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Gun-maker Kalashnikov wants to take on Tesla with retro-styled EV

The CV-1 will have a range of 217 miles per charge, the Russian arms manufacturer says.

Kalashnikov CV-1 concept
The weapons company now wants to dip into the EV space.

Arms manufacturer Kalashnikov is best known for its AK-47 assault rifle, often called the world's most popular gun. Now the Russian company is heading in a decidedly different direction, showing off an electric concept car called the CV-1 -- and boldly claiming that it will take on electric-car giant Tesla.

"This technology will let us stand in the ranks of global electric car producers such as Tesla and be their competitor," the company was quoted as saying by Agence France Presse. "We were inspired by the experience of global market leaders in developing our concept."

The boxy, retro-styled CV-1 concept is based on a 1970s Soviet-built hatchback, according to AFP, but with Kalashnikov-designed electric technology underhood. It's said to have a "revolutionary" inverter for the electric motor and a driving range of 350 kilometers (217 miles) per charge. Visually, the squared-off hatchback recalls the design of Honda's Urban EV.

AFP says that the arms maker's holding company, Kalashnikov Concern, is interested in selling civilian consumer goods, including items "ranging from umbrellas to mobile phone covers."

Kalashnikov CV-1 concept

The car's design is based on a 1970s-era Soviet hatchback.


Autocar reports that the CV-1 will have a 90 kilowatt-hour battery pack and 295 horsepower, with a 0-62 miles per hour time of about 6 seconds. Kalashnikov reportedly wants to compete with global electric-car manufacturers, like Tesla, though no plans for production of the CV-1 have so far been announced.

Few other details have been provided on the CV-1. The concept locates its charging port at the rear, between the taillights. Its flat-nosed grille features stacked LED lights and the concept rides on white multispoke wheels with aggressive performance tires. It remains to be seen if and when Kalashnikov puts the electric hatchback into production.