Sign of the times? Perhaps, but fact is that Pininfarina’s Paris Show surprise debut was neither a Ferrari nor a Maserati. Instead the famous Italian design house presented an all-electric city car called the B0 –with a zero and not an ‘O’. The B0 is the result of a partnership between Pininfarina and Bollore, a French company that specializes in components for capacitors. Interestingly, Pininfarina claims that the B0 is not a prototype as it will be mass produced with the first units coming off the production line at the end of 2009, after which production will be ramped up gradually based on the availability of the batteries. -Continued
The sleek-looking city car which will be built in Turin, Italy by Pininfarina-Bolloré, a joint venture formed by the two family-owned groups, is not based on any existing model as it was designed from the ground up. Its batteries are housed in a compartment specially designed for that purpose and located under the car, between its axles. This solution lowers the B0’s center of gravity thus improving its road-holding properties.
According to Pininfarina, the batteries can be charged in a matter of hours from a standard domestic main socket providing it with a range of 250 km or 153 miles. Additionally, the B0 will feature a set of solar panels on its roof and hood that will help recharge the batteries. Equipped with an automatic gearbox, the four-seater, five-door hatchback is said to have an electronically governed top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph) while acceleration from zero to 60 km/h (0 to 37 mph) will come in 6.3 seconds.