Pininfarina designs an electric car

Pininfarina and Bollore' collaborate on an electric car, shown at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.

B0 electric car
Pininfarina showed off the B0 in its booth at the Paris Motor Show. CBS Interactive


If you want to build a new car, even a small, economical car, get Pininfarina to design it. That lesson is made clear with the launch of the B0 at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, the best-looking small car we've seen here. The B0 has smart lines and a graceful arch between its front and rear wheels, yet maintains the dimensions and configuration to be a practical car. This car is actually a collaboration between Pininfarina and Bolloré, the latter being a consortium of companies with expertise in batteries and capacitors, and is intended to go into mass production late in 2009.

B0 electric car
The B0 uses solar cells to help recharge the batteries. CBS Interactive

The B0 uses a lithium metal polymer battery pack occupying the undercarriage of the car, with an electric motor driving the front wheels. A super capacitor provides short-term storage for electricity recovered from regenerative braking. Solar cells set into the roof and front of the car trickle energy to the battery.

As configured, the car has a range of 150 miles and an electronically limited top speed of 80 mph. It's not exactly fast, with a 0 to 37 mph time of 6.3 seconds. Bolloré hasn't released 0 to 60 mph times, but assume they will be close to 15 seconds.

As shown, the interior of the car uses two LCDs for its instrumentation, both center-mounted, with a main display on the instrument panel showing climate control, navigation, and entertainment. A smaller display sits on top of the dashboard, showing speed, charge level, range, and other trip information.

See all coverage of the 2008 Paris Motor Show.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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