Kalashnikov presents retro-looking electric car

The vehicle is meant to compete with Tesla

Kalashnikov presents retro-looking electric car Photo: kremlin.ru

Kalashnikov is diversifying its product range amid falling arms export. At last week's Army-2018 weapons exhibition, the manufacturer showed an electric vehicle concept intended to become a competitor to Elon Musk's Tesla. However, achieving commercial success may be difficult, according to experts.

The Russian Kalashnikov firearms manufacturer, famous for the deadly AK-47 assault rifle, has unveiled a new electric car that is expected to compete head-on with American Tesla, says Investopedia. The electric vehicle named CV-1 was presented at Army-2018 weapons exhibition in Moscow Oblast last week. The car's retro-looking design is inspired by Soviet Izh Kombi hatchback, which was popular in the USSR in the 1970s.

According to Kalashnikov's spokesperson Sofia Ivanova, the company is specifically targeting Tesla, as the American electric vehicle maker is ''the industry standard'' and ''a successful project in the field of electric vehicles''. ''We expect to at least keep up with it,'' she said.

Meanwhile, the competition can be in doubt because of some marked differences between Tesla cars and the Russian prototype. Kalashnikov's CV-1 has a rather boxy look with sharp lines and a very steep windshield, which is very different from Tesla's sleek and simple design often compared to the Apple iPhone. Besides, the two cars differ a lot in terms of comparative performance. CV-1 is supposed to reach 100 km/h in six seconds flat, while Tesla Model S can do the same in around 2,5 seconds. As for the battery, Kalashnikov's car will be capable of driving 350 kilometres on a single charge, while Tesla Model S can make 1,5 times more.

The new model has rather boxy look with sharp lines and very steep windshield. Photo: oilprice.com

Experts warn that despite releasing a prototype, the company may find it difficult to achieve commercial success. ''Releasing a concept is a far cry from being able to offer a viable product and producing it successfully,'' believes Christian Stadler, a professor of strategic management at the UK's Warwick Business School. ''I don't think the company has the technology or deep pockets it takes to make this a success.''

Kalashnikov has recently ventured into new business segments that include iPhone covers, umbrellas and a new combat robot. The company's arms export has dropped significantly due to American sanctions against Russia forcing the manufacturer to look for diversification of its production. Kalashnikov is also reportedly developing a hybrid buggy and an electric motorcycle. A price for CV-1 is yet to be revealed by the company.

By Anna Litvina