Loremo EV: Green Egg Omelette

Bavarian-based Loremo AG began in 1993 as an idea for an extremely lightweight vehicle by engineer and automotive component developer Uli Sommer. Thirteen years later the diesel-driven Loremo LS was a surprise hit at the Geneva car show
loremo overhead
all images courtesy Loremo
by Ross Bonander

Specs:

  • Type: Dedicated electric vehicle
  • Class: 2+2 sports car
  • Manufacturer: Loremo AG
  • Propulsion system: Central electric motor
  • Top Speed: 106 mph (170 km/h)
  • Zero-to-63: 15 seconds
  • Vehicle range: 95 miles
  • Fuel(s) : Electric
  • Battery system: 20 kWh Lithium-ion
  • Time to full battery recharge: NA
  • Tailpipe emissions: No
  • Price: €30,000 ($42,900)
  • Availability: 2011 in Europe

The manufacturer says

"You need to crack eggs to make an omelette." 

Overview

A portmanteau for ‘low resistance mobile’, Bavarian-based Loremo AG began in 1993 as an idea for an extremely lightweight vehicle by engineer and automotive component developer Uli Sommer.

loremo EV sideviews

Thirteen years later, the diesel-driven Loremo LS was one of the surprise hits at the 2006 Geneva car show, despite presenting little more than the body. Although the EV represents the next stage in development for Loremo, ostensibly nothing about it beyond powertrain is supposed to change from the LS, leaving in place, among other aspects, the patented lightweight steel structure and brilliant body design.

What we like

The wing door. This is the most dynamic aspect of the vehicle's design, the so-called "gate" or wing door, which swings upward and to the front, what we ordinarily recognize as the hood. Opening the wing door also reveals a compartment for baggage or whatever else you might need to transport.

loremo cockpit

The dashboard. I love minimalist cockpits and dashboards, and Loremo has crafted a work of art here, featuring nothing more than a single combined instrument panel and an optional touch screen PC.

The vehicle weight. At a mere 1,300 pounds (590 kg), the Loremo EV is just the kind of ultra-lightweight vehicle that Loremo is trying to pioneer—although it's a little strange that the EV could weigh no more than 100 lbs more than the diesel Loremo LS.

The seating configuration. The 2+2 seating doesn't mean that four adults can fit–it's more like 2 adults in front, 2 kids in back (facing the back window); those rear seats can be folded to create trunk space. Additionally, the two bucket seats in front only adjust vertically–there's no horizontal adjustment. Rather, the driver can make adjustments to the pedals and to the steering wheel to better suit him.

What we don’t

The cost. Fast-forward to 2011; the Loremo EV is available at a local dealership. The economy has improved. There are a handful of dedicated EV's either on the market already or coming very soon. Would you drop over $40,000 on this neat little vehicle? This is double the estimated price for the company's diesel-only vehicle, and ideally needs to come down a bit to be competitive.

The provincial ambition. Loremo has all but ruled out introducing their modest line of vehicles into the US market. Right now they're only targeting Germany and the EU.

loremo steering wheel

Conclusions

Loremo's participation in the Automotive X-Prize should help to raise the company's profile (they're bringing the diesel-driven Loremo LS to the challenge), and attract a whole new fan base. I hope so.

With the exception of its price, the Loremo EV has so much going for it: good performance specs, great styling, a sportscar profile with more than a measure of practicality. In short, she's attractive on almost every level. But could she be a little too innovative? As a vehicle with the potential to be one of the few mass-market ultralight vehicles that's neither an NEV nor a 3-wheeler, you have to wonder about potential competition. Without competition, Loremo may have no incentive to lower their price or increase performance. Consequently they may also have no buyers.

This site follows the emergence, application and development of transportation innovation. Reference to manufacturers, makes and models, and other automotive-related businesses are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by FutureCars.com.