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Small Japanese Company Selling Hand-Built, Home-Made Electric Cars


While giant auto manufacturers spend millions to build electric vehicles, a Japanese family decided to open a family-run business in their garage-workshop and to build eco-friendly electric cars by hand.

Located in the northwest of the country (Toyama), the family-run business makes its electric vehicles from scratch in a garage workshop. There are no assembly lines or industrial robots in sight. Instead just a dozen mechanics crafting each model by hand, right up to the finishing touch of adding a set of beady headlights to their “Milieu” range.

Called Eco Beagle, the mini electric car comes in red, white, green and and canary yellow, having a price of about $9,600. “The mini cars are generally viewed as cars for the elderly, or for drivers who had their normal licenses removed due to drunken driving.” said Manabu Takeoka, the leader of the company. He wants to change the image of small electric vehicles. “We’ve improved the shape of our latest model to make it cuter, to attract younger clients,” he added.

Eco Beagle is powered by a lithium-ion battery that can be charged from a conventional wall socket. With a speed of 60 kilometers per hour, the latest model of this car can drive up to 70 kilometres (45 miles) on one charge.

The company’s lineup includes 6 models made of lightweight fibre-reinforced plastic, ranging from one- to four-seater cars. The models weigh between 300 and 740 kilograms and measure less than three meters. With help from the local electricity company, Takeoka began developing electric cars in the 1990s. Now, the sales are currently at around 100 cars per year.

[Source: Physorg]

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  1. We are planing a worldwide network of dealerships with EV recharging rest areas. Please see our new website at http://advanced-how-to.info. We are looking for a manufacture to supply electric cars according to our design, and made to cream the competion globally. Please see how we intend to do it. And see if you would like to be that manufacturerm of the Green Monkey
    Dr. Hait

  2. This is absolutely the future in car making. Limiting the footprint on the environment is paramount in today’s world. This kind of technology is growing by leaps and bounds every year. Now if only we could get US car makers to put as much time into R&D.

  3. Is it legal for someone to just start making cars? I wouldn’t mind doing something like this as well. I have all the experience of building and fixing cars. I don’t know if I would be able to start spitting out electric cars or not, but I’d like to try. Kudos to this Japanese family, they really ran with this one.

  4. Hope this is a sign of times to come. I know it’s a pipe dream but wouldn’t it be nice if many small companies popped up, providing thousands of new jobs and producing innovative, ecology-minded cars? I figure if hand-building works for Ferrari why shouldn’t it work for the next Prius?

  5. It’s good to see more people developing electric cars. It’s a shame about the speed and short distances though because 45 miles really is not very far at all and at 40 MPH is not very fast either. I can really see electric cars taking off though once these problems are overcome. The only other thing is changing the car if you ever run out of power while out and about because you can’t just stop and fill up like in a petrol or diesel car.


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