ST. JOSEPH -- If the high gas prices have got you down, there is a new electric vehicle option coming soon.

Opus Motor Car based in St. Joseph announced the development of their electric vehicle last fall. CEO Tom Skahen says they had intended to start selling the vehicles last November, but supply chain issues caused a delay. He says the first shipment of nine vehicles is supposed to arrive in the next month.

To be clear, these vehicles are not intended for highway use, but rather for those short trips around town, with maximum speeds between 20 and 30 miles an hour.

We've got safety glass installed, we've got mirrors, a rearview camera, it's fully enclosed, it's a four-season vehicle.  The best thing about it, in my opinion, is the economy.  We have a standard plug for charging, and it's three cents a mile at current electricity rates.

It functions similar to a golf cart, just with more features similar to a car.

The cost is $7,500.

(Photo: Opus Motorcar)
(Photo: Opus Motorcar)

Skahen says electric is a good alternative because we're not dependent on volatile foreign governments like Russia.

A lot of people are especially conscious, not only ethically of where their energy demands are coming from, but also in terms of stability.  What's really coll about EVs whether it's Teslas, Polestars, or Opus' is that we can generate everything very very locally.

Right now they are mostly assembled overseas, then they install the battery and motor here. Eventually, he wants to do more of the manufacturing locally, which will allow them to increase their output.

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Skahen says he's hoping to sell up to 100 vehicles in their first year. He says a number of people have tried to buy their prototype, which is not for sale.

Skahen says they are already working on their next model too.

We're working on something that's a little more highway capable.  Not necessarily a daily driver, but I think classic car enthusiasts will appreciate it.  And, it lets us stretch our wings a bit.

Skahen says this new model should be unveiled in the next couple of months.

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