An electric car developed by French financier Vincent Bollore and Italian car designer Pininfarina SpA may be available by autumn, Bollore told Reuters at the Geneva auto show.
As Europe gears up for electric car launches from major carmakers such as PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault and Nissan, the two companies will launch the Bluecar initially for rental and later for sale.
The car will be available as soon as this autumn, depending on the results of crash tests, Bollore said.
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 Chief Executive Silvio Angori told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday 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.
(Editing by David Holmes)