ECOS is known for the electric retrofitting of old Volkswagens - for around $12,500, you can have your Beetle converted into highway capable electric commuter.
But capitalizing on the availability of off-the-shelf componentry and the relative simplicity of EV powertrains, ECOS is hoping to whip up some enthusiasm and free-media marketing by turning out a small stream of purpose-built, somewhat affordable hypercar EV's.
The company's new Harbinger electric hot-rod features a carbon/kevlar composite one-piece body shaped to evoke "a modern Italian supercar", but in many ways the entire package represents a hearkening back to the golden age of sporting motors when sportscars were bereft of bells and whistles because enthusiasts craved simple, open-roadster platforms optimized for handling and speed.
Although it's said to have multiple on-board computers to monitor and control all onboard systems, the car nevertheless seems almost minimalist in its control layout and appointments. Steering wheel, stop and go pedals, and a stick for forward and reverse. Open to the stars and wind, and the dash appears positively blank!
Under the hood (or trunk, in this case) the Harbinger runs a 30kwh LiFePO4 battery pack and electric motor good for sub-6 second 0-60 times, a 117mph, electronically limited top speed, and a range of 150+ miles if you hyper-mile it.
The Harbinger goes on sale in Feb 2010 - although pre-orders are now being taken directly through ECOS.
Although not dramatically cheaper than a Tesla roadster, The Harbinger does sell for ten percent less, and who's to say that other small players may not begin to jump into the market with low numbers of even simpler and less costly sporting designs? It's possible that we're seeing the start of a transportation revolution in which small, independent operators are able to produce more of a variety of electric vehicles in smaller volumes with performance enthusiasts stepping up as early-adopters and a reliable revenue base for the early going.