Let’s be honest. Whenever electric cars come up, it’s pretty hard not to talk about them in the context of Tesla.
Still, in the case of this next car, its makers are the ones saying their non-traditional EV will place it among the ranks of Tesla.
With the race to market, there are plenty of players, and they’re not just traditional automakers. Recently the Russian company Kalashnikov – makers of the AK-47 assault rifle and a wide variety of other products – showed off its entry in the EV market, and it’s pretty cool. Or, at least pretty cool looking.
The CV-1 is a prototype, and it’s gained international attention because, in an arena full of very modern looking designs, it brings a completely retro feel – reportedly modeled after the Soviet Izh-Kombi hatchback that was popular in the 1970s.
There’s not much to the CV-1 besides the prototype. All we really know is that it purportedly travels 217 miles on a charge, and can top 60 miles per hour in six seconds. Bloomberg cautions that it’s not uncommon in the EV market to see a much-hyped initial design that fizzles out due to funding or production challenges. Kalashnikov has diversification working to its advantage – and currently produces not just guns, but clothing, robots, drones, and lots of other branded items.
Secondly, the CV-1 isn’t even its first electric car, though the egg-shaped Ovum is a tiny, three-wheeled vehicle designed for traffic police – so not exactly a blueprint for taking on Tesla.
But much of this is still fairly new territory for the company. In 2016, the New York Times said economic sanctions keeping AKs out of the US had forced Kalashnikov to rebrand. Since then, the company has gone private and focused largely on expanding its product portfolio.
According to CNBC, the feedback on the CV-1 design on social media has been fairly mixed. So far, no comments from Elon Musk.