Image credit: Fully Charged
"Can you remember the exact moment you decided you would build an electric car that scares people...?"
Another classic question from the inimitable Robert Llewellyn. With the 'wind-powered' Nemesis electric car finally hitting the road, I was delighted to see that Llewellyn—whose shows on everything from the Mitsubishi MiEV to the Tesla Roadster—have built a cult following among electric car enthusiasts—was one of the first to take it out on the road. And it looks like he liked what he found.The comparisons with the Tesla are inevitable, but as the discussion shows—the route Mr Vince and crew chose to take is very different from the folks at Tesla. From opting for only half the battery capacity (because 99% of car journeys are less than 100 miles), to skipping regenerative breaking, the Nemesis has been crafted to some very specific requirements—but then this is a very different beast all around. While Tesla's goal was primarily to sell cars to the American public, Dale's goal has always been to craft a boutique car for himself and demonstrate what can be achieved with EV technology. (Although we do get a tantalizing hint in the video that the team may be developing a "mark II" version that may go into production.)
Also discussing everything from the car's signature "Stuka bomber sound", through its range and speed (apparently it reaches 170mph quite by accident - the team were just shooting for 100mph), to countering the argument that coal-fired electric cars are just as polluting as gas, Dale and Robert are clearly in their element. The subject matter gets a little more geeky and technical than some of Robert's shows, but you can hardly blame him—the guy looks like a kid in the candy shop.
It's not all been plain sailing for Mr Vince and the Nemesis though. In fact, the car had a brief mechanical break down due to an electrical fault—unfortunately it happened while The Guardian was taking the Nemesis for a spin... on camera. But no matter, as Dale recounts over at his own Zero Carbonista blog, the problem was soon fixed (apparently someone had let a basic household 12v battery go flat) and the Nemesis headed off to the London to Brighton eco-rally.
Looks like it's been a busy few weeks for the Nemesis. No doubt there are those who will scoff at yet another electric super car, or deride Vince's claims that the vehicle is truly "wind powered", but I for one am glad that people are out there pushing the envelope. We're not going to eradicate the car anytime soon, and I'd much rather see millionaires driving around in this monster than your typical gas guzzler.
More on the Nemesis "Wind-Powered" Electric Car
Wind-Powered Electric Car Launched. Electric Tractor Next?
Dale Vince to Release Electric Sports Car and Residential Wind Turbine
Nemesis Electric Car: 134mph in Wild Safety Tests (Video)