When we spoke about the upcoming Nissan Kicks e-Power, many readers got puzzled with the possibility of charging an EV solely with fuels, even if renewable. For them, burning anything is hazardous no matter what, even if the carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere is just being returned to where it originally was. That is more or less what the Roland Gumpert (RG) Nathalie will do when it reforms methanol to extract hydrogen from it. The similarities with the e-Power system end there.
Gallery: RG Nathalie Can Power Its Electric Motors With Renewable Fuel
The Nathalie is a high-performance EV that can go from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 2.5 s and reach a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph). Its two electric motors – one for each axle – give it 400 kW (536 hp). They are powered both by fuel cells and also by an amazingly big 178 kWh buffer battery, as the company officially states in its press release.
You read that right. We have even got in touch with RG to see if that was correct. If it is, that is 78 percent more than the biggest battery pack Tesla currently offers, with 100 kWh. The 1,800 kg (3,968 lbs) weight confirms the carbon-fiber vehicle has massive batteries, but the company will provide us with detailed information about that. We'll probably have a second article only to explain this.
RG says the car can be charged on a power outlet, but it does not inform if the vehicle can fast charge, for example. It says solely that it has an 820 km (510 mi) range. That is probably with a full charge and the methanol tank with all the 65 liters it can carry.
When the battery is empty, the top speed it 120 km/h (75 mph), which implies the 15-kW fuel cell can provide enough energy for it to move without restrictions. That is something the Nissan does not do: its 1.5 kWh auxiliary battery is always responsible for driving the vehicle.
The Nathalie is 4.37 m (171.7 in) long, 2.08 m (81.9 in) wide, 1.31 m (51.6 in) tall, and it has a 2.65 m (104.3 in) wheelbase. The First Edition will cost €407,000 without taxes – a little less than $454,000, according to current exchange rates – and it is limited, but RG does specify how many units. We'll also ask the company. For the record, only 500 Nathalie vehicles will be produced – including the First Edition vehicles – and deliveries will start in the second half of 2021.
The Nathalie is inspired by this lady above, daughter of Roland Gumpert. This German engineer helped develop the VW Iltis – considered as the origin of the Audi Quattro – and later created the Gumpert Apollo. A while after that company went bankrupt, he partnered with Aiways to bring up his new mechanical and electric child. One that feeds from methanol or electricity alike.