An electric car developed by Italian design and engineering company Pininfarina S.p.A. and French financier Vincent Bollore may be available by autumn.
The two European firms initially will aim the Bluecar at fleet customers such as rental car companies and start private sales later. The car will be available as soon as this autumn, depending on the results of crash tests, Bollore said at the Geneva auto show.
Bollore, head of the Bollore group, said two battery plants that have recently been inaugurated in France would each have an annual production capacity of 15,000 30 kWh batteries per year by 2013.
"With this capacity we can make 30,000 Pininfarina cars or 10,000 buses, or 60,000 small urban vehicles," Bollore said. "Our objective is a mix of the three," he said.
Pininfarina CEO Silvio Angori said he expected to ship 2,000 of the electric cars in 2011.
Bollore is throwing its weight behind lithium-metal-polymer batteries -- a different technology from the lithium-ion batteries other carmakers are using.
Bollore said support from Italian banks for Pininfarina meant the Italian company was free from problems. Angori said the group's net loss would narrow markedly this year.