Although electric cars have proven more than once that they can drive in a brilliant way, you still hear that they are like home appliances. That comes mostly from people that have never driven an EV or that are too afraid to do so. We have no idea if Lesage Motors wants to convince these guys of how exciting an electric vehicle can be, but we bet it will do that with its O1E, a moving tribute to the classic cyclecars from the 1920s.
The 2-seater roadster is called 01. It will present both an electric derivative and one with a gas engine, which will be called 01T. Both vehicles will have the same dimensions: a 3.60 m (141.7 in) length, 1.76 m (69.3 in) width, 1.23 m (48.4 in) height, and a wheelbase of 2.45 m (96.5 in).
That shows they share the same aluminum spaceframe, seats, 195/55 R20 tires, and wheels. The double-wishbone suspensions on the rear and front axle are also common. The changes are restricted to the powertrain, weight, and price.
The 01T uses a 1.2-liter, 3-cylinder Turbo PureTech engine supplied by Peugeot. It gives the car 115 kW (154 hp) and 240 Nm (177 lb-ft) to cope with only 650 kg (1,433 lbs). It will be sold for €54,000 – a little more than $61,300 – starting in 2021.
Gallery: Lesage Motors 01E Will Start A New Sequence Of Exciting Electric Roadsters
When it comes to the most interesting version for us, the O1E also uses Peugeot components. The electric motor must come from the e-208, and it delivers 100 kW (134 hp) and 260 Nm (191.8 lb-ft). As an electric automobile, it is not as light as the 01T, but its 950 kg (1,984 lbs) make it a lightweight EV.
The 50 kWh battery pack used by the 01E allows it to have a 340 km (211 mi) range. In terms of acceleration times, the 01T beats the 01E by 1 s (6.5 s against 7.5 s) when going from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph). As you may imagine, the electric car is more expensive: €62,500, the equivalent to almost $71,000.
Other similarities between the versions of the 01 are the limited top speeds and production numbers. While the 01T can reach a maximum of 170 km/h (106 mph), the 01E goes up to 150 km/h (93 mph). About how limited they will be, Bertrand Lesage, the founder of Lesage Motors, told InsideEVs this:
“Each cycle would see 50 ICE cars on year 1 and 50 electric cars on year 2.”
Simply put, while the 50 units of the 01T will be produced in 2021, the 01E quota is reserved for 2022. By "each cycle," Lesage means another amusing point about Lesage's projects: they will have different iterations, suggested by the image below.
From 2023 on, we will see the Lesage 02. We have identified the possible appearances in each of the sketches the company presents on its website. Each of them was identified as we show, meaning the 03, 04, and 05 will probably have these looks. The 05 even looks like a dune buggy. We asked Lesage if these were only design ideas? Here's what told us this.
“That’s right. The first electric car will have the bodywork 01 (the blue one). After that iteration, another one.”
That will make Lesage Motors have work until 2030, basically with the same mechanical structure. The company even invites the buyers to help build the car in their shop in Berry, France.
For the ones that also have an eye for the 01T, Lesage Motors ensures it will have its carbon emissions offset with the company planting and maintaining hedges for 15 years. Although that is a noble attitude, make sure you go for the 01E in case you are looking for a fun and exclusive ride.