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Funding row over electric Exige

2010-11-22 07:18

ENVIROMENTAL EXIGE: Recharged by wind-powered electricity, driven by lithium-ion batteries, the Nemesis may be the world’s first truly zero-emission supercar ownership option.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Ecotricity
Model Nemesis
Engine electric
Power 242kW
Top Speed 270km/h
Millionaire Dale Vince has built Britain’s first electric supercar.

The 48-year old founder of Ecotricity (a Gloucestershire-based wind energy company) spent nearly R10m converting a second-hand Lotus Exige into a proper all-electric performance car.

Vince, who was awarded an OBE by the Queen for services to the environment back in 2004, received R4m in financial assistance from the British government’s Technology Strategy Board to develop the vehicle.

Although the government funding Vince received is small (the entire electric car development budget was R250m), certain taxpayer lobby groups are unhappy that the millionare is now tooling about in an electric supercar paid for (in some small part) by government. 

ELECTRIC EXIGE

With Lotus chassis design being the current gold standard for electric performance cars (Tesla uses the Elise as a platform for its Roadster), Vince simply bought an old Exige off eBay and set about converting it into an all-electric performance car.

Contracted to execute the project was a team of experienced engineers, some of whom has worked on projects as varied as the 1980s DeLorean and McLaren’s F1 supercar.

Vince briefed his engineering team that he desired a no-compromise homegrown British electric performance car.

The result is Vince’s Nemesis, capable of 0-160km/h in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 270km/h. In order to achieve these impressive performance statistics without any trace of carbon emissions, the Nemesis is powered by a grouping of 96 lithium-ion battery cells, driving two brushless electric motors which in turn produce 242kW.

ZERO-EMISSIONS MOTORING
 
Engineers lengthened the series Exige chassis by 90mm to accommodate the Nemesis battery pack and designed a completely new composite tail section to house the recharging hardware.

Vince claims his Nemesis has between 150- and 250km worth of range and can be recharged in only two hours from a propriety fast charging system or within eight hours from a standard home’s electric supply.

Drawing its source power from one of his 51 Ecotricity windmills, Vince’s Nemesis is able to provide true zero-impact, environmentally friendly high-performance motoring.

Taxpayer lobby groups in the United Kingdom have called Vince’s Nemesis a waste of money considering the financial assistance he received during its development. The wind-power millionaire has retorted by stating that no other company in Britain could have developed a similar all-electric supercar for less.
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