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The eRod makes EVs fun again

Kyburz eRod - Fun. © Renate Szinyei

Switzerland’s Kyburz has devised the lightweight, torque-laden eRod with only one thing in mind: fun

In all this talk of electric transportation, it’s easy to forget that innovation can be about more than just practicality.

Swiss electric vehicle-maker Kyburz – established as a developer of EVs for industrial applications and delivery firms, and particularly known for supplying the Swiss postal service – arrived at a similar conclusion when devising its latest creation.

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the eRod is fun personified. Described by Kyburz as “the epitome of a roadworthy sports car,” it takes the company’s reliable EV technology and bolts it to a lightweight sports chassis. Add in a couple of bucket seats and you’re away.

As eRod project leader Daniel Wenger explained to ElecTrans: “Knowing the advantage of electric powertrain, [company founder] Martin Kyburz had the idea of an electric fun mobile. The concept was to create a vehicle as pure as possible, for a reasonable price, with only one function: fun for the driver.”

If its videos are anything to go by, it appears to have succeeded.

 

 

Splitting the Atom

With its minimal body panelling and tubular frame, comparisons are easily drawn between the eRod and other fun-mobiles like the Ariel Atom or the Caterham Seven.

Kyburz supplies the eRod in three models: Basic, Fun and Race. The Basic setup pairs a 45kW motor with a 10kWh li-ion battery, offering a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) with a relatively minimal range of 55-70km. Bumping up the weight by 70kg you can prolong the experience in the Fun model, which offers the same specs and top speed with a larger, 17.3kWh battery, which Kyburz says should grant you around 100-130km of range.

eRod Race. © Renate Szinyei
eRod Race. © Renate Szinyei

With the US$100,000+ Race model however, all bets are off. Although the heaviest of the models, weighing around 650kg, the eRod Race more than doubles the motor and battery specifications. A 150kW motor raises the top speed to 140 km/h (87 mph) and pushes out a crushing 305 Nm of torque.

The larger 39 kWh battery will also keep you going for around 220km, while a reduced charge time of 4 hours (compared to 6 and 10 hours for the Basic and Fun models, respectively) ensures you’ll be back out on the track in no time.

 

Kitted out

What is perhaps most intriguing about the eRod is that its philosophy of fun extends to assembly and modification too. The Fun model is available unassembled (at a reduced price) for enthusiasts to build, modify and tinker with at home – an exciting prospect as EV adoption becomes more widespread.

Indeed, Wenger agreed with ElecTrans that “the eRod has the potential to inspire a new electric kit car movement,” a trend which has, so far, largely been contained to Kickstarter campaigns and electric conversion kits.

Indeed, Wenger has been pleased with the feedback from drivers. “The responses are very good. I never seen someone coming back from a test ride without a big smile on the face,” he said.

Unlike many of its rivals, you might actually be able to own an eRod too. Kyburz is producing the Fun model this year, offering an unbuilt kit for 25,000 Swiss francs (23,000 euros), or fully assembled at just over CHF 33,000 (approx. 30,500 euros), excluding VAT.

Affordable, electric and fun? Sign us up.

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