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Chile launches first electric car, 'Soki'

Chile launches first electric car, 'Soki'
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The ‘Soki’ is Chile’s first electric car.

Named after an indigenous word meaning ‘two’, the two-seater can run for up to 60 km on a battery that charges in three hours.

The brainchild of industrial mechanic Daniel Pavez, it is an updated version of a previous model. Despite being bigger it weighs 20 percent less and has been improved in terms of energy efficiency, safety and engineering.

“At first it started as personal project but later it turned into a technical challenge that we tried to resolve by developing a mode of transport that would offer both the same safety and comfort as a traditional car, combined with the agility of a motorcycle and the efficiency of a bicycle, plus trying to make it as economical as possible,” he says.

The Soki should be available for purchase next March at a cost of around 12,000 dollars.

It was developed with the support of Chile’s Production Development Corporation, Corfo, a government organisation that promotes economic growth. Innovation Manager Patricio Feres says: “The challenges will keep growing for motorised transport, especially in densely populated cities. So this project offers a solution that is clean, efficient and has high standards of comfort and security.”

In the coming weeks, Pavez and his team will be visiting a dozen cities across Chile to promote their invention.