Image credit: Ecotricity
Dale Vince's Wind-Powered Car Driven for First Time
In my last post about Dale Vince's prototype electric sports car, the term "wind-powered" clearly raised some hackles who felt this was a deceptive marketing ploy. I continue to think that a man who has struck rich building wind turbines, and who will be charging his car on renewable energy, has every right to use the term. But really, semantics aside - the big question is how does the car perform? Now, finally, (in episode 10 of 6!) we get to find out as Dale and friends take the "Nemesis" onto the track - the results, despite some hiccups, are pretty astounding!
The day clearly doesn't get off to a great start as the car hardly has power to crawl into the transporter. But after some on-the-fly programming with a lap top, the bugs seem to get ironed out and the boys take the thing onto the track. After a few low speed runs, they decide to let the thing fly - and manage to clock (accidentally, apparently) a full 100mph on a short run. Here's how Dale described the experience of driving the wind-powered car:
The acceleration is astonishing. I had a run up and down with John Miles (ex Lotus F1 man) at the wheel — OMG! If you've ever been on the Oblivion at Alton Towers, that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach as you go over the edge and rush groundward — that was exactly the feeling, and it was relentless. There's no power build up, no power curve — it's on full (especially when John's driving), and it stays on — until the throttle comes off (and then the brakes burn :) ) It's incredible.
We clocked over 100mph, accidentally, (I mean it wasn't a speed trial) just running up and down a few hundred metre stretch. And we didn't spin a wheel, we burnt nothing - not even rubber, more on that later. The big surprise of the day was the noise — we reckon part Stuka dive bomber and part supercharger, don't know how well it will come out on film, but this car definitely is not quiet. And I really like the noise it makes. That takes care of one of Mr Clarkson's favourite EV 'worries' (bless).
For those of a more technical bent, the current specs are hard to come by (this is a one-off prototype at this stage), but in my earlier post on the wind-powered car project, Dale claimed the thing would hit 100mph, reach 0 to 60 faster than a V12 Ferrari, and have a range of about 150 miles on one charge. We now know it can hit 100mph, the acceleration seems pretty astounding - let's see how it fares in terms of range. We'll keep you posted.
But reading is one thing - seeing is quite another. So check out the video below for evidence that the wind-powered car (yes, I'll continue to use that term) really can fly. For further reading on Dale Vince, Ecotricity and his wind-powered car, check out the links below the video.
Video production: Tim Walter Associates
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