French supplier Valeo develops two-seater with 48V electric engine to show potential of tech for city cars
James Attwood, digital editor
8 January 2018

French automotive parts firm Valeo has unveiled a low-voltage electric city car concept that it believes could be sold for as little as £6600.

The two-seater, developed with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, is loosely based on a Chinese-built Zhidou city car, with all internal components bar the battery produced by Valeo.

The machine is powered by a low-voltage 48V motor, making it about 20% more economical than the high-voltage motors of around 400V currently used in electric cars. Because the 48V motor doesn’t require all the safety systems of a high-voltage system, it is also cheaper to produce.

More automotive news from CES 2018

It has been designed to offer a 62-mile range, with a top speed of 62mph, which Valeo says meets the need of 80% of city-based commutes.

The concept, which is being demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is designed for the fast-growing market for small, low-speed city cars for use in cities.

Valeo CEO Jacques Aschenbroich said: “There is already a big market for low-speed vehicles in China, where more than a million such cars are on the road, and these cars are growing in popularity in Europe. This is a market that could explode around the world.”

Despite producing the concept, Valeo has no intention of becoming a car manufacturer – it is designed to showcase technology to sell to car firms. Aschenbroich added: “Producing cars is not our business. I don’t think we’d be able to do it, and we don’t want to do it.”

Valeo currently develops a range of autonomous, connected and eletric systems, including the SCALA lidar laser scanner system, used as part of autonomous systems on the new Audi A8.

Read more

More automotive news from CES 2018

Toyota presents e-Palette autonomous concept at CES

Chris Bangle-designed Redspace Chinese city car revealed

Audi A8 review

Our Verdict

Audi A8

The new Audi A8 is sophisticated, undemanding and full of technology, but is that enough to knock the excellent Mercedes-Benz S-Class off its perch?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Aston Martin DB11 Volante
    The DB11 Volante chassis' torsional rigidity is 22kN/deg, down from 34kN/deg on the coupe – but substantially more than the 14.7kN/deg of the DB9 Volante
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    The DB11 Volante is the first convertible variant of Aston Martin's new model generation. How does it compare to the likes of the new Ferrari Portofino?
  • BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo front
    The new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
    First Drive
    16 February 2018
    The top-of-the-line 6 Series Gran Turismo has arrived in the UK, but does a more potent engine increase its unusual appeal?
  • Audi TT RS Coupé
    First Drive
    16 February 2018
    The Audi TT RS has the looks, a vociferous engine and the supercar-baiting performance, but is it too uncompromising to use as a daily driver?
  • Range Rover Velar front quarter
    The new Range Rover Velar P300 features a four-cylinder petrol engine
    First Drive
    16 February 2018
    JLR’s most powerful four-pot isn’t the engine the Velar truly wants but perhaps the one that makes most sense
  • Mitsubishi Outlander diesel
    The Mitsubishi Outlander diesel is available with five or seven seats
    First Drive
    15 February 2018
    The Outlander isn't just available as a PHEV: how does the diesel version compare to seven-seat rivals such as the Nissan X-Trail and Skoda Kodiaq?