The Symetric

Symetric also called the Arbel or Loubieres or Loubiére or Symmetric-Paris or Symetric-Arbel.
The hybrid electric and internal combustion gasoline powered vehicle was shown during the Paris' Grand Palais 40th Salon d'Automobile and Cycle Show on Oct. 22, 1953.

Time Magazine October, 1953 said this about the Symetric....
"The most startling car on exhibit was a stubby, dome-shaped auto that runs on electricity. Built by two French brothers, Maurice and Casi(Casimir) Loubiére, the Symetric-Paris has a four-cylinder, 45-h.p. gasoline engine that turns a generator which. in turn, supplies current to four motors tiny enough to fit inside the wheels. If the cars were on sale to the public, the brothers estimate that the price might he about $1,000. but the French Ministry of National Defense has other plans. It is putting the car through exhaustive tests that may result in its being adopted as the French version of the jeep."

Some of Symetric's unique specifications:

Symetric-Paris 1953Symetric-Paris 1953
Engine: Transversely mounted 1,100cc
Chassis: tubular central beam + cross
Suspension: 4 wheel independent. Each wheel is driven by an arm at 45 º which compresses a rubber block "Thermogum"
Steering: Gemmer
Transmission: 4-wheel drive with 4-wheel electric motors
Brakes: Slowing via electric motors or by short-circuit current reversal, stop by drums.
Bumpers: Phosphorescent (option)
Dimensions: length: 5 m, width: 1.80 m, wheelbase: 3 m, height: 1.55 m

The Compagnie Normande d'Etudes was the company that produced the Symetric. Although the vehicle never went into assembly production, individual vehicles were made from 1951 to 1953 and again 1957 to 1959.

The later 1950's version has some special power plant ideas. Plan's included a "Genestafuel", a static gas generator, a thermopile based on the physical principle 'Thermoelectric effect'. Instead of a internal combustion engine mechanically spinning a huge electric generator then driving the four wheel motors, a device utilizing thermal-electric effect directly drove the motors. If a metal is heated at one end and cooled at the other, the temperature difference gives rise to an electric current element. With the Genestafuel, the heat source is provided by burners fueled by diesel oil and a fan cools the other end of the thermo-elements.
"Genestatom". The novelty of this last presentation of the Symmetric in 1958 will again be the power supply this time supplied by the "Genestatom. This unit heats continuously, the heat source is obtained by atomic energy cartridges. A charge of these cartridges made with waste from factories and power plants (buried on the ocean floor) would have enough to feed the Genestatom for five years.