240 MPGe Kombi EV slated for US launch


February 13, 2014

Designed for transporting light cargo, the Kombi EV has a range of 50 miles (80.5 km) on a single charge

Designed for transporting light cargo, the Kombi EV has a range of 50 miles (80.5 km) on a single charge

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Cenntro Motors has announced plans to launch its Kombi EV all-electric utility vehicle in the North America. Designed for transporting light cargo, the Kombi EV, has a claimed top speed of 31 mph (49.9 km/h), a range of 50 miles (80.5 km) on a single charge, with each charge taking under six hours, according to the company. A 6.8-kWh lithium-ion battery powers the electric motor, delivering a maximum of 12.5 kW (16.7 hp) and 400 Nm of torque, which translates to an acceleration of 0 to 45 km/h (28 mph) in 8.5 seconds.

Using KLD Technologies' oneDRIVE drivetrain, the vehicle is said to achieve fuel economy of 240 MPGe on the highway, though it is yet to receive an official rating from the EPA. As a comparison, current EPA figures mark the Chevrolet Spark EV as the industry leader with 119 MPGe for combined highway and city driving.

With a carrying capacity of 800 lb (362.8 kg) and a turning radius of 3.8 yards (3.47 m), the two-wheel drive Kombi is geared toward industry applications that rely on short-distance deliveries and transportation, such as a local courier service or a storage facility.

The company has floated two models. The Green Space model features a tray at the rear, while the City version sports an enclosed body and has maximum speed of 25 mph (40 km/h) with fuel economy of 240 MPGe.

Cenntro says the car will initially be available in North America only, and plans to begin delivery in the second quarter of 2014. Pricing information has yet to be released.

"The Kombi is an extremely versatile vehicle that was purpose built for multiple applications from warehouse operations, to agriculture, landscape and maintenance needs in addition to light urban deliveries," said Marianne McInerney, Executive Vice President of Cenntro Motor.

Product page: Cenntro Motors

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches. All articles by Nick Lavars

Assuming an average speed of 15mph that is 3.33333 hours of operation per charge.


Totally retro - it looks just like the beloved VW Bus T1...

Why not a more modern approach to the design? I think the world has got its retro-Beetle(s), i retro- Mini's and retro-Fiat500's - no need for retro-VWBusses; time to think forward.

Jorgen Sondermark/Realdania Byg

We used to have a similar electric vehicle that delivered the milk to the doorstep each morning (born before the age of the fridge).

If I were a warehouse manager, or in some such similar position, I would be calling for there to be an easily replaced battery pack so that I could achieve at least double the hours Sloburn has calculated by having a spare battery pack. Indeed, they could be in use 24/7, if the recharge time could be halved. Failing that, there would be the need for two spare packs But there again, spare battery packs are currently not cheap and even one would put a premium on the overall cost. As for other applications, it would depend on the ratio of down time while the driver is working, such as doing maintenance, to 'on the road' time.

Mel Tisdale

What's an MPGe?


Good luck with that, but I feel they have some serious catching up to do. As was said below, we had milk floats that could better that back in the 'fifties, albeit they were struggling by the time they got back to the depot.


MPGe = miles per gallon equivalent.

Noel K Frothingham

I seen one of these at the golf course.............20 yrs ago


I see they don't mention price yet.

Keith Lamb

A range of 50 miles/ charge makes this large PU truck impractical for use in rural areas. Even for urban use, recharge may be necessary to complete more than one job.


It said it has 240 mpg on the freeway except that if it only goes 31 mph, there is no way it could go on the freeway it wouldn't be legal, it would be better if it was a hybrid, I wouldn't buy it! I have an electric mopeds that has just about the same specs

Matthew Lee

This unit has little market in the US. Saying a 31mph vehicle as highway strains belief.

Looks great though and practical if say 70 mph and 80+ mile range.

Lastly it's not likely to pass US safety specs for 4 wheel trucks

As for the EV/Chassis it's been done near forever and made by John Deere, etc small vehicle producers now, only the front body looks is new.


A 50 mile range and a top speed of 30mph. How practical is that for most people? Manufacturers are notorious for inflating their efficiency ratings over seas. There is no way it will be 240MPGe by the EPA standards. For one, it's not even allowed on the highway, so it can't get a highway rating.


Kind of like a re-styled Diahatsu, with the same fabulous frontal crush zone. But a top speed of 31mph? Well, maybe if you are stuck in downtown traffic that will be OK. But if part of the route has a 35 or 45 limit, people will be shaking their fists. But it is cute.

Bruce H. Anderson

This is just the beginning of what will become a Solar revolution in small to medium around town eVehicles, of which many more will be do-it-yourself conversions of existing gas powered vehicle.

As battery prices continue to drop and their useful life gets longer, solar powered vehicles become even a better deal, especially for those that can add PV panels to their roofs and use the eVehicle's battery for additional storage, so they do not have to give their additional energy to the Utility which only "repays" them for a fraction of its value!

Here is one example:


Interesting, but no dice in the commerical market. From what is in the article its private road use only it appears. Well shucks I can buy a used Japanese mini truck (eg Daihatsu) for probably less, it runs on gas so I don't have to worry about battery charge and is probably low mileage to boot.


How much will it cost?

Nelson Chick

31 MPH is dangerous just about anywhere in the U.S. except in a school zone, or a parking lot..50 miles is a one way trip…THIS WILL NEVER WORK in the U.S.


Ironic that they designed it to look like an old VW van from the 60's/70's, since it's VW who has a new diesel engine that can match or beat this electric's efficiency.

Dave Andrews

Our future is and will be the battery. We can not deny that direct current can be managed to the smallest scale. I see a future of battery stations along our highways as a replacement to what we have and use today. As a consumer I am looking at these technologies very seriously as a New replacement to meet the goals of saving this planet, my pocket book and having something cool and new.

Scott Kelley

The specs on this are very close to the Polaris Ranger EV. If you look at their videos on youtube you see they even used a Ranger EV chassis on their 4-wheel test vehicle. 30mph is OK for a NEV in communities for example where they let people drive their golf carts on the street and the posted speed limit is 30mph or less. Not a lot of places where someone would want that type of product though. There are quite a few businesses that could use an electric truck around power plants, chemical plants, etc. still, those products exist. They would have to bump it to a sustained 65 mph and 100 mile combined range before they could make real sales and that's only if it's priced right. Nothing out there yet that I see in PIE and may not be till they release better battery technology or allow us to use low pressure hydrogen storage. Then we could skip the battery and run on fuel cells.


It could be used to deliver one pizza 50 miles away and take 6 hours to recharge before the guy could drive back! How about adding a diesel engine to make it a hybrid or add some forks to make it a fast forklift?


Low speed 50 mile range= Epic Fail

Leonard Foster

Only 50 Km . that wouldn't get me to the shops

Allen Clarke

I can see it being useful in parks (nature or theme), gated communities, and factories that are big enough where transport is necessary.

It does have that VW Microbus look, especially with the 'v' in front. It closely resembles the VW transporter/pickup of similar design.

I think it is neat.

I have seen similar size vehicles with a camper on the back, making it a micro rv. :)

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