Canada-based AK Motor International Corporation, an automotive intellectual property management company, is launching a new electric vehicle brand: Maple Majestic. Arising from AK Motor’s project CANU (Canadian Automotive New Utilities), Maple Majestic is intended to excel in difficult environments.
According to AK Motor, many electric vehicles still remain woefully ill-prepared for harsh climates. This in turn translates to lower sales in relatively cold regions of the world. As befits an EV from Canada, this is one of the key niche focal points as a problem to solve during Maple Majestic’s development.
While AK Motor has a multi-brand / multi-model vision, the first Maple Majestic EV is intended to be a world leader in Climate Friendly Driving—i.e., as friendly to the environment as it will be friendly to drive in difficult environments.
AK Motor views key electric driveline elements—batteries, inverters, electric motors>—as commodity components, and is choosing to focus on other areas of innovation. In particular, two key areas will be extreme weather driving dynamics and occupant hospitality.
Climate Friendly driving does not necessarily mean an SUV, says the company. The frontal projection of an SUV always means increased drag on account of its height, which impacts fuel efficiency, and the accompanying top-heaviness impacts cornering stability. However, AK Motor recognizes the market’s preference for SUVs and the Maple Majestic concept will offer an adjustable ride height suspension with a target of up to 150 mm ride height adjustability. This means a variable ground clearance from a sporty 140 mm up to 290 mm in some conditions that may involve heavy snow.
The overall height will vary from 1440 mm up to 1590 mm which enters the territory of some mid-size SUVs. Both front and rear axles have an identical track which makes it easier to drive through snow.
Perhaps the most striking visual feature will be the extended wheel-base at 3100 mm. Chamfered corners allow for excellent urban driving and parking maneuverability.
There is a strong packaging logic to the extended wheelbase which not only aids in straight-line stability in adverse weather conditions, and improves rear passenger comfort, but also allows for potentially larger batteries in the floor.
AK Motor envisions that the vehicle may accommodate different battery sizes depending on the owner’s geographical location and expected driving habits. AK Motor has also considered provisions for a hybrid version of the Maple Majestic EV. The space ahead of the rear axle can potentially house a small ICE intended as back-up power generation.