Tag Archives: Venturi Fetish

On the Venturi Fetish

Venturi Fetish

The Venturi Fetish became the world’s first production electric sports car when it was unveiled at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show. To this day, it remains the worlds most expensive and rare electric sports car, as only 25 were delivered worldwide. The price range has been around $400,000 to $500,000 over the years. Performance is relatively pedestrian when compared to the electric supercars in development and on the streets now. The Fetish accelerates from 0-60 in just under 5 seconds, with a top speed of only 100 mph and a 150 mile electric range. More information can be found at the Venturi Fetish website.

This is a cool video of the car in action:

The Monoco based Venturi company has since teamed up with French tire maker Michelin, and is going to introduce its next generation electric supercar extremely soon at this year’s Paris Auto show on October 2, 2008. Venturi has two other project cars that heavily utilize solar power, the Venturi Eclectic and the Venturi Astrolab. More can be read about them at the Venturi website here. More info on those vehicles will come soon.

On Alan Cocconi

Alan Cocconi

If you follow electric cars you need to be familiar with Alan Cocconi.  As you can plainly see from the picture above, he’s kind of a badass.  He is predominantly responsible for the technology found in the GM EV1; which was ahead of its time, or technology today is behind the times depending on how you look at it.    In his garage he fabricated what was basically a 100,000 watt stereo amplifier that would allow the EV1 to travel 90 miles on a charge, go 0-60 in 7.9 seconds, and have an ungoverned top speed of 123 mph on the test track.   And this was before Lithium-Ion batteries were viable; the EV1 started out with plain old Lead-Acid batteries.  To this day, first generation EV1’s would still be completely cutting edge and capable electric cars.  The EV1 was only leased, but estimated retail was $30,000- $40,000. This lease agreement allowed GM to take them back to be subsequently crushed, but we got the movie, Who Killed the Electric Car?, out of the whole ordeal.

Anyways, so what happened to Alan? Well he’s still in the electric car business.  Unfortunately he has not been contracted to work on major project to the extent he did at GM.  But the company he founded in 1992, AC Propulsion, is a major player in the electric car market today.  The first AC Propulsion Tzero was built in 1996. Like the EV1, the Tzero had a range of about 90 miles, but could rocket from 0-60 in 4 seconds, making it the first electric supercar. By 2003, a second generation Tzero was born, packing lightweight Lithium-Ion batteries instead of Lead-Acid. This gave the Tzero an ev range of a whopping 300 miles. If that wasn’t enough, a trailer mounted generator could be attached to the back to extend the range even further. Seen here:

Tzero and trailer

Well the Tzero never made it to production, unfortunately.  Out of the Tzero, and the potential of the Lithium Ion battery, came the concept for the eBox.  Basically, AC Propulsion converts customer-owned Scion xBs by removing the internal combustion engine and related components and installing the AC Propulsion electric drive system and battery. You can do this now, but you have to provide the $15K Scion and another $55K for them to convert it. Undoubtedly, if AC Propulsion operated on a larger scale, this could be done for less than half that. Tom Hanks was pretty enthused about this one:

But the real legacy of AC Propulsion and Alan Cocconi stems from that 100,000 watt amp. The AC Propulsion drivetrain that Cocconi developed has evolved, and is now used in the Venturi Fetish, Wrightspeed X1, and the Tesla Roadster. All of which are on the cutting edge of electric vehicle technology and have inspired others to design future concepts.