This may be just another Gulf State far-fetched innovation, like the white gold, biofuel-running Mercedes Benz in Abu Dhabi: Mr. Sultan bin Hamad al-Amri, CEO of Oman’s Noor Majan is promoting what will be the Middle East’s first locally assembled electric car. Featured in Oman’s English language news media Times of Oman, UPI , and the auto news site green.autoblog.com, the super fast luxury car will be designed to travel from zero to 60 mph in about 4 seconds, roll for 2,250 miles on a single electrical charge, and last as long as 21 years without any maintenance. Sound too good to be true?
The car’s price is said to be “somewhere between $71 and $90 thousand dollars,” which is cheaper than another electric luxury car, the Tesla Motors sports roadster and coupe that has been featured on Green Prophet, and sells for only $100,000.
The claim that the Oman electric version can “roll for 2,250 miles” on a single electrical charge makes many people wonder what kind of battery, or batteries, will be installed.
According to earthtechling, the news sounds too good to be true: “At present, the Tesla Roadster has the best range of any EV on the market (along with the biggest battery), covering 245 miles (claimed) between charges: most new electric cars under development for today’s market will only get 70 to 100 miles before needing a plug-in.”
Designed by the Better Place electric car concept company, headed by Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi, the Renault electric cars are scheduled to be seen on the roads in Europe and Israel sometime during 2011. Test runs in Tokyo, however show the cars can get only 80 to 100 kilometres on a single charge.
On the Omani car, Mr. Al Amri says that: “The parts of the car, including the 800-horsepower engine, are manufactured in Japan, America, Germany and Hong Kong. The car will have a solar-powered air conditioner and be fitted with massage chairs.”
Massage chairs? This kind of accessory will surely use up some of that 2,250 mile cruising range, and will be a bit distracting to the driver as well. Perhaps solar cells that will power the car’s air conditioning system might also be able to recharge the car’s batteries while in motion. In other electric car models, this idea has still to be innovated, including the Renault-Better Place design concept, the Tesla, and The GM Chevrolet Volt, which is more like a hybrid as it incorporates a small fossil fuel burning engine as a reserve power source.
Palestine Polytechnic’s electric car not much to look at, but it is solar powered.
One additional word regarding Al Amri’s claim that the Oman electric car will be the Middle East’s first electric car: a solar-powered electric car prototype has already been built as a project by a group of engineering students at Palestine’s Hebron Polytechnic University.
Though not much to look at, it does work and if put into production would cost considerably less than other electric car models.
Perhaps Oman’s Al Amri and the Hebron Polytechnic U. should consider forming a partnership.
Read more on electric car technology:
Solar Powered Electric Car Takes to the Streets of Hebron
Maurice Test Drives the Better Place Electric Car
Middle East Will Remain Leafless as Nissan Promotes Electric Car Technology Elsewhere