KTM Preps Electric Renault Twizy Rival for Geneva Show

French carmaker Renault is at the forefront of the electric car revolution.  Along with its sister company Nissan, Renault has committed itself to a future of electric cars.  From the entry-level (and nearly production ready) Twizy city car to the Frendzy electric van concept shown last month to its Project Better Place battery swap stations, it could be argued that no other company is doing more to push “pure” EVs into the mainstream.  In other words:  when it comes to EVs, you could argue that Renault / Nissan are the industry overdogs … and that’s exactly makes KTM’s decision to square off with Renault in direct competition all the more ridiculous.

KTM is widely known as a maker of off-road motorcycles and ATVs, and they’ve enjoyed some notoriety in the automotive world with their (extremely) limited-production KTM X-Bow “sportcar” (and even that is “limited” only by how many they can sell), as such, the company is poorly equipped to do battle with Renault / Nissan, and the Rubbermaid waste-bin aesthetic of the underwhelmingly design 3-wheeler the company trotted out this week only proves that KTM v. Renault is less David v. Goliath, and more Stephen Hawking v. Godzilla in a straight-up arm-wrestling match.

For its part, KTM claims the E3W (electric 3-wheeler) will get up to 60 miles out of its 15 kW electric motor before it needs to recharge.  The company has plans to build 50,000 of their E3Ws each year for around $7,000 each, starting in 2013.

Here’s a bunch of KTM employees looking awfully giddy for some reason (below).  My guess as to why is that they can’t deliver those figures with a straight face.  What’s yours? Feel free to leave some (preferrably snarky) theories in the comments field, below.

Source | Photo:  KTM, via Autocar.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.