Electric Car with the Real Stuff

Speed. Power. The joys of eking a few more meters per liter out of a Prius is never going to make the blood race for people who live and breath speed and power. Meet the Wrigthspeed X1 prototype electric car. 0-60 in 3 seconds. Standing quarter mile in 11.5 seconds. Dusts Porsches and Ferraris in road tests. 170 mpg. Wait a minute, did you say 170 mpg?? I thought this was an electric car. Okay, it uses about 200Whr/mile for city driving. We will know green design has come of age when you can read the Watt-hours and think "oh, yeah, that's rocking". For now, the kind folks at Wrightspeed have done the math for us, based on 33,705 Watt-hours per gallon of gasoline.The X1 is powered by a 3-phase AC induction motor, 236 HP, drawing its juice from a Lithium Ion battery pack. Full charge takes about 1.25 hours with 220Volt supply, longer on 110. Unfortunately, the X1 is still fighting the biggest battle of green designers: the battery packs alone run the tab up to US$40,000, resulting in a list price only the rich boys can afford at around $100,000.

So is this just another loner with a good idea which will disappear in the annals of time (along with the many electric car models at the outset of automotive history?) Or is it time to get revved about this idea? It looks like Wrightspeed has the real stuff: a Silicon valley address, investors and engineers. Ian Wright, the man behind the machine, is looking for additional private investors to run up the $8 million budget he expects is needed to produce a consumer version with 100 mile range, 4.5 hour charging period and meeting US Federal safety standards.

Modern "Green Design" is largely about fulfilling people's desires, but doing so in a manner which is sustainable--especially without long term damage to the environment and, consequently, to our health or our national security. We are still on the cutting edge of answering Marie's famous challenge: can you have your cake and eat it too? That is the mission of the good people at Wrightspeed. The site includes good video of the races. Check it out.

Via: Reader comment. Thanks June.

Interested in electric cars? Check out: 17 Electric Cars You Must Know About