East European EV heads for the New World
If you've been to Poland recently, you may have seen a bug-eyed little three-wheeled electric car driving down the streets. It's known as the SAM, and it's been manufactured in that country since 2009. More recently, its makers have begun selling units in markets such as Switzerland (where it was first developed, by a different group), Germany, Austria and the UK. Now, the company is set to begin exporting SAMs to the US.
Featuring a steel chassis and fully-recyclable polyethylene body, the SAM is accessed via a folding gull-wing door. About 300 of the rear-drive 2-seater vehicles have been manufactured to date.
It has a lithium-polymer battery pack that can be fully charged from an ordinary outlet within five hours. Depending on operating conditions and ambient temperature, that charge should reportedly be good for a range of 80 to 100 km (50 to 62 miles). Its maximum speed is 90 km/h (56 mph).
CEO Wacław Stevnert tells us that the SAM company hopes to begin US sales sometime next year, and is currently looking for prospective dealers in California and Florida. The planned base price without battery is US$8,600, with the standard battery costing an additional $3,750 – a higher-capacity battery will go for $5,750, and should provide a range of up to 100 miles (161 km).