There was a time not too long ago when the words electric vehicle (EV) were basically shorthand for small. In fact, some of those early EVs were so tiny you half expected to see a kid following behind the thing with a remote control in hand.
But, for good or ill, time moves on and as the technology has advanced car makers have been able to make EVs bigger, brighter and in the case of the new G-Electric, very boxy.
The G-Electric is an electric version of the G-Wagen, Mercedes popular SUV. Short for Gelandewagen (German for cross-country vehicle), the G-Wagen is a four-wheel drive developed by the German auto maker in the seventies. It was built for the military and dozens of national armies around the the world, including the U.S. military still retain a roster of the vehicles.
This electric conversion is one-off project by the Dutch green transport company e-Traction. It has been realized to serve the research needs of e-traction and the Dutch Ministry of Defense and it’s currently in the hands of the army in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn.
In place of a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine producing close to 500-horsepower, the G-Electric has 92 percent efficient in-wheel electric motors. The car has a lithium-ion battery packaged under the passenger compartment, leaving more space under the hood for future experiments.
With fuel prices running to historic highs major automakers, looking for an alternative to petrol powered cars, have sunk serious cash into producing EVs. At the same time, the development of lithium-ion batteries has helped revolutionize the electric car. These batteries, the same kind that power most mobile phones and laptops, are powerful, relatively light, have a high energy-to-weight ratio, recharge quickly and hold charge when not in use.