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Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Swiss speed up eco-performance

2009-05-19 07:13
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer GreenGT
Model LMP
Engine Twin electric
Power 200kW
Torque 2 000Nm
Zero To Hundred 4.1 seconds
Top Speed 275km/h
From the world’s most neutral nation comes a 2 000Nm electric supercar.

The work of Lausanne-based GreenGT, this outrageous concept was penned by young ISD Valencienne graduate, Thomas Clavet.

GreenGT’s chief engineer, Christophe Schwartz, says the company's Le Mans Prototype (LMP) aims to compete at the world’s most famous endurance race by 2011 with the all-electric car. They hopefully produce a twin car for road use, too. 

Lightweight for an electric

Although some of design details are at odds with the aerodynamic and cooling requirements of an electric car (what are those massive front air-ducts for?), the carbon-fibre chassis and fibreglass body keep rolling mass down to only 860kg.

Powering the GreenGT LMP are two water-cooled electric engines driving through a patented differential gearbox, which is a necessity considering the peak rotational force available.


Colour scheme akin to something the Imperial fleet would have used in Star Wars.

Mental power figures

With a power supply from flexcell photovoltaic solar panels (good in South Africa, terrible in cloud covered Europe) and dual lithium-ion batteries (worth 30 kWh each) the LMP is serviced by a maximum power output of 200kW at a very race-friendly 12 000r/min.

The rotational force numbers – always a particular strong characteristic of electric engines – will be more familiar to marine, instead of automotive, engineers.

Toque peaks at 2 000Nm, with the immediacy of a light switch, requiring the specially developed differential gearbox, reducing rotational force to 800Nm from 160km/h to the 275km/h top speed – all in the name of predictable traction…


The electric technology might be cutting-edge, yet bodywork is still nasty rivet and glass-fibre endurance racer spec.

Fortunately a double-wishbone suspension set-up at each wheel corner, partnered with aluminium padded Brembo disc brakes, ensure lateral force control and deceleration are commensurate to performance potential.

GreenGT estimate they could build around 25 road cars between now and the LMP’s planned race debut in 2011.

Whether the FIA would allow the fetching concept to turn its wheels in silenced anger at Le Mans is open to conjecture. How many laps it would last running at full power is another question altogether.




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