In today's current environment, carmakers can't consider themselves to be true competitors if they can't offer an electric car.
In fact, a local manufacturer from South Africa, Optimal Energy, is prepared to launch its own electric car at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The 'Joule' is produced by Optimal Energy's plant in Port Elizabeth.
It allows for a range of 300 kilometers in pure electric mode. Powering it is a 36 kWh lithium-ion battery that is connected to a synchronous permanent magnet motor developing 65 kW (87 horsepower) and 280 Nm of torque.
The car is able to accelerate from zero to 60 km/h in 5 seconds and to 100 km/h in under 16 seconds.
Official figures also reveal that top speed is 135 km/h. The car is estimated to be priced at about $30,000. At its official site, the electric car is described to be a zero-emission vehicle with a minimal environmental footprint.
Aside from being quiet, it is also about five times more energy efficient than petrol or diesel vehicles.
It also produces substantially less pollution and green house gas emissions in an urban environment. Joule is battery operated and recharges with electricity from any source.