Automotive

Black Mamba: An EV with serious venom

Black Mamba: An EV with seriou...
The Black Mamba is purported to be smartphone-activated, and be one of the first production vehicles to come with the optional Clarion Full Digital Sound System
The Black Mamba is purported to be smartphone-activated, and be one of the first production vehicles to come with the optional Clarion Full Digital Sound System
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The three-wheel Black Mamba electric vehicle aims to combine the thrill of high-performance motorbikes with some of the perks of automobile-driving
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The three-wheel Black Mamba electric vehicle aims to combine the thrill of high-performance motorbikes with some of the perks of automobile-driving
Being at the prototype stage, the Black Mamba is a machine with a foot in the real world
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Being at the prototype stage, the Black Mamba is a machine with a foot in the real world
This is a machine designed to put serious venom at the fore
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This is a machine designed to put serious venom at the fore
In-hub motors fitted to the rear wheels range from 80 kW up to 600 kW in power
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In-hub motors fitted to the rear wheels range from 80 kW up to 600 kW in power
The power available combined with aerodynamics and a low center of mass should give the Black Mamba serious bite
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The power available combined with aerodynamics and a low center of mass should give the Black Mamba serious bite
Battery packs come in 15, 30 and 50 kWh flavors
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Battery packs come in 15, 30 and 50 kWh flavors
The Black Mamba is purported to be smartphone-activated, and be one of the first production vehicles to come with the optional Clarion Full Digital Sound System
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The Black Mamba is purported to be smartphone-activated, and be one of the first production vehicles to come with the optional Clarion Full Digital Sound System
New Atlas recommends not pairing a 15 kWh battery with a 600 kW motor if you want to make it to the end of your street
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New Atlas recommends not pairing a 15 kWh battery with a 600 kW motor if you want to make it to the end of your street
Silex Power's Valene Black Mamba EV
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Silex Power's Valene Black Mamba EV
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Silex Power has announced the Valene Black Mamba, a three-wheel electric vehicle aiming to combine the thrill of high-performance motorbikes with some of the perks of automobile-driving: a degree of safety and comfort among them. Be in no doubt though, this is a machine designed to put serious venom at the fore.

Interestingly, Silex Power describes the Black Mamba as its first electric vehicle — a nod to the fact that its ambitious Chreos project is still in development.

That said, even as EVs go, the Chreos and Black Mamba are almost as far removed as you get. Where the Chreos was a high-concept, high-end luxury cruiser, the Black Mamba is a high-performance 3-wheeler with the emphasis firmly on adrenaline. In fact, for safety, both acceleration and top speed are electronically limited. And crucially, being at the prototype stage, it's a machine with a foot in the real world.

Though an "advanced prototype," the company is tight-lipped about the Black Mamba's acceleration. Clearly this will vary with the choice of in-hub motors fitted to the rear wheel, which range from 80 kW up to 600 kW. The power available combined with aerodynamics and a low center of mass should give this thing serious bite.

However, the company did reveal to New Atlas that top speed on all models will be limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). According to Silex Power's Johnaton Grech, EVs have an edge when it comes to power with control. "Our drivetrain software specifically adjusts the torque of the rear wheel to prevent spin and maintain grip continuously during fast acceleration," he tells New Atlas. "This is one of the advantages of having an all-electric drivetrain, in which power can be controlled very precisely, thus making such a powerful car easier to control and safer to drive."

Battery packs come in 15, 30 and 50 kWh flavors
Battery packs come in 15, 30 and 50 kWh flavors

The company is a little less shy about the more practical end of the performance specs. Battery packs come in 15, 30 and 50 kWh flavors which Silex claims affords ranges between 180 and 500 km (120 and 310 miles) on one charge. That would seem to depend on certain sensible limits being applied — New Atlas recommends not pairing a 15 kWh battery with a 600 kW motor if you want to make it to the end of your street, for instance.

When it comes to safety, the Black Mamba has a skeleton of seamless steel tubing, and Silex Power insists the legs of both driver and passenger are positioned well behind the front axel. The composite body has "memory properties" which it's claimed will avoid significant damage from low-speed bumps and knocks.

Further, Silex Power suggests this is far from a stripped-back motoring experience. The car is purported to be smartphone-activated, and be one of the first production vehicles to come with the optional Clarion Full Digital Sound System.

Silex Power hopes to manufacture and distribute from 2017. Price is expected to start at €35,000 (US$39,200).

Here's the spec-sheet provided by Silex Power:

  • Ultra-lightweight full electric 3-wheel sports car
  • Electric motors ranging from 80kW (107bhp) to 600kW (810bhp)
  • Up to 500 km autonomy on a single charge (with 50kWh battery pack)
  • DC fast charging support, with optional HyperCharging compatibility (AC/DC Chargerintegrated)
  • Steel and aerospace aluminum chassis with optional titanium alloy elements
  • Regenerative braking and high-performance disk brakes on each wheel
  • Composite material body
  • Driver identification system with keyless operation
  • Advanced multimedia system with optional Clarion Full Digital Sound System
  • Full-LED lighting throughout
  • Highly customizable
  • Dimensions 3.71 x 1.98 x 1.10 m (12.2 x 6.5 x 3.6 ft)

Source: Silex Power/Valene Motors

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6 comments
Don Duncan
"Ultra-lightweight"?? What does that mean? Compared to what? Other 3-wheel EVs? How about just telling us the weight and let us decide? What is the drag? "Highly customizable"?? I need shade in my hot, triple digit weather. At $40K I would require enclosed, air cooled seating for two + groceries. What is "fast charging"? Tell me the time, I'll judge how "fast" it is.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really neat. It might not be an all weather vehicle like the Elio but still be cool being seen driving one; IMO.
Martin Hone
When you make the statement like "ultra lightweight" then it would be good to quantify it....please !
Lumen
Black Mamba? Methinks they would love a celebrity endorser to embrace this roadster. A certain recently-retired basketball star with the same moniker comes to mind...
Brian H
Doh. The "rear wheels" are at the front.
Grunchy
It's a two seater not unlike a motorbike, therefore, I would expect to be priced accordingly. Especially since you can't tuck it away in a corner of the garage in the winter, like a motorbike could be... speaking of which, how do you think the mamba would do in the winter? Aw heck I may as well have a snowmobile.