Today, Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire saw the next stage of the electric vehicle revolution. Nemesis, a Lotus Exige that has been heavily modified by Ecotricity, achieved it’s ambition of breaking the electric car land speed record that had stood for 12 years.
Driver Nick Ponting reached a speed of 151mph to shatter the previous record of 137mph set in 2000 by Don Wales, the grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell steering the fittingly named Bluebird Electric.
Nemesis is the brainchild of Dale Vince of Ecotricity, who say the vehicle was created to promote thought on the subject of conservation and sustainable fuels and to challenge our perception of what an electric car is capable of. Future plans are for Nemesis to travel from John O’Groats to Lands End with the car only being charged by electricity produced by wind power.
Nemesis is clearly no slouch, claiming an acceleration of 0-100mph in just 8.5 seconds with a top speed of 170mph and a kerb weight of 1166kg. The car is powered by a couple of 125kw electric motors pushing out around 168bhp. Today’s 151mph record breaking run was in fact the second run Nemesis did today. Having already broken Don Wales’ record earlier in the day, reaching an impressive 148mph.
It’s becoming pretty clear that the days when the only thing cool about an electric vehicle was Michael Caine hitching a lift home on a milk float in the opening scene of The Italian Job have long gone.
Nemesis has been described as “..nothing out of the ordinary” and “..very quick 2-seater sports car that happens to be powered by electric…” which, if you think about it, is probably about the biggest compliment Nemesis could get.
The electric supercar took 18 months to build and cost almost a million pounds, but is as practical as an electric car currently gets, being able to travel around 100 plus miles on one charge – depending how it is driven of course.
Though I think it’s still debatable about which was the coolest – a new electric car land speed record or Michael Caine on the back of a milk float..
Images from avelyman.com & inhabitat.com