South African tech startup company Optimal Energy will debut the final design of their new electric car at the Geneva Motor Show next month.  The Joule is a plug-in all-electric that will be hand-built when in goes into production in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  The Joule concept was first unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October 2008.

Pricing on the car is estimated at 235,000 South African Rand, or roughly $30,700.  That price is as much as $9,000 less than the Chevy Volt.

The five-seater will be assembled with a 65 kW motor producing 280 Nm (207 lb-ft) of torque. With the 36 kWh Lithium-ion battery the car will have a range of approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles).  The battery can be recharged with the on-board charger, letting the car be plugged into a standard outlet.  The optional solar panel roof will also be a benefit.

"The EV market is expected to grow exponentially over the next decades, and owning an EV brand will increase South Africa's role substantially," said Optimal Energy CEO Kobus Meiring.  "It is Optimal Energy's vision to lead the EV industry in South Africa and to expand globally, and as a flexible company with no legacy investments in outdated technologies, we have the opportunity to position Joule uniquely in an awakening market."

Before a global launch is possible, the company plans to test fleet sales of the Joule domestically in South Africa.  Larger volume sales could begin in 2013.

Gallery: South African Joule EV Production Version Teased for Geneva Debut

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