Swords into plowshares: Kalashnikov builds Russian electric car

Kalashnikov CV-1 electric car

Retro is apparently the new future.

After Jaguar announced it would begin producing electric conversions of its classic E-type this weekend, and Electra Meccanica announced that its next car will be an electric replica of a Porsche 356 roadster, the latest retro-inspired electric car comes from the maker of the infamous AK-47 automatic rifle.

Russian armsmaker Kalashnikov showed off a new electric car, the CV-1, at the Russian Army 2018 International Military Technical Forum last week, according to British car magazine Autocar.

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The little hatchback is based on the design of the Izh 2125 Kombi, which was produced in the Communist Soviet Union in 1973 and continued production until 1997.

It says the tiny hatchback will have Tesla-rivaling performance, with a range of 220 miles from a 90-kwh battery pack. A 295-horsepower electric motor should give it acceleration to 62 mph in around six seconds.

“This technology will let us stand in the ranks of global electric car products such as Tesla and be their competitors,” a Kalashnikov spokesperson told Russian news agency RIA-Novosti.

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Military contractors around the world have a long history of developing civilian products to help them weather the vagaries of state support for war machines.

Kalashnikov is notable for its AK-47 automatic rifle. The company builds a wide range of military and civilian weapons, but it also builds bikes, and off-road vehicles, so a car isn’t that much of a stretch in concept.

The electric CV-1 should trounce the performance of the original Izh Kombi, with its 69-hp gas engine.

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