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Venturi Introduces Solar- or Wind-Charged Electric Vehicle

The Venturi Eclectic. Click to enlarge.

Venturi, the French manufacturers of the Fetish electric sports car, have introduced a low-speed electric vehicle that can be recharged via roof-mounted solar panels or with a personal wind turbine.

The Venturi Eclectic seats three, and features a 16 kW electric motor that develops 50 Nm (37 lb-ft) of torque. Top speed is 50 kph (31 mph) and it has a range of 50 km (31 miles) on its NiMH batteries.

The 7 kWh battery pack is liquid-cooled, weighs 108 kg and has a projected life span of 2,500 cycles.

Venturi Eclectic with wind turbine. Click to enlarge.

There are four sources of charging for the Eclectic: regenerative braking; grid charge (5 hours with an onboard charger using a standard 16A plug); photovoltaic cells on the roof; or a personal wind turbine.

The Eclectic has 2.5 m2 of photovoltaic cells (yield 14%). The share of solar recharging is approximately 7 km per day of exposure. The optional wind turbine, which can be mounted on the roof or on a standalone mast, can contribute 15 km/day.

Venturi has begun the production of 20 pre-series vehicles has commenced. A limited version of 200 vehicles with specific equipment will be launched in June 2007 at a price of €24,000 (US$30,500) plus VAT, excluding State subsidies of €2,000 (US$2,500). A single-seater version will also be produced.

The company may increase production in 2009 and offer a lower base price of €15,000 (US$19,000) plus VAT (excluding subsidies).



Now that looks like fun. I hope this golf cart on steroids finds a niche market. Looks like it could use about double the torque if its going to take three people up a hill. The turbine and solar panel are cute. Could be used to take kids to school/lessons/sports and do local shopping. Not exactly a Tesla but then the price is under 100k.


Doesn't really make sense to power it directly on the vehicle. Better to have a stationary source and power from there.


I wonder if it would power it up extra quick if you drove around town with the "personal wind turbine" on the roof :P


One would be better off with a bicycle.


Bicycle would be better for personal transport except when you have small children or a pregnant female (then again walking would be best in those two cases unless the distance is excessive...and excessive changes for each person).


OK, but why hasn't anybody mentioned to aerodynamics of a brick on an environmentally friendly product? Looks great though. I believe the wind turbine looks like a 600w capacity. They mentioned you could mount on the car or polemounted why not both for +30km/day with solar to 37km Martha's Vineyard or some island setup. If you could afford a house there this would be perfect. Bring your own renewable source with you! While your busy sleeping it's busy recharging. Now put that on an enhanced range Prius PHEV :-)


At least this runs on self renewed energy. A bicycle would be tougher to run as you have to propel it yourself and you can't carry as much stuff or people. This would be introduced as a NEV if anything. Good job.



Good aerodynamics are not too important at 31mph.


This has got to be the ugliest vehicle I've ever seen.


i find this a total cool 'car' perfect to go to work. 50 km is a lot faster than a bike and i stay dry.

that there is a solar on the roof is good because you can charge on the road or anywhere otherwise you realy have to stop and charge for 5 hours.

anyway i have to make an outlet in my parkinglot and save a lot of mony. or wait till 2009


I think it kinda cute. Looks like a robot in one of my kids' movies.


A bit wacky. Better just to leave out the turbine (or mount it up high at home or in work - or use it as a plug in. You won;t stay dry at 30mph however, and any wind might be inclined to pick it up a bit.
A bike, while slower and able to carry 1 person only, is much smaller and can go lots of places where a 4 wheeler can't - like between lanes of traffic and up curbs.
It is a pity solar cells are so inefficient, as you could build a nice vehicle of they were.

I think the key thing is to develop a market for these neighbourhood area vehicles - as they would be good for bringing the kids to school, shopping, short range things.

The trick is to build a vehicle which people are proud to use and which does not look like some poor loser's car. The technology is there (as this car shows) - the marketing has yet to come.

Harvey D.

It looks almost as good as a doorless Pontiac Aztec.

The roof could be made much smaller with 4- direction roll out solar panels, doubling the PV area or more while in the outside parking place.

Eventually, with a roll out solar panel covering the normal parking space (about 20 M2) you should be able to get enough free power for the return trip home (up to 40 Km on sunny days).

Tony Belding

The style reminds me oddly of the early electric cars from 100 years ago, like the Detroit Electric or the Waverly. I guess it fills a similar purpose as a NEV. But at least the cars 100 years ago had doors and enclosed cabins.


Am I the only one bothered by the idea of spending $30,000 on a golf cart? Why not add your own solarcells to a golf cart and save a few grand.

$30k for a car with no; doors, seat belts, windshield wipers, radio... a top speed of 31 mph and a max range of 30 mi.

Which is a better deal?
$30k for a golf cart that can go < 5 mi per day off of "free" solar power. If that is 5 mi you do not drive your car you might be saving (5 mi/25 mpg) = .2 gallons of gasoline. (6 gal per month)

or $30,000 worth of solar pannels for your house
that could offset 100+ lbs of coal being burned at a power plant.

1kw system expanded with 6 additional 160watt pannels, assume 5 hr of light per day at rated capacity 30 days per month

(1000 + (160 *6)watts)(5 hr)/1000 * 30 days = 294 Kwh
= 1003128 btu = .04384801 metric tons = ~ 100 lbs of coal



If you want to do solar, solar water heating is a much better bet than photovoltaic, so just buy the golf cart, install the water heater and pocket the remainder. Add a wind turbine if you really want to generate your own power - PV is a "dinner party" green token.

+ a bike will keep you fit(ter) than a 4 wheeler.


Ideal for a yacht.


A bike is in a whole other categetory than an NEV. I can't pack my 81 year old mother-in-law arround on a bycicle. (as much as I would like to try). 30k does sound like rather a lot concidering my E-motorscooter can carry two people 200km at 50kph for 6K (Canadian). This thing should cost half their listed price.


Hey guys this vehicle looks cute. Looks like a nice choice if you have a huge garden or staying in a small town.

Wait, the tiny little wind turbine generates twice the range of 2.5 m2 of solar roof?

shaun mann

yeah, definitely lose the solar panel and wind turbine. they are gimmicks at best and just increase the price without improving performance significantly.

and what is up with using NiMh batteries for 7.5 kWh? may as well use lead acids.

with these modifications, you could sell it for half the current price without changing the performance.


I can imagine to drive a solar powered car one day. Hope that day is sooner than later. This concept, however, needs to be refined.


7 km from solar and 15 km from wind, 22 km per day is well within the commuting distance for a lot of people.

Shaun Williams

Peter Perkins has converted a Bedford to electric in the UK which can use solar and wind to charge, he's had good success with it;



Mahonj, it looks like AirX or MarimeX turbines. So yes a yacht, exactly. It is the perfect environment to test these devices the harsh weather and salt air are wear and corrosion nightmares.


I was very impressed untill I got to the $30,000 price. I would not be suprised if the free market could do that job for one fourth the price with some mass production.

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