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Pininfarina/Bolloré BLUECAR EV Shown at Geneva

The BLUECAR. Click to enlarge.

Pininfarina and Bolloré, which set up a 50-50 joint venture at the beginning of 2008 with the purpose of designing, developing, manufacturing and distributing an electric car, displayed the latest version of the Pininfarina BLUECAR at the Geneva Motor Show on the Véhicules Électriques Pininfarina-Bolloré stand. (Earlier post.)

The prototype shown at Geneva is a forerunner of the vehicle which will go into production in Italy at Pininfarina starting from 2010 with the first units. Production on an industrial scale will take place between 2011 and 2017, with forecast output by 2015 being about 60,000, according to the partners.

The BLUECAR. Click to enlarge.

A compact MPV with automatic transmission, conceived as a four-seater five-door, the Pininfarina BLUECAR is powered by an energy storage system comprising a BatScap (a subsidiary of Bolloré) LMP (Lithium Metal Polymer) battery pack and an array of supercapacitors also produced by Bolloré.

The lithium-metal-polymer cell is a laminate of four ultra-thin materials:

  • A cathode composed of vanadium oxide, carbon and polymer to form a plastic composite.
  • A metallic lithium foil anode that acts as both a lithium source and a current collector.
  • A solid polymeric electrolyte created by dissolving a lithium salt in a solvating co-polymer (polyoxyethylene).
  • An aluminum foil current collector.

To obtain optimal conductivity, temperature of the battery must be maintained between 80 °C and 90 °C, according to BatScap.

The elementary cell element of Lithium Metal Polymer technology is completed by assembling ultra-thin films, with a thickness of a few microns. Films are layered, coiled, then compressed into a prismatic shape with a thickness in the range of 150 µm. Modifying the thickness of the film enables the optimization of performance to meet different application needs. For example, an assembly of thick films enables a high energy configuration, while thinner elements would lead to a high power configuration.

Different components of modules. Click to enlarge.

Elementary cells are used to build cells, which are used to build modules, which are used to build modules. The cell capacity is based on the characteristics and the number of elementary units connected in parallel. Cells are then series-connected in a special packaging to give the module its required voltage.

The 410 V BatScap battery pack has a capacity of 30 kWh, and peak power output of 45 kW. Gravimetric energy density is 100 Wh/kg, and volumetric energy density is 100 Wh/L.

The LMP battery can be recharged at a traditional mains plug and supports a range of 250 km (155 miles). The battery pack is housed below the floorpan and between the two axles. The BLUECAR uses a 50 kW traction motor.

The supercapacitors provide greater power for acceleration, a longer range thanks to the recycling of braking energy, and a longer lifespan for the battery thanks to the smoothing out of sudden power drains.

Part of the car’s hood is covered with solar panels which help power some of its equipment. The Bolloré group is also looking into the design of photovoltaic cell panels to be installed in private or public places to allow partial or total recharging of the batteries through solar energy alone.



Two words...death trap. The design is okay, and it doesn't look g a y like a smart car, but I wouldn't be caught driving one of these death traps in any major US metropolitan area.

Will S

There are those who lust for large gashogs and sneer at anything that bear any resemblance to responsible motoring. They either have vested interests themselves or have an oddly ideological wont for fuel wasters.

There's going to come a point when almost all of the vehicles on the road are going to be highly fuel efficient. Attempts to delay this ignore the highly level of depletion in the worlds' giant and supergiant oil fields.



Death trap? You have no idea what that means in today's world of car design. My first car was a MG midget, my parents drove across Canada in a Austin 1100 and my grandfather had a Morgan three wheeler.

Great fun was had by all and none of us were killed.


Set registration fees based on vehicle weight. $1000 per year should have those buying F250s to tow their boat once a year thinking twice before purchasing.

Willy Bio

ejj...more nuggets of wisdom from this clown.

'tis sad, actually. He wanders about spewing idiocy like that, possibly swaying the unwary. Hopefully Mr. Darwin will rectify things soon. :-/


So to see how good this battery is we first need to know its weight which we can find from 100wh/kg and 30kwh storage.

The Batscap 410v battery weight = 30k/100 = 300kg

So for 300kg you get 30kwh and 45kw

In comparison with the 2004 NHW20 Prius battery

For 45kg you get 1.3kwh and 21kw

For an equivalent weight it appears to be four times better than the Prius NiMH for energy. A power comparison shows it is down about one third of what an equivalent weight of Prius battery would be capable.
Of course a Prius is not about being an electric car but all about being an electric transmission so storage is not a consideration, plus the Prius battery is very lightly used and will not be getting the hammering that an EV will give it.

Having a 50kw motor means nothing until they tell us the vehicle speed at which peak power is reached.
Like 50kw @ 60mph is a dog, but if 50kw by 20mph, that will be interesting.


Oops! My mistake, my parents actually drove across Canada in an older Austin - the A55 Cambridge. The 1100 came later.


Very cute and practical looking.. no mention of the cost, please we dont need another $40k wonder.

Electric motors are not like ICE engines T2, many tricks can be employed to change the rpm/power curve.


Most relevant issue - price.

Suprisingly low electric motor capacity. Michelin one in-wheel motor capacity is the same as Pinifarina in total.


Finally an EV with 200KM plus range!
If this actually happens and the cost is not prohibitive, sign me up!


I still see a lot of conventional car design in this.. why is there a need for an engine compartment and a hood (lid)?.. put all the components under the floorpan and go to in-wheel motors.. use the same size car and sit 6 passengers!, or take all the seats off and make it into a handy cargo van. It would be cool if you could fit a standard piece of plywood flat on the floor.

Use plastic body panels to prevent urban door dings and keep it looking new for a long time to match the potential long durability of an electric car.


Whether in wheel or other designs, if you can make the car light, safe and low cost, we can really reduce the amount of imported oil with cars like this. Show that the car is designed for safety, low weight and roomy and you can win over quite a few buyers.

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