WAKAYAMA, Japan (Kyodo) -- A company in western Japan started selling earlier this month what it calls "the fastest accelerating electric vehicle in the world" which takes only 1.69 seconds to reach 60 miles (96 kilometers) per hour.
The Osaka-based Aspark Co., which provides technicians for other firms, is selling 50 units of its Owl supercar with a price tag of about 350 million yen ($3.4 million). It has received four orders from overseas and several inquiries from Japan, the company said.
"This car is not sold for a mass market, but I hope even 1 percent of people like it," said Tsubasa Terakado, 29, who is in charge of development at the company.
The supercar project began in 2012, with Aspark President Masanori Yoshida, 48, aiming to develop "the only such product in the world by uniting the powers of technicians."
Aspark chose to make the electric hypercar among various options, including medical robots and mowing machines, as it can be built with a smaller number of parts and a lower budget, the company said.
The firm set a goal to manufacture a vehicle "with the fastest acceleration in the world" so as to broaden the capacities of EVs, which have been typically known as environmentally friendly and fuel efficient, before starting test production in 2015.
The highest hurdle to development was tires to enable fast acceleration, leading the company's technicians to hold many meetings with tire makers.
"The horsepower of the car was strong enough, but it took some time to accelerate as tires did not smoothly grip the surface of the road," said Terakado.
Since 2018, Aspark has based its development at its manufacturing site in Turin, Italy, with more than 100 technicians from about 30 companies in Japan and overseas involved in the project.
"We will keep trying to develop products that we can showcase to the world," said Terakado. The company said it is considering developing flying cars for its next project.