The Zacua, Mexican-made electric car. The Zacua, Mexican-made electric car.

Zacua electric car on sale in November

Manufacturer will offer two models, with prices starting at 440,000 pesos

The first electric car made completely in Mexico by a 100% Mexican company and specifically designed for motorists in the country’s cities is expected to go on sale in November.


Two zero-emissions coupe models — the M2 and the M3 — made by Motores Limpios will initially be available under the brand name Zacua, derived from the Nahuatl name of a bird species found from Mexico to Panama and one intended to evoke the qualities of innovation, efficiency and environmental respect.

Company director Jorge Martínez says the initiative was born of the need for more environmentally friendly transportation options.

“Global warming has very serious consequences [and] Mexico cannot remain on the margins. Mexico has to be a protagonist with tangible initiatives that start to make a difference right away.”

While the cars will initially be manufactured in Estado de México, a French company, Automobiles Chatenet, was responsible for the design and a Spanish company, Dynamik Technological Alliance, completed the engineering development.

Some of the vehicle parts are also imported although Martínez said that eventually the “idea is to have each piece and part of the car made here,” provided that there is a continued demand for the vehicle in the Mexican market.

The first vehicle on the market will be a two-seater coupe with a limited batch of just 100 expected to be on sale in Mexico City by November, although a further 200 are planned for 2018 and an additional 300 in 2019.


Measuring just 3.06 meters in length, 1.56 meters wide and 1.4 meters high and weighing only 380 kilograms, the car is designed to squeeze into the smallest of spaces.

Powered by a lithium-ion battery that takes eight hours to fully charge, the cars have a 115-kilometer range and a top speed of 100 km/h although a speed limiter activates at 85 km/h.

Prices will start at around 440,000 pesos (US $24,500).

The company plans to move its manufacturing plant to Puebla in 2019 with a larger four-seater model to follow in 2020.

The new electric car will not be restricted by the Hoy No Circula (No Circulation Today) regulation in Mexico City nor will owners have to pay the car tax or purchase an environmental verification certificate.

“This new Zacua coupe meets urban needs . . . that’s what we’ve been working on and we’ve received enormous encouragement from the Mexico City government,” Martínez said.

Other vehicle specifications are:

• Electric permanent magnet synchronous motor with a maximum power output of 34 kilowatts.

• Lithium-ion battery with a 6.1-kilowatt hours capacity.

• Front-wheel drive.

• Hydraulic circuit braking system.

• MacPherson Strut style suspension.

• Touch navigation screen and an integrated audio and telephone system.

While the car is specifically designed for the Mexican market, if it is successful here there is a possibility that the company will seek to enter international markets.

Students at the National Autonomous University also had success with an electric car at an international design competition last year, although their vehicle was not intended for commercialization.

Source: El Universal (sp), Excelsior (sp)

Stories from our archives that you might enjoy

  • AgesOfReason

    $440,000 is more than too much. For about a third of that any Mexican could buy an internal combustion auto with more room and much cooler, no pun.

  • I often wonder what charging electric cars does to your electricity bill.

    • I have a Ford Focus EV and the effect on my bill is almost undetectable.

    • John Frey

      Not much at least here in the states. It ends up costing about 2.5 cents per mile which is about 1/4 the cost of gas here in my state, Tennessee. We pay 11 cents per kwh and I get about 4.5 miles per kwh.

    • Grant Staley


    • Mark Phillips

      Electricity in Mexico is very cheap. An average household with all the major appliances computers etc. runs about 150 – 200 pesos for 2 months of electricity, which is about $8 to $10 US. So a slight increase wouldn’t be too prohibitive.

  • cooncats

    Pretty pricey toy.

    • lurch394

      Today, about $24,733.60 US. I’ve seen worse.

  • Julia Bjerre

    I think it would be a good investment. They are only putting 100 on the market the first year, 200 the second and 300 the third. So in 3 years only 600 will be available, if that because I can’t imagine the company can be making much profit to stay open. I think it will become a novelty; Mexico’s first electric car, made 100% i

  • csb4546

    Sure looks like a death machine to me.
    It would probably crumble like an accordion in an accident.
    So would any poor occupants.

  • MortimerSnerd

    ….and so we have this vehicle which gets 115 km (about 71.5 miles at 85 km/hr ) up against the likes of the Chevy Bolt 5 seat which gets just over 400 km (around 250 miles) per charge (a few have gotten 300 miles) on a 60 kwh vs a 6.1 kwh battery? … this with a net difference of less than 18 grand after rebates? In the numbers game… things doen’t add up.

    • Edouin

      Don’t forget that the car weighs only 380kg, so it requires very little amperage to get it rolling – the largest draw on any battery. Without knowing motor details, I’m going to make a supposition that it would take, errrr, 6 amps to get it moving from 0 to 50kph? The Volt, on the other hand, probably needs 30 or 40 Amps to get moving to the same speed? Energy Density VS Power Draw. You get the idea. Seems plausable to me. If they wanted to increase the range (which is not the main idea for a commuter car, size is), they would need to increase the battery pack size, or invent some new, unknown, higher-density power pack.

      Baby steps. In 10 years, they’ll be pushing Tesla cars out of the country…

      • MortimerSnerd

        The higher charge density batery packs are here now with capacities double the current Li Ion offerings… the research into this technology is almost frantic because net carbon emmission quotas on ICE vehicles are driven by states like California. Lab specimens and proof of concept are one thing, ramping up mass production is another… the Musk Giga-factory is designed to be retooled for new battery technology if it proves out….I would expect to see battery packs costing $50/kw and giving 500 miles (804km) to a charge soon.
        The auto makers would love to see us return to the 12mpg V8 gas guzzlers… the profits on them are good and they are expensive to maintain.. a simple MAF sensor at the stealership costs upwards of $500 to replace. There are said to be 18 moving parts in an electric car… hundreds if not more in a ICE vehicle, that’s why electric cars need little or no maintenance, and the dealers, who make much of their money in service and maintenance, and they are not happy campers.

  • Crewlaw

    “will not be restricted by the Hoy No Circula (No Circulation Today)
    regulation in Mexico City nor will owners have to pay the car tax or
    purchase an environmental verification certificate.”
    For that and the ease of parking, I won’t be surprised if they sell like hotcakes. Besides, it’s kind of cute.

  • G.b. Adams

    So let’s see if I’ve got this right: a two seat pregnant roller skate you can drive only 115 km, then wait 8 hrs to refule, and it cost $24,500 US??? Oh yeah!… I can see these just flying off the showroom floors! ?

    • Grant Staley

      Most people will use to commute and then plug in over night. Duh! Might even plug in during working hours, which are about 8 or 9. Duh!

  • Ungoro Crater

    The average Mexican is not interested in spending half a million pesos after financing, in a two seater that can’t make it to their work place and back to the outskirts of the city were most live. This will be a collectors item and most will end up in a garage, while the rest will serve as a First car for teenagers from upper middle class families. It wont serve its purpose. It’s too expensive, too small.