motor powered by a 28 kWh lithium-ion battery pack positioned at the center of the car under the seats and in front of the rear axle.

The Bolloré Group will build six more BlueCar prototypes in 2006. The company is investing €150 million to build a new production site in Brittany with an eventual planned capacity of 10,000 battery systems a year.

The company thinks it could hit a €20,000 (US$23,800) price-point for the BlueCar with the help of grants of around €2,000 to €3,000.

BlueCar Specifications
Peak Power 50 kW
Constant power 30 kW
Max. torque 170 Nm
Max battery voltage 274V
Min. battery voltage 243V
Battery pack 28 kWh
Battery weight <:240 kg
Full recharge 6 hours
Express recharge A few minutes for 20 km
Max speed 125 km/h
Average range 200–250 km



I hope it works...range is good assuming it holds up under average road speeds and temperature ranges.

I wonder how much the vehicle weighs

Mark A

Everything looked good, until the US price was shown.

Ron Fischer

Shows you how the price of the battery causes the price of an otherwise "much simpler than a regular car" Battery EV to push so high that it can't compete with a Prius at nearly the same price. For comparison the Prius batter is NiMH technology and only about 1.1 KWHr of energy. The Th!nk City had a NiCad pack with about 11 KWHr and 45 mile range. The City's top speed was about 55 mph (with a favorable tailwind ;-).

Ron Fischer

I think the EV-1 battery pack (also NiMH) was about 22 KWHr capacity. The EV-1 was a spectacularly efficient design, especially if you compare it to this car.


The car uses a lithium metal polymer battery, which isn't the same as lithium-ion. Lithium-ion is the common ones used in phones and stuff. Lithium metal polymer batteries holds some promise, but have been a research area for decades. It's nice to finally see some progress in LMPBs.

A link explaining their technology:


This one works for me. Wonder when the release date is.
Perfect replacement for my going to work car.

As far as the EV-1 goes, where is it?



The price is not that high, at least not when you pay European fuel taxes.

That little car would probably cost about 16.000 € if it was an ordinary gasoline vehicle. The EV variety is 23.000 €.

That's a difference of 7000 €.

Let's see how long it would take until the higher investment would pay off.

Let's say you drive 300 km per week, or 15.000 km per year. The little car might use 0.5 litres per 10 km, or 750 litres per year. One litre of petrol cost about 1 € so that is a saving of 750 € in one year.

But then you have to pay for the power needed to propel the car.

This car has an average range of 225 km during which it consume 28 kWh. This equals 0,0357 kWh per km. If you drive 15.000 km per year it will mean a power consumption of 536 kWh. A kWh cost about 0,10 €, for a total cost of about 50 €.

So the total saving is 750-50= 700 € per year.

So it would pay off in 7000/700= 10 years. Since the average car life is 15-20 years it seems like an acceptable deal, and hence an acceptable sales price.

But then we also have the price of capital. Loaning those extra 7000 € will mean you pay more interest rates which add to the price of the EV.


Then there are other costs of ownering a gasoline powered car, such as regular oil changes, tuneups, repairs when things break, etc. My hunch is that a well designed EV would have much lower ongoing maintenance costs, lowering the total yearly cost of ownership further.

The total electricity consumed in recharging the car would be more than you estimate, because some energy taken from the wall outlet is lost as heat during charging. I've heard that 75% is a good estimate of lithium battery recharge-discharge efficiency. Does anyone have any notion of how well the battery technology in this car performes?

Off-peak rates for electricity could save you money though, if you charge at night and your utility has such a rate-plan.

David M

I'm glad to see all-EV designs getting investment but I have to whine: until companies make EVs that don't look like golf carts or "weird" they will not see mass acceptance at least in N.America. This look like a really nice golf cart. Maybe I'm just cranky today.


Actually, I think it looks like a very stylish mini (micro?) van. It definitely doesn't look anything like a golf cart and I would have no problem being seen driving this around Boulder, Colorado. I guess it depends upon where you live.

In any event, bring this on. I would buy it if it really lives up to its advertised specs.

Hampden Wireless

I would be fine with a 90 mile range, especially if it was lighter, and cheaper. I wonder if EV makers will offer differing battery size options.


I think the price of power won't matter that much. I'd worry more about interest rates.

An electric car is a lot like a nuclear power plant. Very high capital costs but the fuel is almost free. So interest rates become vital.


What noone looked at is a car theft for the sake of a new battery bank, how much more will we need to pay in insurance just due to that reason. Its a very difficault problem as
new battery pack is worth more then the rest, I believe vehicle tracking system should become mandatory. Implant tracking system into random battry within a pack so it makes impossible to actually know which battery is emitting a signal and brings police in.


I think EV designs HAVE to be unique to sell. The Prius received much more attention after the redesign. It changed from the ECHO body style to something very different.

As long as it is built with some quality and isnt seen as a throwaway car I think price would be right.


Mark, what are you talking about? A plug-in Prius costs $22,000 + $9,000 = $31,000.

Starvid, thanks for the math!

NBK-Boston: you have to add the cost of replacing the batteries (big $$). Does anyone know how long they'll last?

Bottom line: I'd buy this cutie tomorrow if it was for sale. And I agree with Hampden: less range would be fine with me if it meant a lighter, cheaper car.

With one caveat: what is the temp range? I've seen a plug-in kit with a min of -20C. It's colder than that here,

EM, in the Great White North.

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