The AC Cars brand might be best known for powerful petrol-powered roadsters, but it’s taking a different tack for 2021 with the launch of an e-scooter.
Pivoting is nothing new to AC. It was founded as Auto Carriers in 1901 and through countless ownership and name-changes (always around an “AC” theme) has made everything from three-wheelers to railway carriages.
Outside the United Kingdom it’s best known for its collaboration with American Carroll Shelby, who shoehorned a Ford V8 into the AC Ace body to create the iconic AC Cobra in 1962.
The AC Cars electric theme was telegraphed last year with the announcement of the “Cobra Series 4-electric” (pictured above), a reboot of the classic Cobra (specifically the 378 Superblower IV from 1999) with a pure-electric powertrain making 460kW/1000Nm. Due this year, it’ll do 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds and has range of 320km. All for just NZ$315,000.
The company’s new electric two-wheeler isn’t quite as exotic, but certain to be a lot more common. The UK-built e-scooters are being sold under the “Autokraft by AC” name, an homage to the Autokraft company that restored Cobras in the 1970s and later owned the AC brand through the 1980 and 1990s.
The NZ$3200 TR560 e-scooter has a 24-volt lithium-ion battery pack with a built-in charger. Top speed is 25km/h, estimated range between charges (which take 4.5 hours from empty) is 50km – and those figures can be further enhanced by selecting an optional higher output battery.
Unlike New Zealand, e-scooters cannot legally be ridden on the road, but there are changes looming in road transport legislation that will rectify that and give a boost to sales in the sector.