He may be famous for owning Hummers, Unimogs and even a tank, but Arnold Schwarzenegger is also a strong proponent of more ecological forms of transport. He demonstrated this during a recent visit to his homeland where he helped launch an electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class built by local firm Kreisel.
Kreisel is an engineering company that’s based in Freistadt, Austria and specializes in electric car technology. It’s worked with a handful of OEMs in the past but more recently has been showing off consumer products such as electric car conversions and home energy storage. Most of the products are still in the prototype stage, like the electric G-Class.
Schwarzenegger will test drive the prototype back in Los Angeles and work with Kreisel to further develop it and hopefully start production. We just hope the project is more successful than the last eco-friendly vehicle promoted by the actor and former California Governor. Some readers will recall that Schwarzenegger in 2009 took a test drive of a “hydrogen-assisted” car called the RMC Scorpion, which never entered production.
The electric G-Class is powered by a pair of electric motors, one at each axle for all-wheel drive, and together they produce 482 horsepower. That’s enough for 0-62 mph in a sports car-like 5.6 seconds. The battery has an 80-kilowatt-hour capacity but Kreisel is yet to reveal a range.
The vehicle is identical to the stock G-Class on the outside, apart from a few aesthetic tweaks made by Kreisel. Inside, the designers have left the high-quality fittings of the G-Class in place, with the original instruments all being adapted to suit the new electric hardware. The video below provides a glimpse at the conversion process and some off-road testing.