Ugly As SIM: An Unattractive EV That Goes Over 200 Miles Per Charge


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.

Source: TechOn

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Scott Collins

    I couldn’t disagree more. It’s lines are very graceful and it’s obviously streamlined. It is “green” and efficient art in it’s simplest form. As a kid of the 60’s, it seems right out of the Popular Science magazine artwork that gave a futuristic view of what cars might eventually look like… and indeed they now do. So, if this design saves energy and is functional on the inside – I say it’s beautiful.

  • Tim Cleland

    “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.”

    I disagree on this one, Chris. The success of the Prius is proof that there is a significant portion of car buyers who prefer to be noticed for their “green cred”. Depending on the price, I could see this being the EV that really takes off.

  • Marc P.

    Remember that “ugly” is in the eye of the beholder… or something like that. What you find ugly, others may find groovy…
    I for one, don’t love the design but don’t find it butt ugly either… Also, it looks a lot like some smaller European cars, so it may do just fine in the old continent. They could always change a few body panels for the North-American market… And, as the Prius has shown… car appearance may not be THAT important for a lot of folks.

  • Mark

    A lot of unproven tech so it might be a good demostrator car. But the real question is why haul around such a large battery? you only need more than 100 miles maybe once in a blue moon… and then you normally need 300 to 600 miles… not just 200.

    To reduce wieght and improve eMPG you should only take with you a battery twice the size that you need for a normal daily commutee ( 35 miles plus after work activity ( say 20 miles) plus a cold weather buffer of 50%. Thats about 80 miles… add an additional 20 mile bufer in thier and anything more than 100 mile range just isnt needed.

    As an added bonus to improving your eMPG, If you cut the batter in half you will also reduce the price by at least $7k…

  • Temk

    The aesthetics might be somewhat functional, so don’t jump on your high horse too soon.
    200 miles?
    My wife drives 27.6 miles one way to work, then after work she usually makes a few stops. We live in a temperate climate. She is used to filling the tank about every 1.5 weeks.
    She is often very distracted with life and forgets to charge her smart phone on a daily basis.
    So, I understand why 200 miles range is more than convenient for her, it will help her form habits for owning an EV. I realize that not every person is like my wife, but there is a necessary paradigm shift for a person to overcome because of how the passed few generations have learned to live, filling up the tank.

  • Marcio

    The writer is right: just observe the number of cars launched all this years that “didn’t catch” up with buyers just because there was a “misterious flaw” that nobody seemed like to discover until it proved a failure. Worse of it: not some but many of those cars weren’t bad at all – they just weren’t right at the peoples eyes…

  • This is not ugly. If you want to see ugly, just look at the Chrysler PT Cruiser, codename ‘bugly’ (derived from 2 words). This kind of looks like a Honda Jazz / Fit on the back end and I disagree that people would not want to be seen in this.

    Taste is a personal thing, as proven by the afore-mentioned PT cruiser. It boils down to cost of ownership, including running costs and practicality.

  • T_

    People, ugly, nice, those are all subject to the different persons thet define them. Moaybe, the design is for Japan and many people there like it. I do like it and I do not live there.
    200 mile – nice! I would like to have one of those… for a reasonable price.

  • Jay Temkar

    I think this is just engineering exercise….When they will launch this car in market they will try to make it as attractive as possible. Irrespective of look I will definately buy this car when they will make it available in market .

    One suggestion for SIM Manufacturer : Can you divide battery pack in 2 portable modules so we can remove one pack and keep it at home if we are not going for long drive.(This will be case most of the time and it will make car more lighter and results in further improvement in range) Also when we will be going for 200 miles drive we will again fit that pack in the car. Just make that putting on/off user friendly.

  • David Mustoe

    I can remember when the VW bug hit these shores. The pretty boys were all saying “no one will buy it”. It can look like a spider if it can transport me comfortably and cheaply.

    Old guy.

  • NoVanity

    What a retarded, superficial, full of vanity world we live in. I’d buy this car in a heart beat if it is cheap, economical and safe.

    I’d buy a car no matter how ugly it is deemed to be as long it does what it’s supposed to do. A car is transport, not your PARTY COSTUME!!!

    We could have nice, economical, streamlined vechicles by now, but people still want COOL AND PRETTY cars, especially americans, what a bunch superficial retards.

  • Seer

    Any word about the price? I hope that this offering is a cursor of affordable reasonable range electric car. This is what I care about most.

  • Bill

    It looks something like a smaller LEAF, so if this is available in 2014, I’ll lease it for sure if it has a reasonable price! It looks great!

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