Sim-Drive, an electric vehicle company in Japan, continues to mess with prototypes that are ever more impressive, such as the latest, the SIM-CEL [Cool Energy Link].
Compared to its other prototypes, such as the high-traction eight-wheel Sim-Drive Eliica, the SIM-CEL might seem like a step backwards, but take a closer look and you’ll see why the SIM-CEL electric vehicle is so special. First, the weight is the same as the previous SIM-WIL prototype, but the body of this two-seater is bigger and offers more interior space. Sim-Drive was able to pull this off by reducing the battery size and using a carbon-fiber exterior shell over the space-frame substructure.
The smaller battery at 29.6kWh is connected to four 65kW in-wheel electric motors, which gives this electric vehicle an impressive acceleration from 0-60mph of 4.2s. Overall consumption is further reduced by the aerodynamic design, a drag coefficient of just 0.199cd. For comparison, the current-generation Toyota Prius has 0.25cd and the new Volkswagen XL1 [for 2014] has a 0.186cd. The drag on the SIM-SEL is so low that Sim-Drive is claiming 14.6kWh/100mi. For another comparison, the Scion iQ EV consumes 28kWh/100mi and the Tesla Model S 85kWh consumes 38kWh/100mi.
Put another way, an electric vehicle commuter driving the SIM-CEL on a 100mi round-trip will spend $1.75/day. The Scion iQ EV will cost $3.36/day and the electron-sucking Tesla Model S 85kWh will cost $4.56/day. [No, I’m not dumping on the Tesla Model S, just comparing consumption. After all, the Tesla Model S is the best and most-successful electric vehicle on the market today!] Comparatively speaking, the hybrid electric vehicle Toyota Prius c will cost $7.24/day.