German PG Elektrus Is Tesla Roadster with More Attitude

By · January 31, 2012

The PG Elektrus electric sports car

The PG Elektrus electric sports car

The Tesla Roadster has earned its spot in history as the first production electric sports car. Production has now stopped for now, but that doesn't mean someone else couldn't build another electric car using a Lotus Elise chassis. Actually, I first heard of an electric Elise way back in 1999. That was a one-off. There is another one that famously belongs to the founder of Ecotricity, and it's probably the fastest of all. It's much faster than a Tesla Roadster with a 170-mph top speed, and it accelerates 0-to-100-mph in 8.5-seconds. It's not available, but there's a new one that soon will be. It comes from Germany, and it's called the PG Elektrus. That company, an electric bike manufacturer, has never built a car before. It's building electric bikes with an attitude. This Dark Deluxe model below, German designed and handcrafted, will cost you a cool 7,149 euros in Germany (US $9,352).

A PG electric bike

A PG electric bike

When Manuel Ostner, the CEO of PG Bikes, decided to build an electric car, he had no plan to make a Tesla look-alike. Its first idea was to give it more attitude, so that's why he hired designer Michael Fröhlich. Wearing a t-shirt was all Marlon Brando had to do in 1951 to sport an attitude, but Fröhlich takes another approach: light-weighting. The PG Elektrus will probably weigh no more than 860 kg. That's 1,895 pounds and about 800 pounds lighter than a Tesla Roadster. How did they do it? Actually this low-weight is the result of clever engineering and unambiguous choices. There's nothing up their sleeve. First, they went with a much smaller battery than found in a Tesla. The pack weighs only 200 kg. That's 440 pounds, and that leaves 1,455 pounds for the car without its battery. This is quite plausible considering how little equipment there is inside. Don't look for power windows.

The PG Elektrus electric sports car

The PG Elektrus electric sports car

We should note that the car is still in development, although it's very late in the development stage. The first customers should get their cars this summer, but some specifications are still subject to change. What won't change is the motor. It delivers 200-kW and 258-lb-ft of torque. With so little weight to carry, performance is exceptional. Top speed should be 180 mph, though a limiter will probably restrict it to a more politically-correct and safe 155-mph. (Hey, it's Germany!) Acceleration from 0 to 62-mph will take less than 3 seconds. Range should be more than 210 miles. The manufacturer doesn't reveal any details about the battery, save that it's made from Chinese cells. The PG Elektrus should come with two chargers, one for standard wall sockets (230V 16A in Europe), and another one for 380V fast charge. But the cells could withstand much more. Theoretically, the car could be charged in no more than 20 minutes, given the appropriate current.

The PG Elektrus electric sports car

The PG Elektrus electric sports car

The plan is to make 50 cars, which will go at the high price of 240,000 euros ($313,000) tax not included. That's quite a lot of money considering a Tesla Roadster was selling for less than half of that sum last year (in Europe). Initially, PG's plan last year was to sell its Elektrus at the same price as the Tesla, but now that cars are close to be available, it realized it had no other choice than to raise their price. I'm guessing that Elektrus can't afford to lose the millions Tesla lost. Whatever its price, this PG Elektrus promises to be the fastest electric on the market, so there's no arguing that it commands a premium. It also has attitude.

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