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Venturi’s Vehicles

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This post is to spread the word about the the French company Venturi who are doing good work in giving electric vehicles higher performance. I first found out above them two weeks ago in connection with Princess Elisabeth Antarctica – the zero-emissions antarctic station. Some of the energy produced by its wind turbines is used to charge this – the Antarctica, a fully electric vehicle that can operate in temperatures of as low as -50°C.

Weight: 1,200 kilos
Load:  1 ton of personnel and equipment
Range: 150 km
Top speed: 40 km/hr


A top speed of 40km/hr is fast for the Antarctic but Venturi have also produced the world’s fastest electric vehicle, the wonderfully-named Jamais Contente. Its electric drive train is powered by a fuel cell. In September 2009 on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, US, it attained an average 495 km/hr over 1 km and a top speed of 515 km/hr. This is a world record for an electric car. Well done Venturi!

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Total weight : 1 950 kg
Batteries: A123 Lithium Ion
Battery weight: 400 kg
Electric motor: Electric three-phase induction
Power : 800 hp


Here’s their Astrolab. It’s the world’s first electric-solar hybrid with 3.7 sqm. of PV cells with a conversion efficiency of 21% charge its liquid-cooled NiMH Venturi NIV-7 batteries.

Top speed: 120 km/hr
Max. range: 110 km


Here’s their Eclectic.

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.

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.

The Eclectic was a hit at the 2006 Paris Motor Show and is now adapted for mass production.

1 st vehicle powered by renewable energies (70W solar roof)
1 st solar production vehicle (2.5 m2 of photovoltaic cells)
1 st vehicle that can be directly recharged with a personal wind turbine
[you don’t drive around with it up there – it’s not a perpetual motion machine!]
Available in several models, priced from 15,000 € plus VAT, including batteries
it can carry up to 5 persons and 1m3/150kg


The Eclectic was driven by unconventional logic and, in its own way, the Fétish was too. The goal of this next vehicle, the Fétish was to have conventionally sporty performance in an electric car that also looked rather mean/hot as well. The website has more specifications but the following are of interest.

0 to 100 km/hr : 4 s
0 to 160 km/hr : 8.1 s
0 to 200 km/hr : 12.8 s
400 m D.A. : 12 s
Range : 340 Km (at 90km/hr stabilized)
Top speed : up to 200 Km/hr (on race track)


Finally, the Volage is an attempt to redesign everything about an automobile. It has eight electric motors, one to drive each wheel and one to power its suspension.

Like the mechanism in a watch, all of the components, motors, gear reduction units and suspensions are miniaturized and built into the wheels. [Think about that – it’s actually quite amazing – there’s no need anymore for a drive train to transfer power from the engine to the wheels!]

0 to 100 km/hr : < 5 secs
Range at 90 km/hr stabilized: 320 Km
Top speed: 150 Km/hr


There’s also their 2-seater roadster, the America, but you probably get the idea. Venturi are researching, developing and manufacturing these things. Venturi saw some problems that needed solving and went about solving them one by one. What’s more, the knowledge they gain through research and development is used to improve the performance of their next vehicle. Venturi’s process is that of science, not art or, sadly, architecture.

Venturi – misfits salutes you!