A new brand of Dutch Electric cars has arrived, providing a stylish classical contradiction to the concept of electric vehicles.
Some 'modern' electric vehicles can be a bit square, substituting style for carbon-friendly performance. The MK1, brainchild of Dutch automobile manufacturers Carice Motors wouldn't look too out of place in the 1950s, squaring up to an old Porsche. The two-seat roadster's most important detail to us at Plastic Expert?
She's made from plastic.
I spoke to Richard Holleman, the CEO of Carice Motors, who said 'We were surprised that no ultralight electric sports cars exist. Less weight means better handling and less energy consumption'. He's right about the ultralight design, by replacing steel for plastic, the in-house designers were able to offset vast amounts of weight. Compared to the Renault Twizy, a 2012 two-seater electric car weighing 474kg, the MK1 weighs only 350kg.
Holleman claims 'The Carice MK1 is a smile on demand. It is lightweight, agile, environmentally friendly and elegant'. The price is considerably different to a Twizy, though that is down to the superior aesthetics and the handmade properties of the vehicle. The MK1 starts at €22,000, compared to the very cheap €6,990 demanded by the Twizy.
Not to relentlessly compare the two vehicles, but my final challenge is that of battery life, or more, 'how far can they go on a full charge?'. The MK1 can go 124 miles on a full charge, exactly double that of the 62 mile limit of a Twizy. Regardless, the Twizy is marketed as a city car, whereas you'd probably want the MK1 for a nice country drive, and only on a nice day, since it doesn't have a roof!
As each MK1 is designed specifically for the client who has purchased it, they can request different battery sizes, colours, interiors styles and even the BHP! Opt for the maximum horsepower and you'll reach a top speed of 62 mph, not great, but when you look as cool as you would driving this beauty, you'd probably drive at half that just so people could take a good look.
The plastic design has allowed the car's creators to put together a sleek and vintage look, whilst keeping it lightweight with high acceleration. The car takes three months to be put together once ordered and extras, such as a fuel burning extender (so you aren't stuck on the hard shoulder with no juice) could raise the cost of the car by another 20%..
Vehicle Plastic Recycling
We love to talk about vehicle plastic recycling when we come across a car that has considered the environment in it's production. We're said before that a vehicle should not only be built with it's life in mind, but also it's fate. When a car dies, which shouldn't be as quick for a plastic car (since they don't rust, and the batteries can be changed), the car should be easy to strip and recycle. It has been suggested by sustainability experts that manufacturers should use as few material and screw types as possible to ease the breakdown process and recycling. Vehicle plastic recycling could benefit from taking these ideas into account.
But for now, let's just appreciate this interior.Nice.