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Citroen Announces Electric e-Mehari

Originally published on GAS2.

Back in the 1960s, Citroen made a very funky open vehicle that was just for fun called the Mehari. According to Inside EVs, that’s a nickname for a particularly fast camel. The car was sort of a cross between a Mini Moke and a dune buggy. It was an open, go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle that you could leave out in the rain with the top off if you wanted to.

Now Citroen has decided what the world needs most of all in its struggle to tame carbon emissions is an updated electric version of the Mehari. Based on the Bollore Bluesummer convertible, the e-Mehari has a top speed of 68 mph and a range of about 100 miles. Its electric motor is rated at 50 kW max and it has a 30 kWh lithium-metal-polymer battery. Bollore Group has pioneered the use of metal polymer batteries, which have no liquid component like conventional lithium batteries. Removing the liquid means the battery cannot overheat and potentially burst into flames.

The e-Mehari will be built at the Peugeot Citroen factory in France, which is the same factory where the Bollore Bluesummer is assembled. It will go on sale in France in May of 2016 and is expected to be available in the rest of Europe by the end of next year. It is expected to sell for around $25,000. There is no word on whether it will ever cross the Atlantic to America, but Bollore Group has talked about possibly selling its cars in the US, if there is a market for them. Its cars are used in the BlueIndy carsharing service in Indianapolis.

The e-Mehari comes in light blue, orange, or beige with either an orange or black removable hard top. It is funky and weird — just the thing to shake up all those stodgy LEAF and Volt owners in your neighborhood. Want to see what the original Mehari “fast camel” was like? Check out this vintage Citroen video from 1975:

 
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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we listened?

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