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Opel RAK e electric concept looks to the future of low-cost urban motoring

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Opel RAK e concept

Before we delve into the details of the RAK e electric concept, let's step back in time with a brief historical primer. The oldest industrial division within General Motors' current portfolio, Opel started as a sewing machine manufacturer way back in 1862. Evolving to the production of bicycles soon after, Opel's presence in wheeled transportation turned to automobiles in 1899. Now, at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, Opel looks to the future with its debut of the ultra-modern RAK e Concept.

Back in 1928, Opel captivated the media with its experimental rocket-powered RAK 2. Its streamlined shape and solid-fuel rocket propulsion system demonstrated Opel's vision of the future. Developed 83 years after the RAK 2, the RAK e tandem 1+1 concept projects Opel's take on personal urban mobility.

As an experimental design and technical platform, the RAK e is a narrow four-wheeler built around a steel space frame. Built with an eye toward inexpensive materials, the RAK e is a lightweight (838 pounds) concept presented as a vehicle that Opel says even the youngest of buyers could afford.

Propulsion for the RAK e comes from a 49-horsepower electric motor that draws juice from a five-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Range is listed at up to 62 miles and operating costs are claimed to be only one euro per 100 kilometers ($2.19 per 100 miles).


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