January 17, 2013

Sporty electric car on its way

“A small and sassy sports car, easy to drive in the city and on the open road alike,” says CEO Julien Fourgeaud, describing Scarlet Motors’s future electric car.
“A small and sassy sports car, easy to drive in the city and on the open road alike,” says CEO Julien Fourgeaud, describing Scarlet Motors’s future electric car.
Scarlet Motors

The Finnish company Scarlet Motors was born out of two men’s passion for cars. They are now developing a sporty electric car. Although it will take a while before it will be launched on the market, expectations are already red hot.

The men behind Scarlet Motors are Julien Fourgeaud and Joona Kallio. Both say that their love of cars goes back to when they were little boys. Kallio discovered electric cars after joining the “Electric Cars – Now” community, whose objective is to convert cars fitted with a combustion engine into electric cars.

“Joona soon understood the potential that lies in electric cars. I had also been monitoring the development of the modern electric car pioneer Tesla and I was quite interested in its technology,” says the company’s CEO Fourgeaud, recalling the company’s early days.

“Surprisingly little effort has been put into the design of electric cars,” Fourgeaud says. “As a designer, Joona looked at the cars from a new perspective and came to the conclusion that if someone designed a car sexy enough, people wouldn’t care whether it’s electric or not. He founded a company and asked me on board.”

Ready in due course

Developing a new car takes three years on average. According to Fourgeaud, Finland has the perfect conditions for developing a new car.

“The country has a high number of companies operating in the automotive industry. The Finns are car aficionados and Finland is home to some top drivers. The perseverance inherent in Finnish culture has also made it easier for us to start developing our own car and to build a partner network,” Fourgeaud lists.

Scarlet Motors was launched in August 2012, but prior to that, a lot of work had already been done to create the team and the technology. The car’s design language is now complete, and a prototype is currently under construction.

“Unlike people tend to think, technology is not the biggest challenge,” Fourgeaud says. “In the midst of all the excitement, the most important thing is to maintain a clear goal and keep the product as simple as possible.”

When asked when the car will be ready to hit the roads, Fourgeaud refuses to give any forecasts.

“The car will be ready in due course. We have learned from our past experiences that it’s more important to focus on quality and to spend as much time on the development work as it requires rather than try to carry out a project as fast as possible.”

A bright future ahead

In Fourgeaud’s view, the future of electric cars is promising — once the technology and the attitudes have matured.

“When smartphones were launched, they were seen as products intended for a small, specific target group, the equipment and data connections were considered expensive and the number of services limited.”

“Since then, the situation has changed,” Fourgeaud says. “Today, the majority of people have smartphones. The costs have come down and a myriad of useful applications is available. Electric cars may still be in their early stages, but thanks to their energy efficiency, they will rapidly gain ground over time.”

In addition to new electric car companies, such as Scarlet Motors, an increasing number of conventional car manufacturers are introducing electric vehicles to the market.

“Consumers are being provided with a broader selection of products, and competition drives the market forward,” Fourgeaud says. “The significant increase in charging points will also boost interest in electric cars during the next few years.”

Text by: Sari Okko

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