These 5 electric vehicles look old-school but are all-new
|driving.ca 08 Dec 2019 at 07:11|
New EVs are ugly. It’s a fact, deal with it. Another fact is most new cars are ugly, but that’s another story altogether.
Whatever it is about electric cars, there’s something about their design and “save the world” mission statement that automakers interpret as “futuristic.”
This leads them to deduce the vehicles must look like they’re straight out of Star Trek.
Unfortunately, they’re wrong, and when you have the technology to make a vehicle look like anything, you should make it look old.
These vehicles imagine what would have happened if the electric cars of the 19th century received half as much attention as gasoline-powered vehicles, and shaped the world into the electric future we dare to call “retro.”
In short, here are five retro EVs.
Made to resemble the brand’s J-Type van of the 1940s, the Morris JE is a modern interpretation of the classic panel van, with little to no styling updates. Good.
With a range of 200 miles [320 km] and a price tag of $75,000, the JE isn’t going to win over any Tesla buyers, but that doesn’t matter, because it’s already won our hearts. It’s also available in a few different configurations, including cargo, passenger and pickup.
Conventional wisdom suggests it ain’t a good idea, locking yourself in a fridge, but we immediately decided to make an exception to that rule when we took one look at the Microlino, styled after the BMW Isetta microcar of the 1950s.
When the BMW Isetta was introduced in the 1950s, BMW was a struggling car brand, crippled by the woes of post-war Germany. The small, affordable vehicle brought some much needed money back to the brand, and saved it from ruin.
These companies will convert your classic into an EV
The new version costs $18,000, and is good for 125 miles [200 km] on a charge. Hopefully the Isetta moves on from saving companies to saving the planet.
How many wheels do you need? Three is plenty, especially when you look as good as this retro EV. We mean, c’mon, the Nobe 100 looks like it was ripped straight out of Raymond Loewy’s sketchbook.
This car could be made available, and by that, we mean its development is being crowdfunded, so whether it makes production will depend on demand from consumers — which we hope will be massive. After all, 136 miles (220 km) per charge and an MSRP of $45,000 should guarantee brisk sales.
Is a Fiat Jolly too mainstream to you? Consider this French alternative! Putting the passengers right out in the open, the Renault e-Plein Air is an open-top version of the Renault 4 of the 1960s. Under the stylish skin is the tech from the brand’s Twizy vehicle.
No pricing as of yet, as it’s still just a concept, but hopefully this one becomes a reality. We’re sure .
OK, so maybe this one is not as “retro” as the others — the Honda E’s looks are based on a car that’s not too old to begin with, the Honda Civic. But do we care? Not one bit.
The fabulous styling of the Honda E makes some of us remember our high school days, or maybe your dad’s high school days. We think 136 miles (220 km) of range should be perfect to get you around the city and back, and for just $42,000.