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OBVIO! to Introduce Electric Cars to North America (updated)

The 828.

Brazilian automotive company OBVIO! will develop and introduce lithium-ion-powered electric cars based on its 828 and 012 microsport car designs (earlier post) for export to North America.

OBVIO! has a strategic partnership with California automobile distributor ZAP, which has agreed to be the exclusive North American distributor and has pre-purchased 50,000 OBVIO! units.

The initial versions of the 828 and 012 car designs will be flex-fueled, and will go into production in 2007. The 828E and 012E equipped with electric drive systems will not be far behind, according to OBVIO! President Ricardo Machado.

It is clear to me that electricity has a big future in the auto industry. OBVIO !’s business model of 100 percent outsourced supplier relationships allows for the speed and flexibility to incorporate a new drive system powered by electricity by our second model year.

—Ricardo Machado

The preliminary specifications for the OBVIO! electric cars include a range of 200 to 240 miles, with acceleration from 0 to 60 mph of less than 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 120 mph. A 39 kWh lithium-ion battery system will power the 120 kW (160 hp), 220 Nm (162 lb-ft) electric motor.

A full normal recharge will take five hours, with a fast charge taking two hours. A 30-minute quick charge will provide a 20 to 50 mile range.

OBVIO! is also providing a bi-directional vehicle-to-grid (V2G) interface.

Target prices for the 828E and 012E are $49,000 and $59,000 respectively.



Well, that's less than a Tesla and with a similar range.


I don't get it, is it an electric car, or a combustion engine? It says electric, but then it says things like "car designs will be flex-fueled" which means it can run on ethanol/biodiesel, right?


Ok sorry, ignore that, I understand.


Mike, can you tell us if they are doing the 18650 lithium-ion trick to get that range?


Yea, and next their offering will be flying submarine.


Now they just need to make in not ugly. Other than that it seems pretty good.

shaun mann

at $15-17K for a cool, quick, E100-compatible runabout, it is a good idea.

at $50k and with a psychologically limited range, i think it will be a much harder sell.

i look forward to seeing the petrol 828 around, though. it is pretty hot.


It'll be tough to convince government and local businesses that the extra price up front will be worth it. It really would be a great car for business that requires jetting around town all day, but it seems price prohibitive at this point.

Mark A

Too pricey for a commuter type vehicle. For $59000, I will drive my $700 gas hog 1977 13mpg Chevy truck, and spend the rest of the money on $3.50 gallon gas going 216,543 miles. Thats 8662 days for me, or, almost 24 years!

Otherwise, its a cute car. I would drive it in a heartbeat, but not in that color! How much is the gas version selling for? If its anything more than $8000-9000, then its too high.

Also, I dont understand how ".....100 percent outsourced supplier relationships....." allows for the speed and flexibility " incorporate a new drive system powered by electricity....."?? Seems to me as a outsourcing bottleneck for sure!


ZAP ordered 50,000 of these and expects to sell them at $50K-$60K - I don't think so. At that price the market would be really small, maybe 1,000 a year.


$50K ?????

Not a chance they sell more than 200 at that price.


0-60 in 4.5seconds? That is very impressive. Probably does the quarter mile in the mid to low 14 second range. Coupled with a 200mile would be great in a sports car facia but how well does it handle?

Mark, comparing your old used truck to a new car is worthless. You would have to compare a new car to this and you would still find yourself saving money going with a gas car. In fact, if you compared your truck to any new car you can see that you will never save any money regardless of what vehicle you buy; so I guess you should never buy a new vehicle ever again if that is your sole impetus. Saving money is not the point of a vehicle such as this though.

shaun mann

ZAP pre-ordered 50,000 of the petrol version, which is obviously considerably cheaper.

shaun mann

the real impact of the obvio! car brand, though, is it's potential impact on the american vernacular. since i first read about the company, i haven't said "obviously." "obvio" is just so much cooler and everyone immediately knows what it means.


That's a much greater range compared to a Tango, much cheaper and my guess is that it takes two compared to one person (although they don't exactly say). There will be quite a few well off people that will go for this which is just what we need to get this ball rolling. Finally EVs are starting to reach the market and their performance is getting much, much better. Great!


What's different from October 2005? Have the 60 Minutes researchers gotten around to ZAP yet?

John W.

Very impressive performance figures! The range is good. It needs a tiny genset somewhere that you can take out for daily use, but put back in for longer drives.

You guys that say how much you can drive still on your gas trucks/cars for the same price difference keep forgetting to factor in the considerable upkeep/maintenance costs to keep them running (plus environmental costs, etc, etc). Factor maintenance/upkeep in with your old 1977 domestic truck and I guarantee you won't get anywhere near 216 543 extra miles on the same price. (besides, you're assuming gas won't rise above 3.50, which likely won't happen in the next 24 years!!--even if it rises to 5.00 you are fubar with a vehicle like that!) :)

This car (except for the battery, which is very expensive likely) will not need the majority of upkeep a standard car will: motor is the largest and possibly only moving part (with possible exception of electric A/C & steering pump, etc): the rest is mostly solid state electronic control equipment that, that if made right, could and should last for many many years. But it depends on quality of build: now-adays, everything seems to be cheaply made of plastic, so this could break more than expected too. And if the batteries don't give long life, well, you're fubar then too...


When they do come out with the EV version, I hope they come out with more than one model. I could do with half the range, half the acceleration, half the top speed and half the price.


At their website they quote $49K.


whoops, that is the correct quoted price from above.


On the topic of electric cars, Tesla unveiled today its electric roadster. Very exciting. No pricing yet.


I don't get why the Tesla won't be sold outside the USA. It's made in the UK and London has loads of millionairs.


According to a Wired Magazine article, Telsa is looking at pricing around $80k. There are also plans for a sedan in the future (2008), with the owners operating on the assumption the technology curve will bring down costs and price.

I could see Jay Leno and many other Hollywood and tech types buying this at $80k. I think more people who could afford it would be candidates for the Telsa than the Obvio at $49k. I also believe they are right about the technology curve. I don't know whether Telsa can build a viable competitive auto company on this technology, as the majors will storm the field when the concept has been proven and market developed.


Maybe ... Tesla doesn't have size on its side ... on the other hand it doesn't have any baggage either. The U.S. is due for a new car company with some new ideas (and fewer bean counters).


WOW 59K.. Thats way more than a Hybridtechnologies
Maybe if they can finish this
the cost will come down?


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