Image credit: Fully Charged
The last time Robert Llewellyn went for a spin in the ultra-efficient Delta E4 electric coupe, it wasn't quite finished. But now he's back for more. As the car—which was designed not just to demonstrate electric vehicle technology, but also lightweight, efficient body construction—is launched, he gets to take it for a spin. As an added bonus for speed freaks, he also stops in at a drag racing circuit to check out a homemade electric dragster.
Designed with funding from UK Government's Technology Strategy Board, the Delta E4 has been attracting attention from major manufacturers looking to learn about its lightweight carbon fiber construction, as well as its electric drive train. Llewellyn returns to take the wheel at the official launch of the Delta E4 at the Silverstone racing circuit, and he likes what he sees. As he says, it's definitely a different car to the Nissan Leaf (which Llewellyn is driving daily), but along with the Tesla Roadster and the Nemesis electric sports car before it, it should help to dispel the myth that electric cars are glorified golf carts.
Speaking of dispelling myths. The Blackcurrent electric dragster at the end of this segment is a great example for anyone who still doubts the ability of electric cars to go fast. Covering the quarter mile in just over nine seconds, and reaching 135 miles an hour, it should also help turn some heads and change some minds. Electric drag racing has featured before on TreeHugger, check out this 1972 electric Datsun Coupe as an example of what's possible. And for the really odd, take a look at some electric power tool drag racing too.
Doubtless this isn't the episode for those folks sick of overcharged electric sports cars, but next episode Llewellyn promises to talk more about energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and the "bullying tactics of the oil lobby". Should make for an interesting show.