Super car "Kaz"
EV Limo to the Stars!

Japan's KAZ EV Limo Reaches Record Speed in Italy
Tue Oct 1, 2002

An electric vehicle (EV) jointly developed by Keio University professor Hiroshi Shimizu and the Japan Science and Technology Corporation recently achieved a top speed of 311 kilometers per hour (about 193 miles per hour) during a week-long test drive in Italy. The 16-wheel EV, known as the Keio Advanced Zero-Emission (KAZ) vehicle, was designed by Italy's IDEA Institute and produced in cooperation with 14 Japanese companies as part of a $4-million, five-year project.

"Our goal was to generate a maximum speed of around 300 kilometers per hour, but we had only a week to test-drive in Italy and had to work day and night to fix problems," said Shimizu. "When KAZ succeeded in running at 311 kilometers per hour, it was so fast that our photographer couldn't take the picture."

Shimizu noted that the 600-horsepower EV, which is more than six meters long and nearly two meters wide, is able to reach 100 kilometers per hour (about 62 miles per hour) in seven seconds. Additionally, the EV features 84 lithium-ion batteries that provide a single charge range of approximately 300 kilometers (about 186 miles).

"A lithium-ion battery is widely used for mobile phones," said Shimizu. "We simply used large-sized lithium-ion batteries for KAZ."

KAZ developers said the vehicle could serve as the basis for a bus, truck or passenger car. Shimizu noted that he is currently "in talks" with Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler, but did not specify when the KAZ EV would become commercially available.

via Electric Vehicle Today

Read update in August 2003 Popular Science:,12543,463605,00.html

Stretching It -The Story of the Limousine - buy at amazon
By Tom Mazza & Michael L Bromley
Society of Automotive Engineers


All About The KAZ!

The super car "Kaz", an electric-powered limousine invented at Japan's Keio University, has a 580 horsepower engine, and can reach a top speed of 311 kilometers per hour - that's 193 mph.

(requires Japanese characters but more photos there.)

Home Page:                                           New KAZ website:

Hiroshi SHIMIZU 
KAZ Project Director, Professor, Dr. Eng.
Faculty of Environmental Information, Keio University
144-8, Ogura, Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 212-0054, Japan 
Phone +81-44-580-1565
FAX +81-44-580-1435

E-mail -

KAZ is a high performance and highly functional vehicle compared with a conventional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) thanks to the development of new component technologies and system technologies.

KAZ was designed from the ground up and has, therefore, not been converted from an ICE MPV, making the design of the body very flexible.

KAZ uses three innovative component technologies. The Lithium-ion battery was the most important in order to supply a high energy and high power to KAZ. The Intelligent Power Module (IPM) was useful to make inverters with low energy loss and of a compact size. The motors realised with Nd-Fe Rare Earth magnets are highly efficient, with high torque and high-speed with a compact size.

KAZ is composed of three newly developed technologies.

1. In-Wheel drives assemble a motor, a reduction gear system, a mechanical brake and a wheel bearing inside a driving wheel. It decreases the transmission loss between a motor and a wheel, reduces the total weight of the vehicle and increases the useful space in the cabin. KAZ uses eight In-Wheel drive with 55kW (73PS) maximum power in each wheel. It means the total output power of KAZ is 440kW (590PS).

2. The components built-in frame integrates all batteries and electric components inside the strong floor structure. It makes the vehicle lighter in weight, leaves more space to be set aside for the passenger compartment and gives a lower center of gravity. As the height of the integrated chassis is 15cm, the lower height of KAZ is almost the same as a conventional sedan and much lower than a conventional MPV, thus making access much easier.

3. The tandem suspension system is based on pairs of wheels with hydraulic control. It decreases the wheelhouse to the minimum possible and makes driving very comfortable and very stable.

To make electric vehicles socially acceptable, performance and functions must be superior to those of existing cars. Until now, the battery (energy storage) limited the range and autonomy of an electric vehicle. This, together with lack of acceleration and poor top speeds, are the main reasons why such vehicles have not become popular. The size of the batteries meant that vital space had to be given up by the passenger compartment, making electric vehicles far less versatile in use. KAZ aims to free electric vehicles of their limits based on the following three basic concepts:

a. Ground-up design,
b. Collection of best technology,
c. Adoption of technologies peculiar to electric vehicle.

Thanks to ground-up design, new component technologies and newly developed system technology, KAZ has a very high performance. The maximum speed is 311km/h, 0-400m acceleration time is 15.3 sec and range per charge will be 300km using the Lithium-ion battery. The range will increase to 600Km with a range extender (output power 10kW) which is currently under development.

KAZ is a Zero-Emission electric vehicle with highly innovative features which really takes care of environmental issues and addresses energy problems with its highly efficient power source. 

KAZ means peace and it is the first prototype to come out of this important research project into highly functional electric vehicles for the 21st century. KAZ is very stable and comfortable. No tail squat in acceleration and no dive in braking because of a low center of gravity and eight-wheel drive. Acceleration feeling is perfect because the torque of the motor is constant from zero to higher speed.

KAZ handles very well. Vibration on a rough road is reduced because of the function of tandem suspension system. Cornering is stable because of a low center of gravity, eight-wheel drive and tandem suspension system.

KAZ of course is environmental friendly. No pollution and low noise when it is run. The energy efficiency is around 1.7 times that of a conventional car.

KAZ has an interesting appearance which is a modern interpretation of MPV designed by the team at I.D.E.A Institute, where this first running prototype was also developed and built.

KAZ technology can be applied to all kinds of vehicles, for example a completely low and flat floor minibus, a low floor and large space van or a high performance passenger car.



LENGTH  --  6700mm
WIDTH  --  1950mm
HEIGHT  --  1675mm
WEIGHT  --  2980Kg


TYPE  --  Li-ion
VOLTAGE  --  3.75V
CAPACITY  --  88Ah 
WEIGHT  --  3.5Kg


MAGNET  --  Nd-Fe
MAXIMUM TORQUE  --  100Nm (without Gear Ratio)
MAXIMUM VELOCITY  --  12000rpm
GEAR RATIO  --  4.588



TIRES  --  188/55-R16




MAXIMUM SPEED  --  311km/h
0-400 ACCELERATION TIME  --  15.3sec
RANGE PER CHARGE 300km  --  (at 100km/h constant speed)