In the early 1960s, the Henney Motor Co., the well-known manufacturer of hearses, ambulances and custom limousines, built and marketed the Henney Kilowatt. The Henney Kilowatt was a French-builtDauphine converted to electric power.
Now a Canadian company, Feel Good Cars Inc. in Toronto, Ont., is offering an updated version of this 4-passenger electric car. The company's Dauphine Electric, inspired by the Henney Kilowatt, is a restoredDauphine fitted with a state-of-the-art electric motor and sealed, zero-maintenance VRLA (Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid) battery system.
Ian Clifford, the president of Feel Good Cars, became interested in these electric vehicles when he purchased a vintage Henney Kilowatt several years ago.
The “new” Dauphine Electrics, which will be available in the U.S., are registered under their original vehicle identification number (VIN) so they do not have to comply with either Canadian or U.S. safety rules for new vehicles.
Being electric-powered, emissions standards at least are not a problem. The company plans to find original Dauphines from around the world, restore them and convert them to EVs.
The Dauphine Electric has a top speed of 60 mph (97 km/h) and can travel about 50 miles (80 km) between recharges. An onboard 110-volt charger allows overnight charging at home.
Performance is an improvement over the 1960's Henney Kilowatt — it had a top speed of 40 mph (64 km/h) and a range of 40 miles.
The company is currently taking orders and the final price is estimated between C$20,000 to C$25,000.
The original Henney Kilowatt was not cheap either, costing $3,600 in 1960s dollars.