One More Electric Two-Seater
The Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences has recently unveiled the Electric RaceAbout (ERA), an electric car designed and built in Finland that will compete in the Automotive X-Prize (which we wrote about here). It almost sounds like the whole country helped: Over 60 partners worked with Metropolia, most of them Finnish companies and research institutes. Finland has big ambitions when it comes to electric vehicles (EVs)...
Finland Wants to be the Land of EVs
Part of the goal behind the ERA is to grab a piece of the electric car pie for Finland: "We are paving the way for creating an electric car industry in Finland. Now the industry will gain more expertise and develop rapidly in our country. Apart from the batteries and their charging system, all other essential technology used in the car, such as electrical technology related to power generation, is the product of Finnish expertise," said Sami Ruotsalainen, the project director.
Under the Hood
The RaceAbout uses many light-weight materials to bring the total weight of the chassis down as much as possible, and the drivetrain uses 4 electric motors to provide all-wheel drive (this saves some weight since no mechanical transmission is needed).
The battery pack is lithium-ion (Fe). Electric range is about 200 kilometers (125 miles), and the team claims that an "express" charge can be made in 10 minutes, though it's not clear if it's a full charge or not, and if this damages the battery (that's the problem with most fast-charging; you only get about 80%, and you can't do it too often).
If you want to follow the project, they have a Facebook page here, and the latest is that a new website will be opened soon (the old one here contains a lot of old information that doesn't seem to be up to date anymore).
Below you can see a test-drive video. Nothing too exciting, but it shows that the ERA works.
Via RaceAbout, ABG
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