The Enfield Thunderbolt: An electric car before its time
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The Enfield Thunderbolt: An electric car before its time


From The BBC online

Enfield Automotive beat rival bidders like Ford for the contract and made more than 100 cars at its works on the Isle of Wight.

With a top speed of 48mph (77km/h) and a range of up to 56 miles (90km), the car was aimed at low mileage urban users, and was expected to supply a much needed boost to Britain's export push.

The vehicle was designed round a chassis of square cross-section steel tubing with panels made of lightweight aluminium.

The car's power came from eight 6V battery monoblocks, and an onboard charger meant it could simply be connected to the domestic mains through a socket in the back.

"The principle was much the same as a modern electric car," according to Radio 4 presenter Peter Curran, who has bought and restored an Enfield 8000.

He says: "It was small, square and squat, but somehow futuristic with a beautiful curving windscreen. It had a cheekiness and came in a variety of colours - red, orange and blue. To the casual observer it looked a bit like a supersized Spangle."

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