The company thinks that current EVs are too expensive, and the segment is ripe for a cheaper option.
Automakers are racing to bring an affordable electric vehicle to market, like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3. Now, a California-based company is hoping to shake things up by launching a three-wheeled EV with a starting price of just $10,000. The Sondors Electric Car is the latest project by entrepreneur Storm Sondors. For now, the only way to order one is by investing in the endeavor's crowdfunding campaign.
Sondors’ electric car is a three-wheeled coupe with an aluminum body and seating for three inside. “Right now, electric cars are either unaffordable or, let’s face it, a little ugly. The Model SONDORS brings sexy back at a low cost," according to the firm's crowdfunding site.
Specific mechanical details about the electric trike don’t exist at this point. Sondors plans on using existing technology, which should reduce development time and keep prices down. The vehicle will use a lithium-ion battery, and the company will offer versions with 50- (80.5 kilometers), 100- (161 km), and 200-mile (322 km) ranges. The firm won’t yet reveal any details about the motor, but the model will have “superb performance,” Sondors claims.
Rather than buying the vehicle up front, Sondors is selling $1 million in stock in the new venture. The money goes towards building a prototype over the next 12 months. Shares cost $12 each, and there’s a minimum investment of $120. Buying into the project grants equity in the company and also reserves the opportunity of purchasing the car when it’s ready. As of this writing, the campaign has raised $330,564 from 467 people – an average of $707.85 from each person.
Sondors already staged one very successful crowdfunding campaign when he financed an affordable electric bicycle called the eBike. Retailing at $500, it’s cheaper than the competitors.
The most ambitious part of Sondors plan is the goal of selling 120,000 electric trikes in the first year, which seems doubtful. For comparison, the Nissan Leaf is among the most affordable EVs currently available in major markets worldwide. Since introducing it in December 2010, Nissan has sold 230,000 of them – twice as many as Sondors wants but over significantly more time.