The aesthetics of the Sim-Lei electric car may not be to many people’s tastes, but this is a car that could sell. The strange design is about minimizing aerodynamic drag, which – in combination with a few other technologies – translates into a very impressive range.
The design is the result of a collaborative effort between Japan’s Keio university and 34 different companies and researchers. It looks a little goofy, but if the group’s reports are accurate then you might start seeing a few of these on the streets.
Two things set the Sim-Lei apart from the electric vehicle pack: the aforementioned range and its efficiency. According to its developers, the Sim-Lei is able to travel 190 miles at 60mph using a 24.5 kilowatt battery. In contrast, the Nissan Leaf can manage about 100 miles on a 24 kilowatt battery. While the tweaked aerodynamics certainly add to the range, the vehicle also makes use of in-wheel motors during braking and battery optimization technology.
The car is scheduled for production and is likely to be on the streets for next year.