The first electric car made completely in Mexico by a 100% Mexican company and specifically designed for motorists in the country’s cities is expected to go on sale in November.
Two zero-emissions coupe models — the M2 and the M3 — made by Motores Limpios will initially be available under the brand name Zacua, derived from the Nahuatl name of a bird species found from Mexico to Panama and one intended to evoke the qualities of innovation, efficiency and environmental respect.
Company director Jorge Martínez says the initiative was born of the need for more environmentally friendly transportation options.
While the cars will initially be manufactured in Estado de México, a French company, Automobiles Chatenet, was responsible for the design and a Spanish company, Dynamik Technological Alliance, completed the engineering development.
Some of the vehicle parts are also imported although Martínez said that eventually the “idea is to have each piece and part of the car made here,” provided that there is a continued demand for the vehicle in the Mexican market.
The first vehicle on the market will be a two-seater coupe with a limited batch of just 100 expected to be on sale in Mexico City by November, although a further 200 are planned for 2018 and an additional 300 in 2019.
Measuring just 3.06 meters in length, 1.56 meters wide and 1.4 meters high and weighing only 380 kilograms, the car is designed to squeeze into the smallest of spaces.
Powered by a lithium-ion battery that takes eight hours to fully charge, the cars have a 115-kilometer range and a top speed of 100 km/h although a speed limiter activates at 85 km/h.
Prices will start at around 440,000 pesos (US $24,500).
The company plans to move its manufacturing plant to Puebla in 2019 with a larger four-seater model to follow in 2020.
The new electric car will not be restricted by the Hoy No Circula (No Circulation Today) regulation in Mexico City nor will owners have to pay the car tax or purchase an environmental verification certificate.
“This new Zacua coupe meets urban needs . . . that’s what we’ve been working on and we’ve received enormous encouragement from the Mexico City government,” Martínez said.
Other vehicle specifications are:
• Electric permanent magnet synchronous motor with a maximum power output of 34 kilowatts.
• Lithium-ion battery with a 6.1-kilowatt hours capacity.
• Front-wheel drive.
• Hydraulic circuit braking system.
• MacPherson Strut style suspension.
• Touch navigation screen and an integrated audio and telephone system.
While the car is specifically designed for the Mexican market, if it is successful here there is a possibility that the company will seek to enter international markets.
Students at the National Autonomous University also had success with an electric car at an international design competition last year, although their vehicle was not intended for commercialization.