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Croatian aims for high-end niche with electric city car

The Dok-ing XD electric car created by Croatian industrialist Vjekoslav Majetic is on display at the LA Auto Show on November 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. A Croatian car buff has briefly set aside his day job of building demining and firefighting robots to satisfy his childhood dream of making a high-end electric auto he hopes will be a global hit with eco-conscious customers. A Croatian car buff has briefly set aside his day job of building demining and firefighting robots to satisfy his childhood dream of making a high-end electric auto he hopes will be a global hit with eco-conscious customers.

The first model, a pinkish violet three-seater with gullwing doors, proudly dominates the workshop of Dok-Ing, a company run by Vjekoslav Majetic in one of Zagreb’s industrial suburbs. More than two decades of experience producing robotic systems for use in extreme conditions have provided the know-how that propelled Majetic’s company into a sophisticated but risky car-making adventure. “We had the knowledge, technology and desire to make such a car, on top of our other products,” Majetic told AFP. The 57-year old transport engineer began developing his idea five years ago and presented the first “Loox” prototype at the Geneva Auto Show in 2010. Apart from batteries and windows, most parts for the 2.9-meter (nine-foot) long vehicle are made in Croatia, which currently has no car industry at all. Dok-Ing engineers were tasked with designing a luxury city car defined by “fine curves, elegant wheels and a stunning interior,” Majetic said. “It is a status symbol, an expensive small city car that is easy to park, with high performance and all possible electronic comforts,” he added. High quality components such as a reinforced-aluminium chassis and carbon-kevlar body, as well as cutting-edge technologies used in Loox’s production might well give a buyer sticker shock however. At 50,000 euros ($68,000), the car is considerably more expensive than similar vehicles.

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