An electric car that was built on the Greek island of Syros in the 70s, was one of the world’s first mass produced electric cars.
Enfield 8000, built in Neorio, Syros, was the brainchild of the UK-based Greek millionaire Giannis Goulandris.
Goulandris, had a business called Enfield Automotive which was based on the Isle of Wight.
He pioneered the design of the electric car way back as far as the 1960s, when the United Kingdom Electricity Council invited people in a competitive way to build an electric car – Enfield 8000 was born from that idea.
The car had passed all the necessary tests for production in the United Kingdom and was on its way to being produced in the United States of America.
It is said that the then Governor of California Ronald Reagan sent a cargo plane to have three Enfield 8000’s moved to California in support of his Clean Air legislation.
However, it was never produced in the United States.
Even today, some of these vehicles are still advertised for sale in the UK. One is kept as an exhibit at the East Anglian Transport Museum at UK’s Carlton Colville.
The unique aerodynamics were based on designs made by another Greek, Konstantine Adraktas, the Chairman and Managing Technical Director of Enfield.
The car was eventually produced in Greece after the company was incorporated into Neorion (also owned by Mr. Goulandris) and renamed Enfield-Neorion.
It was considered to have great potential in the early seventies; a time when there was a global oil crisis.
Production ceased in 1977, because the tax categorisation issues with the electric power in Greece made it unprofitable.
Performance wise, it wasn’t too sharp, says Mike Hicks, a car specialist.
It could do 0-30 mph in 12.5 seconds, top speed was about 48 mph and the problem was that the range with the batteries only allowed you to go fifty-odd miles, and with the slow speed.
However this charming British couple seemed really happy with their Enfield 8000: