Enfield Automotive

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Enfield 8000 in London

Enfield Automotive was an electric car manufacturer founded in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. Under the ownership of Greek millionaire Giannis Goulandris, production was moved to the Greek isle of Syros during the oil crisis of 1973, although the vehicles were still sent back to be assembled on the Isle of Wight.[1]

Models[edit]

Enfield 465[edit]

Enfield 465 publicity photo

The Enfield 465 was a small 2+2-seater electric car built only in prototype form in 1969. It was equipped with a 48 V, 4.65 bhp (3 kW) electric motor and had an ICI royal plastic body with no metal chassis. It is believed that only three were Built but only two remain as one failed the crash testing. The rear axle came from a Bond Bug with the Motor parrell to it. [2][3]

Enfield 8000[edit]

The Chairman of the Electricity Council and other EC Board members on the date of signing the contract for the Enfield 8000
Main article: Enfield 8000

The Enfield 8000 (also known the E8000 ECC or "Electric City Car") was similar to the 465, but with an 8 bhp (6 kW) motor and aluminium body. 120 Enfield 8000s were built on the Isle of Wight in the mid-1970s, of which 65 were used by the Electricity Council and southern English Electricity Boards.[4]

The E8000ECC had passed all the necessary tests for production in the United Kingdom and was on its way to be produced in the United States of America. Then Governor of California Ronald Reagan sent a cargo plane to have three E8000ECCs moved to California in support of his Clean Air legislation.[citation needed] However, the E8000ECC was never produced in the United States. The unique aerodynamics of the E8000ECC were not based on traditional industry principles and ideas. They were based on designs made by Konstantine Adraktas, the Chairman and Managing Technical Director of Enfield. The car was eventually produced in Greece after the company was incorporated into Neorion (also owned by Mr. Goulandris) and renamed Enfield-Neorion.

Key Characteristics[edit]

  • The range of the E8000ECC was 50 miles (80 km) to 90 miles (145 km), depending on driving conditions.[citation needed]
  • The top speed of the E8000ECC was 70 mph (113 km/h) to 80 mph (129 km/h), depending on driving conditions.[citation needed]
  • It had an aluminum body to guard against corrosion.[3]
  • It was available in a "Bicini" version which had a body composed of simple flat panels and was never crash tested.
  • A leather interior was available.
  • Its turning radius was comparable to a traditional London cab.[citation needed]
  • It had no gear lever, reverse was entered with the use of switch.
  • It was based on widely available components and parts for easy maintenance and worldwide replacement part availability.
  • It had an on-board charger (which recharged batteries fully while freewheeling downhill in the Alps.)[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Prest, David (28 November 2013). "The Enfield Thunderbolt: An electric car before its time". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Enfield". Auta 5P (in Czech). Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Overview of Enfield Automotive". Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  4. ^ Buckley, Martin (4 April 2006). "Enfield Electric Car". The Independent. Retrieved 31 May 2011.