Soaring gas prices, economic crises, wars, omnipresent pollution, irreversible changes in the climate… Our world is going through a period when the stakes in terms of energy form the very basis for worldwide chaos. While admitting that no solution for energy production can be perfect, we must become fully aware of the imperative need to limit our own personal consumption of energy.
Eclectic, the first autonomous vehicle in the history of the automobile, opens up a new era in the field of mobility : reserved for daily driving in urban areas, its low energy consumption make it the most economical environmental vehicle ever built.
Innovative and astonishing, Eclectic is much more than a simple vehicle ; it is a production and storage plant for renewable energies, either solar or wind based. Charging of these energies, which is intermittent in certain regions, can also be complemented by electrical recharging.
FUNCTION DICTATES THE DESIGN
Of decidedly original design, this is a vehicle that has no desire to look like other cars which depend on “black gold” : priority has been given to integration of the photovoltaic cells which compose its translucid roof. Eclectic thus does not pass unnoticed in traffic: its elevated central driving position offers exceptional panoramic vision and considerable space, for both driver and passengers.
Eclectic’s message is loud and clear: this is not an ordinary car, but an avant-garde way of getting around. Owning an Eclectic is also a personal commitment : it means changing one’s way of getting from one place to another by exchanging one’s role as a “consumer” for that of a “producer” and this, in the general interest.
Its designer Sacha Lakic describes Eclectic as : “a modern, autonomous and intelligent automobile. The energy that drives it exists all around it : it simply has to deploy its wind turbine, expose its solar cells or, if necessary, find a simple electric plug.
It is usual practice to “stylise” a car. In the case of Eclectic, its contours were born of an approach to design. Its appearance reflects its function. Its silhouette pays homage to certain icon-cars such as the Lunar Rover, Mini-Moke and Méhari. Though its technology positions it clearly in the present and, above all, the future”.
TECHNOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ADVANCES
Venturi marks a new era in technological history by launching the production of Eclectic, an urban 3-seater electro-solar vehicle which goes well beyond anything offered so far by car manufacturers of today :
- 1 st vehicle powered by renewable energies ;
- 1 st solar production vehicle (2.5 m2 of photovoltaic cells) ;
- 1 st vehicle that can be directly recharged with a personal wind turbine ;
Eclectic is thus the vehicle with the least possible impact on the environment.
Unlike other vehicles which are not used for over 90% of the time, Eclectic takes advantage of moments of immobilisation to store energy in its batteries ; contrary to a petrol tank, this energy reserve remains available for other uses. It’s well worth betting that one day, and at national level, this could comprise a considerable reserve of energy which could compensate for breakdowns in the production of electricity as already seen, for example, in California.
Available with last-generation NiMH (NIV-7) batteries (liquid cooled), Eclectic offers a range up to 50 km at a speed of 50 km/hr (electronically restricted), which suffices largely to cover daily movements in urban areas. The share of solar recharging is approximately 7 km per day of exposure.
When using electricity, a full recharge requires 5 hrs using a standard connection (16 A). Finally, as an option, Eclectic can be recharged with one or more wind turbines, fixed either on the roof of the vehicle when it is stationary, or to the ground with a specific mast. In this case, the share of recharging is approximately 15 km per day in windy areas.
Production of 20 pre-series vehicles has commenced. A limited version of 200 vehicles with specific equipment will be launched in June 2007 (colour : white) at a price of 24,000 € plus VAT (excluding State subsidies of 2,000 €). A higher level of production should see the light of day as from 2009 at an estimated base price of 15,000 € plus VAT (excluding State subsidies of 2,000 €).
Eclectic targets two different markets : that of companies wanting to adopt an environment-conscious stance and that of a very avant-garde public at the top end of the range. A single-seater utilitarian version will also complement this production.