In Depth

Russian arms maker Kalashnikov launches CV-1 electric car: can it rival Tesla?

The retro-looking EV, which is based on a 1970s Soviet hatchback, boasts a 220-mile battery range but only has a top speed of 50mph

The Russian arms maker Kalashnikov has unveiled a pale blue EV that it hopes will one day rival Tesla’s electric cars. 

The Russian company, best known for producing the AK-47 machine gun, uncovered its new CV-1 “supercar” prototype at this week’s International Military Technical Forum near Moscow.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the CV-1 is inspired by the Soviet-era IZh 2125 “Kombi” hatchback and has hi-tech electric systems designed to give today’s EVs a run for their money. 

A Kalashnikov spokesperson said the company had been “inspired by the experience of global market leaders” when developing the prototype. 

“This technology will let us stand in the ranks of global electric car producers such as Tesla and their competitors”, the spokesperson said.

But it’s unlikely the Kalashnikov CV-1 will rival Tesla cars in the near future. 

While the Russian firm says the car will be capable of driving 220 miles on a single charge – which is on a par with Tesla’s cheaper models – the Daily Mail claims the Russian EV has a top speed of just 50mph. 

There’s no word on how much the electric car will cost, when it’s expected to go on sale or if Kalashnikov plans to sell it outside Russia, the newspaper says.

The CV-1 hasn’t been well received on social media. 

One user said Kalashnikov had “wasted a really good April Fool’s joke”, while another joked that the car’s “sleek soviet 70s design” should have Tesla worried.

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