While most of the major automakers are doing what they can to make electric cars look conventional, independent companies hoping to earn a slice of the EV market have gone the opposite direction. Just look at Fisker, Tesla, or the latest offering from SIM-Drive, a Japanese company that has just announced its second electric car “advanced development project”. And boy, is it ugly.
The SIM-Drive SIM-WIL (yes, that’s the name) will utilize a 35.1 kWh Panasonic battery that will supposedly propel the B-segment vehicle up to 218 miles. Joined by 30 other companies in developing this vehicle, SIM-Drive hopes to commercialize this platform by 2014. The battery pack supposedly takes just 12 hours from a 200 volt outlet to recharge, and the in-wheel motors have been improved to reduce torque ripple and vibration.
Coming in at around 3,100 pounds though, the SIM-WIL is actually among the lighter EV’s, no doubt contributing to its long range, as well as its top speed of 180 kph, or about 110 mph. So on paper, it sounds all good..but one look and I am completely turned off. The SIM-WIL is a hum-drum blend of generic styling combined with faux-futurism. The result is an uninspired mess that neither excites nor horrifies. It just is.
I don’t doubt most of the effort went into making it go…but most people won’t buy an ugly car, no matter how “cutting edge” it may be. If SIM-Drive is serious about making EV’s (and this is their second effort) they need to hire some serious design talent to pen a decent looking body. Otherwise, they don’t stand a chance.