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Kulan electric utility concept set for production

The Kulan all-electric utility could help organic farmers further reduce their carbon footprint.

Car companies don't normally name vehicles after donkeys but that is exactly what is happening with this futuristic carry all.

It's named after the Kulan, a donkey from Central Asia, because it is designed to be just that, a beast of burden.

The all-electric Kulan is a concept at this stage but the team behind it has every intention of bringing the innovative machine to market.

It has been designed as a lightweight electric-powered utility vehicle that could help with all sorts of tasks, from carrying cattle feed to lugging loads of produce.

Its futuristic shape may suggest it isn't all that strong but the Kulan is able to carry a payload of 1000kg, the same as many workhorse utes.

The prototype's frame is made from tube steel, which is not the lightest but is far cheaper than carbon-fibre or aluminium. Its panels are a special lightweight plastic.

A patented battery management setup helps make the most of the energy available.

The Kulan has electric motors mounted in each rear wheels. These generate a total of only 4kW but that is enough to propel the Kulan to 50km/h.

More importantly, the vehicle has a range of up to 300km (depending on the load and conditions) and can operate for six hours at a stretch.

Running solely on electricity, the Kulan would be able to work in environments where zero emissions and virtually silent machines are preferred, for example enclosed spaces and parks.

The Kulan may also appeal to organic farmers, who want to reduce the amount of fossil fuels being used on their land.

This intriguing vehicle is the result of technical collaboration by 14 companies from the German region of Saxony, operating under the Polylab banner.