Russia to produce world’s cheapest electric car

The compact vehicle will cost only around $7,000

Russia to produce world’s cheapest electric car Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns

Russia’s first locally manufactured electric car, Zetta, is at the final stage of the certification process. Russian Engineering and Manufacturing Company (REMC) is planning to start the vehicle’s production at the beginning of 2020 and make 15,000 cars annually. Two-thirds of this amount is designed for exports.

Russia’s super low-priced electric car Zetta will hit showrooms in 2020 marking the first electric car produced by the country, says Interesting Engineering. According to Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, the vehicle’s certification is nearly a done deal. “According to the report I’ve received from my colleagues, the certification process of the Zetta electric car is at its final stage,” said the minister. He added that the production should start within the first quarter of 2020 and that he was promised to be the first informed about it.

Zetta (Zero Emission Terra Transport Asset) is expected to be priced at around $7,000. It is cheaper than Renault City K-ZE and Ora R1, which are currently the most affordable electric cars in the Russian market. The manufacturer managed to price its vehicle so cheaply due to the use of in-wheel hub induction electric motors in each wheel. The electric motors are chemical-, water- and dust-resistant. “The technology... does not need difficult materials and components. Absence of expensive torque transfer mechanisms (transmission, reduction units, drive gear) on the platform provides low production cost and high reliability of service,” reads the vehicle’s website. According to CEO of REMC Denis Schurovsky, the induction motors held up against road stresses during testing.

Zetta will be able to drive around 200 kilometres on a single charge with the maximum speed of 120 km/h. Photo: e-zetta.ru

The company claims that Zetta is 99% sourced locally except batteries, which are imported from China. The vehicle will be able to drive around 200 kilometres on a single charge with the maximum speed of 120 km/h. The car suits “city streets that aren’t designed for normal-sized cars and lorries” and “people who want a low-cost, green way to get to and fro”.

According to bne IntelliNews, Zetta will be produced in Russian car industry capital Tolyatti. The car’s manufacturer, REMC, is a privately-funded start-up founded three years ago, which attracted about $7 million of investment. The company intends to produce 15,000 Zetta vehicles annually and export two-thirds of the low-cost cars during 2020 and 2021.

By Anna Litvina