Cree AG (Creation Engineering Ecology) was founded in Switzerland 1996 with an aim to develop a contemporary vehicle for local use. In 2001 the company unveiled the “Sam”, a 3-wheeled electric vehicle for two people seating in a tandem style. Powered by 14 lead-acid batteries that provided 168 volts to a modularized drive system (synchronous belt providing power to the back wheel) the vehicle had a top speed of around 52 mph and a range of 31 - 43 miles in between charges. (A full recharge taking 6 hours). With two people on board the vehicle can reach 30mph in 7 seconds.
The Sam has a double-walled plastic body that is composed of 4 major components and features gull wing doors that open upwards. The seats are air-filled thermoplastic which combined with an aluminium chassis gives the vehicle an overall weight of 545 kilograms.
Many Sam prototypes were built and they were tested by more than 30,000 drivers. The vehicle was due to be launched in 2002 but despite much interest Cree did not succeed in finding adequate funding and production has been delayed until further notice.