Nemesis - UK’s First All Electric SuperCar
Two years in the making, green energy
provider Ecotricity will unveil a 170mph
electric sports car, ahead of a crack at the
British electric car land speed record in
2011. Chief executive Dale Vince will debut
the car, dubbed the Nemesis and powered
solely by wind energy from the company's 51
UK turbines, at today's RAC Brighton to
London Future Car Challenge.
Nemesis has been something of an obsession for Vince, who commissioned the car to "blow the socks off Jeremy Clarkson and smash the stereotype of electric cars" and has posted regular progress updates on his Zero Carbonista blog.
Since buying a second-hand Lotus Exige on eBay in 2008, a team of British Formula One engineers, partially funded by the Technology Strategy Board, have lengthened the chassis, lowered and shifted the centre of gravity forward, and fitted a cluster of 96 lithium-ion polymer cells, two brushless motors and a completely new transmission. In doing so, they have delivered a range to 150 miles and developed a fast charging system to fill the car up in less than two hours.
"We wanted to prove electric cars can be quick to develop, beautiful to look at, cheap to run, and run entirely on wind power," said Vince. "I was not looking for something ecological, worthy and a bit self-sacrificial, far from it. I wanted to create something exotic and desirable. Something that would turn heads and challenge stereotypes." Vince has long been a proponent of electric cars and once again made the case that the power supplying cars like the Nissan Leaf has to be clean and sustainable, or any drop in transport emissions will be cancelled out by increases in traditional forms of generation.
"What will our transport look like, post oil and post carbon? The answer has to be wind-powered vehicles, charged using renewable energy for the ultimate in sustainability - zero pollution, from fuel sources like the wind and sun that will never run out," he said. "In fact, we could power all of the UK's 30 million cars with 10,000 of today's windmills - or just 5,000 of tomorrow's."
Vince further threw down the gauntlet to car manufacturers by boasting that no large car company could have developed such a high performance car so rapidly or on the Nemesis' sub-£1m budget.
The Nemesis will now begin an 'on the road' demonstration and testing period until December 2011, during which time the team plans to challenge the British electric car land speed record of 139mph, which has stood unbeaten since 2000.
Ecotricity said the technology developed would be incorporated into its next two projects: a souped-up 250mph plus wind-powered electric supercar and, more prosaically, an electric tractor.