Venturi Automobiles ventured into the universe of electric cars in 1984 and now this French founded, Monegasque based company has gone on to become a highly established multinational automotive manufacturer that designs, manufactures and sells luxury electric vehicles. They are paving the way for an industrial sector of the future, one that is more sustainable and aims to work in harmony with the environment. Through this HelloMonaco ‘Made in Monaco’ series, we will discover the history of this company, how they came about and their goals.
The automobile world is gradually implementing new principles, means and tools that center on sustainable mobility. They are turning away from the polluting cars of the past that function on a finite resource and instead opting for models that will ensure the longevity of our environment and respond to today’s pressing issues. The range of Venturi Automobile models embody all the characteristics one would find in electric cars, however, they have established this industrial reality without “sacrificing the seductiveness of either performance or aesthetics”, which are the two main attractions behind anyone’s dream car. Experts in the most advanced technologies for both urban and high performance cars, Venturi are demonstrating the diversity and beauty of electric cars.
Engineers Claude Poiraud and Gérard Godfroy founded the company in 1984 with the aim of competing in the ‘Grand Tourisme’ market, of small luxury sport cars and competition cars. This was their attempt at building a sporty luxury car in France post-war, however they were faced with many challenges notably lack of funding and staff. After 16 years of car production, in 2000, the company declared bankruptcy and was purchased by the Monegasque millionaire Gildo Pallanca Pastor. He quickly changed the company’s direction, turning the focus onto electric-powered engines, with their first ever electric sport car model, the Venturi Fétish two-seater – the first electrically powered production sports car in the world.
Venturi engineers must be highly qualified in electric car architecture and in particular the development of new generation car frames – they were the first manufacturers to create specially adapted car frames for battery integration problems. Each car is equipped with high performance traction chains, which are constructed to work in sync with the internal battery packs, ensuring that even urban car models benefit from the advanced technologies they use on their extreme condition car models.
Since Venturi Automobiles made the positive move of switching to electric cars, the company has made some impressive models, including the Eclectic, the world’s first energy-autonomous vehicle, with solar panels and built-in wind chargers, as well as the Astrolab, the world’s first solar-electric hybrid car. Also in December 2009 Venturi entered the motorcycle market when they acquired the French motorcycle manufacturer Voxan, and have expanded to North America, Ohio, where their research and development centre is located.
The Venturi Formula E-Team is perhaps their most remarkable project yet, a Monegasque motor racing team founded in 2014 by the company owner Gildo Pallanca Pastor and, impressively, American actor Leonardo Di Caprio. The team was created to compete in the FIA championship for electric cars, Formula E, a class of auto racing that uses only electric-powered cars, using Venturi manufactured models. It’s a unique race held in various countries, including in the Principality of Monaco right before the classic Monaco Grand Prix, as well as in Beijing, Buenos Aires, Moscow and many other countries.
This Monaco based company is yet another example of the considerable efforts the Principality has made and the projects it supports in order to ensure a sustainable future and a cleaner environment.