Russia’s first mass-production electric car comes from St. Petersburg. It’s already driving around

The electric car on the roads of the northern capital. Image credit: Peter the Great Polytechnic University

Engineers from Peter the Great Polytechnic University of St. Petersburg have designed Russia’s first electric vehicle that is entirely based on the so-called Digital Twin Prototyping. While the University is presenting its latest achievement and preparing to hand over the keys in Moscow, takes the EV for a spin.
On December 10, a pre-production sample of the electric SUV Kama-1 has been shown at Moscow’s Expocenter during the VUZPROMEXPO-2020 event, where the keys have been handed over to the CEO of Kamaz, the manufacturing partner of the project. At 9 am, before the grand opening of the exhibition, the product has been showcased at the University’s booth.

According to the developers, Kama-1 is a fully-fledged M1 class electric vehicle, a real SUV, and a quite snappy yet energy-saving one, with a better-that-expected range. 
The Russian EV is very compact, featuring three doors, four seats, a modest cargo space, rather short overhangs, and an impressive clearance. It is as dynamic as any regular ICE car out there, accelerating to 60 kph (roughly 37 mph) in just 3.2 seconds, and capable of going as fast as 150 kph (93 mph).
Kama-1 is 3.4 m (over 11 ft) long, 1.7 m (5.5 ft) wide, and 1.6 m (5’3″) tall. The basic version comes equipped with a 33 kWh battery pack, enabling the fully charged car to carry on for about 250 km (over 155 miles) in city mode, with frequent acceleration and breaking. The prototype tests have been completed, and judging by the videos, it feels at home on the roads around the University.
‘It is the first time when a vehicle has not only been designed but prepared for mass production by a university, the St. Petersburg Polytech. This means our way of tying together science, education, and manufacturing works,’ comments the University’s head Andrey Rudskoy. The design process was based on digital twin prototyping, also developed at the University’s NTI center. The engineers note that it only took them two years to go from zero to a patented production piece.
At the same time, another Russian EV design is in works, a city car Zetta. Denis Manturov, Minister for Industry and Trade, had presented it back in autumn 2019. The production was scheduled to commence before the end of this yet, but the launch has been delayed. 

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