Image credit: AutoblogGreen
Remember the Nemesis? The 100 mph electric sports car that wind energy entrepreneur Dale Vince has been developing for the last few years. Well, having reported that tweaking of this "wind-powered" car was ongoing last Fall, I'm afraid to say that that is still the case today. And the result of the current set of delays is perhaps more mundane than most folks would guess.True to form, Mr Vince has been very open and transparent about the development of the Nemesis from the start—sharing not just the victories, but the challenges too. The idea has always been to demonstrate that an electric car is possible, and to get others to follow suit in developing their own. So it's in this spirit that I am posting on Mr Vince's latest update—you see it's more difficult than you might imagine to design a retractable charging cable for the car:
"Our guys have been working on something dubbed 'the Lobster Claw' which is a cable retract mechanism. Looks rather cool and is about 90% complete. Basically it allows you to pull a three pin plug (or whatever connection we choose) from the back of the car, pull out as much or as little cable as you need, plug in and when you're done, snatch to retract - like a Hoover (or should I say Dyson these days).
That may sound easier than it is. The tricky bit is to have a cable that isn't coiled around a drum, because that would get too hot if you left it partially coiled and ran big a current through it. With a drum approach you'd have to pull all the cable out whether you needed it or not."
Of course that is not the only issue still being straightened out—work continues on the electronics also. But it is an interesting reminder that reinventing the motorcar will mean rethinking some pretty basic engineering.
And what's Mr Vince going to do with the thing once it's ready? Apparently a UK land-speed electric car record attempt is in the works, followed by an under 24-hour trip co-piloted by Robert Llewellyn (see my posts on Robert's new Gearless show) from one end of Great Britain to the other powered by nothing but wind energy. The pair plan to navigate a route from turbine-to-turbine, rolling right up and plugging in to the base of the turbines wherever possible&,mdash;and plugging into the grid when it is not. Let's just hope the Lobster Claw is ready...