Sep 20, 2008

Ecotricity Tesla-beater promises transparent boot, 96 batteries and twin drive

A British sports car that will "crush the stereotype of electric cars" is speeding up its development. Writing on his blog today, Dale Vince of Ecotricity says his conversion of a Lotus Exige into an electric car is "close to plan and budget" and will sport a transparent boot to show the batteries and technology inside.

In a short video, his team describe the challenge of swapping a combustion engine, fuel tank and more for electric motors and batteries. The team have chosen to fit the car with two electric motors on the rear wheels, plus 96 batteries that they're hoping to site as close to the car's front as possible.

One big issue raised by the engineers is the electric management of the batteries. That chimes with what Toyota's hybrid architect Koei Saga said at the launch of the plug-in Prius last week.
Ecotricity's electric Lotus, which is currently dubbed the 'Wind Car' -- a car powered by electricity generated from wind turbines -- is a proof of concept. Vince, however, says in the video that he hopes it will spawn a limited edition run.

He previously hoped to have the car ready by summer, and has subsequently revised the deadline to Christmas.

He's also in search of a name for the car; do you SmartPlanet people have any suggestions? The best I can do is a tongue-in-cheek, Tesla-baiting 'Edison'.

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