Peugeot VLV Reincarnate?
By Bill Moore
Posted: 04 Nov 2009
Good ideas never die; they get recycled.
Meet the 1942 Peugeot Voiture Legere de Ville (Light City Car), designed in the dark days of World War II when much of France was occupied by the German Wehrmacht and Waffen SS. With much of its production capacity appropriated for the German war effort, Peugeot engineers turned to electric drive to power a small, two-passenger city car with convertible top. The 48V machine had performance comparable to today's Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs); the top speed was 30 km/h (20 mph) and range of up to 50 miles.
I am not the first person to notice a similarity between the VLV and the Aptera 2e electric are currently edging its way towards production. The Aptera, like the earlier VLV, is also electrically powered and seats two. Both machines are rear wheel-driven, though the Peugeot model has two closely-set wheels, while the 2e uses one wide track tire. Where less than 500 of the little Peugeots were manufactured -- several survive in rare car museums -- Aptera reports it has some 4,000 advanced deposits on the car, which should start rolling off its Vista, California production line the summer of 2010, somewhat behind schedule.
The company has also reapplied for a low interest loan in the wake of recent change in federal policy that can be interpreted to apply to highly-efficient three-wheelers like the 2e. Of course, not everyone thinks that's a smart us of taxpayer money, but then neither is a war of choice or $300 million airplanes we don't need, but that's just me.
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