SANTIAGO – Soki, Chile’s first electric car, with room for two people and a 60-kilometer (37-mile) range between charges, will be introduced with a $12,000 price tag, one of the vehicle’s creators said.
“This electric car has room for a passenger along with the driver, and it is an update of vehicles we designed previously,” Daniel Pavez, one of Soki’s designers, told EFE. “It is improved in terms of energy efficiency, safety and engineering, and despite being bigger, it weighs 20 percent less.”
Soki, a word that means “two” in an Indian language from Chilean Patagonia, was developed in about eight months by VoZe EV, a company founded by Pavez.
The environmentally friendly vehicle has a 10-horsepower electric engine, steering wheel, ignition key and a 4.2-kilowatt battery that recharges in just three hours.
“In addition, this vehicle was designed for the city and can be charged with any common electric outlet, since we designed a battery that you can remove and carry anywhere,” Pavez said.
Soki combines the advantages of three means of transportation: a bicycle’s economy and sustainability; a motorcycle’s agility; and a car’s comfort, the vehicle’s designers said.
The electric car’s development was supported by the Production Promotion Corporation through its Business Program for Technological Innovation, which helps fund projects for the development or improvement of new products and market innovations.
At Soki’s unveiling, the designers said they were still improving some features and delivery of the first limited production run of 10 units was scheduled for March 2016.
In coming weeks, Pavez and his team plan to visit 11 cities across Chile to promote the car and show Chilean innovators that they can make their ideas a reality by developing advanced technology.