Unusual Vehicles features a vehicle that goes against the norm and beats to the sound of its own drum. The Oeuf Électrique was certainly one of a kind, with its distinctive shape and history. Known as the electric egg, the car was created at a time when the world was on the brink of collapse. French creator Paul Arzens made something that was memorable.
An aluminium car
In 1942, WW2 raged throughout Europe and Germany had invaded France. Paris was occupied by the Nazis and the roads were filled with military vehicles. Petrol shortages meant that horse and carts were needed to deliver goods, so it was a dark time for the automotive industry in France.
As an engineer, Arzens was no stranger to making cars and he set out to create a vehicle that didn’t function on petrol. He’d already experimented with electricity, as seen from his Baleine car. Arzens designed a small vehicle that operated on electric batteries.
The car was shaped like an egg and had an aluminium and plexiglas body. The plexiglas doors offered great visibility and the Oeuf Électrique stood out even more because of its three wheel setup. It had a minimalistic interior, featuring a bench seat over a wicker frame.
The Oeuf Électrique was lightweight, with it weighing 350 kilograms.
Due to the rarity of aluminium, only one prototype could be made. Yet the car received its fair share of attention.
After the war
When the war was done, Arzens moved on and started making locomotives for the French National Railway Company. His experience with electric cars influenced his train designs. However, he kept the Électrique in his personal collection and took it out for the occasional drive. Eventually, it was passed on to the Cite de L’Automobile museum in Mulhouse, France. It’s also been loaned to the ‘Dream Cars’ exhibition in the US, where visitors voted it as one of their favourite cars on display.
The Oeuf Électrique was decades ahead of its time, proving that electricity could be used effectively in cars.