Electric cars of the 1970s were heavy and slow. They had small weird fiberglass bodies. The Electraction Rickshaw is one of them. The Electraction company from the UK had one important advantage: they had a real car designer, Roy Haynes, the man who designed the original Ford Cortina and, later, the Mini Clubman and the Morris Marina.
Here what they said in a 1977 press release:
“Electraction’s marketing director has the job of holding back the avalanche of potential customers until production gets underway.”
Probably this marketing job was not too good — the company shut down in 1979.
The Electraction Rickshaw was made for resorts and college campuses. Its design with an open-top twin-row body was developed specially for this purpose. It’s a kind of Volkswagen Thing Acapulco or Fiat Jolly. It’s got separate front and rear convertible tops, no doors, and a plastic body.
The electric microcar had a dozen 6-volt lead-acid 151-amp-hour batteries that weight 720 lbs. Curb weight of the Rickshaw is 1600 lbs. The 7.5 hp electric motor is enough to reach top speed of 35 mph and drive up to 50 miles. These are average numbers for the 1970s electric cars.