Maple Majestic: an EV designed for Climate Friendly Driving.
Canadian company AK Motor International Corporation is teasing motorists with the Maple Majestic EV. Or at least a scale model of the Maple Majestic. It isn’t clear whether the company has created any working prototypes as yet, because the images and video on the Maple Majestic website are models. Very detailed models, to be sure. But still models rendered in an unknown scale.
The Maple Majestic is designed for snow
The concept behind the Majestic is intriguing. Appropriately for a Canadian manufacturer, Maple says the Majestic will be designed specifically to handle “extreme weather driving dynamics.” What does that mean? The Majestic offers several features designed to bolster winter driving.
The most notable innovation of the Majestic is the ability to adjust ride height by 150mm. That is almost six inches. The idea is you can lower the ride height for better handling when roads are clear. When you encounter deep snow, you can raise the body for greater clearance. The press release doesn’t explain the niceties of this procedure, but homebuilt low-riders have had a similar capability for decades. I assume there will be a control that uses either electric or hydraulic motors to lift and drop the body.
Another feature being touted by Maple is the track of the front and rear axles will be the same. The advantage here is that in deep snow the rear wheels will follow in the ruts created by the front wheels, instead of plowing a new track.
No details on the Maple Majestic’s drive train
Speaking of wheels, the latest press release is skimpy on driveline specs. It would seem logical that a vehicle designed for winter driving would offer four wheel or all wheel drive. That is only speculation, of course, but it makes sense that four wheel power would be standard or at least an option.
The Majestic’s 3100mm (122 inch) wheelbase is longer than similar sized EVs. Maple says this will improve driving in snow. In some cases that may be so, but experienced off-road drivers know a short wheelbase can prevent a vehicle from getting high-centered in solid snow.
What the longer wheelbase does offer is room for more battery. This is important in a vehicle deigned for cold weather operation. Batteries are far less efficient in frosty weather, so range will plummet along with the thermometer. Carrying a larger battery pack will help overcome this limitation.
When can you buy a Maple Majestic?
There is nothing in the press release or the Maple Majestic website to indicate when the climate friendly car will enter production or what it will sell for. The fact that they have resorted to models to show off the design indicates you probably won’t be able to buy a Majestic anytime soon.
Still, we can hope. The EV market is filled with various exciting vehicles that are “coming soon.” Some of these are nothing more than vaporware. Others need a strong shot of venture capital before they can start production. And others are certain to be built and sold, but the time frame is unknown.
I am not sure which of these applies to the Maple Majestic. It may never see the light of day. On the other hand, many people scoffed when Elon Musk first announced the Tesla. There are certainly applications for a winter grade driver’s EV. I’m hoping Maple can translate their scale models into an affordable winter driving machine.
Time will tell.
Full Majestic Press Release (PDF)