Fiat Electric Car Unveiled in Brazil

Its development was created in conjunction with the the Swiss company KWO. This car is mainly meant for European markets, which are in high demand for electric cars.

The Fiat Palio Weekend Eletrico is powered by a 20 HP Electric motor which in turn is run by a Nickel-Cd battery located at the base of the trunk (Lithium-Ion isn’t used as it is very expensive, but future variants should come with Lithium-Ion units). Over night charging will give you a maximum possible range of 120 km. The Palio Eletrico can be operated in 3 modes : Drive, Neutral and Reverse. This car is not a hybrid, it’s a fully electric short distance city car.

As for the exteriors, there have only been minor face-lifts. The Eletrico comes only in one color – green, which supposedly reflects on Fiat’s concern for the environment, and the blue graphics on the doors helps to distinguish the Eletrico from the Palio Weekend Station Wagon. No news has been revealed so far about production and prices, but, we are quite sure that it will be launched in the European market first, where there is suitable infrastructure to support electric cars.

Itaipu, the largest electricity generator in the world, has a vehicle fleet propelled by fossil fuels.

With an eye on the expenses represented by this contradiction, and interested in stimulating the development of a sustainable vehicle, Itaipu is participating in the conception of electric vehicle prototypes that dispense with the use of fossil fuels and don’t pollute the environment. Itaipu is working in partnership with Fiat, the firm responsible for the supply of the mechanical kit (bodywork, motor and gearbox) and the Kraftewerke Oberhasli (KWO), a firm controlling Swiss hydroelectric power plants, and which works in perfecting the technology employed in the electrical part of the vehicle.

A technological cooperation agreement signed in 2004 led to the execution of a survey covering the technical and economic feasibility of vehicles propelled by electricity. By the year 2011, Itaipu intends to invest US$ 230 thousand in the EV Project.

The research and assembly of the electric vehicles take place at the Itaipu Technological Park (PTI) in Foz do Iguaçu, together with the support of firms from the Brazilian electricity sector (Eletrobrás, CPFL and Copel) and the Paraguayan (ANDE), as well as from the Lactec Institute.

In 2006, when the first units were ready, Itaipu received orders for ten vehicles. Now, the associates intend perfecting the already existing technology in order to test the feasibility of entering large scale production. The first customers will be firms from the electricity sector.

The associate entities assume the obligation of purchasing electric vehicles to compose their company fleets and to collaborate in implementing and perfecting the prototypes.

Each electric vehicle produced at Itaipu always comprises technical innovations that are tested by electricity concessionaires.
Electric cars do not pollute and are silent. They can be recharged at home, from a domestic power outlet; a considerable economy. For the value of a liter of gasoline, they run 60 km. Easy to drive, their only controls are the accelerator and brake.

The maximum speed reached by their 20 horsepower is 110 km/h. Light, easy to recycle and placed beneath the floor of the boot so as to not take up room, the nickel batteries provide a range of 120 kilometers, with a recharge time of eight hours.

In order to gain the approval of drivers, the technicians from the Center for Research, Development and Assembly of Vehicles Propelled by Electricity are working to increase the range of the battery to 450 kilometers, raise the maximum speed to 150 km/h, decrease the battery recharging time to 20 minutes, and to allow the electric vehicle to operate with air conditioning.