When Swedish sports car manufacturer Koenigsegg revealed an electric powered concept car in March 2008 many people believed this was nothing but a publicity stunt and a vehicle which would never reach the main market. While there has been no official notification about commercialisation of the Koenigsegg Quant it is rumoured that the vehicle is set to be unleashed on the commercial market albeit in a limited edition capacity.
Who are Koenigsegg?
Koenigsegg Automotive AB is unlikely to be a vehicle manufacturer which is well known outside of Sweden. However, this is a company which specialises in high-performance sports cars and has recently expressed an interest in acquiring Saab Automobile from General Motors. The fact that the company is even considering an acquisition of this nature highlights the potential for the future and the fact that the company plans to be around for many years to come.
The history of Koenigsegg
When you consider the likes of General Motors and Ford have been around for over 100 years many people will be surprised to learn that Koenigsegg was only founded in 1994. This is a company which was created with the sole intention of designing and manufacturing a world-class car and the company's attention to detail, use of new technology and high-tech materials is unrivalled anywhere else in the industry.
It was only in 2002 that the company was able to issue its first street legal vehicle although there have been many more milestone since then, with the company now set to take on the electric car market, a market which has for some time been very much in the shadow of traditional petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles. Even though the company is looking to expand with various acquisitions over the coming months and years it is to all intents and purposes still a small volume manufacturer although progress in specific fields such as electric cars looks likely to push the company into the mainstream market.
The Koenigsegg Quant
The 2009 Geneva Motor Show will go down in history with regards to Koenigsegg and the release of the long-awaited Quant electric vehicle. This is a four seater sport car which is manufactured using the latest photovoltaic coating, the latest aerodynamic technology and the latest electric power motor technology. In many ways this is the holy grail of the electric car industry so far and has caught the attention of manufacturers and consumers around the world.
The electric power
This is really the ultimate electric powered vehicle on the market at the moment and uses the latest NLV solar technology which makes full use of the whole surface of the vehicle. Powered by electric batteries and said to be capable of travelling 500 km without a physical recharge this is only the tip of the iceberg with regards to the technology under the bonnet. As we suggested above, the photovoltaic coating of the vehicle actually captures energy from the sun, while driving, creating solar power which then tops up the cars electric power supply.
The company claims that the photovoltaic system is capable of recharging the car's battery in just 20 minutes, a massive improvement on the 6 to 8 hours which many other electric vehicles need to fully recharge. However, when you also consider the vehicle is capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds, is capable of a top speed of 170 mph, has all of the mod cons which you would expect in a high-tech sports vehicle and makes use of the latest aerodynamic shape, what more could you ask for?
Is the Koenigsegg Quant the face of the future?
There is no doubt that this award-winning Swedish manufacturer is set to take the electric car market to another level as and when the vehicle is released to the commercial market. Until now the company has had an excellent reputation within niche markets but this is all set to change in the future.
Initially the vehicle had been seen as something of a PR stunt but this could not be further from the truth with the company now looking to expand and bring the Koenigsegg Quant to the market in the short to medium term. We have seen no suggestions of price for the vehicle, although it will not be cheap, but when you consider it takes in the latest high-tech aerodynamics, environmentally friendly power as well as all of the mod cons and high-tech gadgets you'd expect with a top of the range sports car, it looks as though you will get what you pay for.
Are we seeing a revolution in the electric car market?
One of the major downsides of the current electric car market is the fact that many vehicles are only capable of short journeys, need up to 8 hours to recharge their batteries and are on the whole uneconomical for longer journeys. However, the photovoltaic recharging system used in the Koenigsegg Quant has taken electric car power to a new level and one which could well be duplicated across the industry.
We really are standing on the edge of a substantial revolution in the electric car market although there is no doubt that traditional petrol and diesel fuelled vehicle manufacturers will try to muddy the water. The ability to obtain distances in the region of 500 km between charges, reach speeds approaching 200 mph and also travel in luxury is something which many people never thought they would see from an electric vehicle in their lifetime.
There is no doubt that the Koenigsegg Quant electric powered sports car is set to make a significant impact when it hits the main market in the short to medium term. Even though the vehicle is likely to be manufactured on a limited edition basis, the basics are very much there for next-generation electric vehicles. The key now is the ability to produce an economy sized affordable vehicle which offers the same journey length at a price which is comparable with traditional vehicles of today.
Watch this space as the Koenigsegg Quant is set to make a big splash in a very big pond in a very big way!