Local electric vehicle developer EV Drive will enter the biennial Sasol Solar Challenge South Africa, to be held for the third time in September this year, with an electric Puma sports car.
EV Drive director Gerhard Terblanche says the vehicle will compete in the ‘Green Fleet’ technology class of the race, for vehicles demonstrating practical advancements in automotive technology.
The Gauteng-based EV Drive specialises in converting any petrol or diesel vehicle into an electric vehicle, including private vehicles, light commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, as well as subsurface mine and other specialised vehicles.
“The electric Puma sports car is a proof of concept car showing that we can convert any petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle into a electric vehicle, which provides the user the benefit of saving more than 80% on fuel costs by using electricity, instead of petrol or diesel,” says Terblanche.
The car, which spent the past 36 months in development, retails at around R350 000. The body is built in Babelegi near Pretoria, and the electric propulsion drivetrain in Vereeniging.
“At this stage, the batteries and controller are imported,” says Terblanche.
The 940 kg electric Puma sports car has a top speed of 200 km/h. It uses a direct-current brush electric motor, as well as lithium-ion batteries, with the charge time required either a 15 minute top-up, or a six-hour charge from a normal household plug.
With the Puma’s range at 250 km between full charges, Terblanche says the vehicle will cover the demanding daily solar-race distances of more than 450 km with interchangeable battery packs.