The Automotive X PRIZE’s aim of inspiring a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles may be realized this year with one of the winning vehicles set to go into production. At the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, North Carolina’s Li-ion Motors, which took out the prize in the Alternative Side-by-Side sub-class of the competition with the Wave II, announced its intention to bring that electric car to the public this year alongside the Inizio, the world’s first all-American all-electric supercar.
Li-ion Motors has used the US$2.5 million cash prize for the Wave II to further development of the car and help bring it to market. The Wave II was the only American entry to complete all stages of the X Prize competition and Li-ion’s announcement will make it the first company from the competition to move from prototype to production.
The Wave II’s unusual styling, which sees the enclosed rear wheels attached to the raised rear end, contributes to the impressive aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle, resulting in a drag coefficient of just 0.157 in wind tunnel testing. The company says this makes it the most aerodynamic car on the road with a 2010 Toyota Prius scoring 0.25, while a Formula One racecar can range from 0.7 to 1.1, by comparison.
The vehicle achieved a 202.5 MPGe score on the dyno at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and averaged 187 MPGe when combined on track tests run at Michigan International Speedway.
Despite its distinctive looks, the two-passenger Wave II is designed as an everyday driver with more than 28 cubic feet (0.79 cubic meters) of storage space and a range of up to 150 miles (241 km) for the S Model and up to 200 miles (321 km) for the SE Model.
Here are the specs for the two Wave II models
S MODEL: $39,000
SE MODEL: $49,000
Options such as AC, power windows and two-tone paint are also available.
Aimed a slightly different market Li-ion Motors has also put some of the US$2.5 million cash prize towards bringing its all-electric Inizio supercar to market. Claiming the title of the world’s fastest 100 percent electric supercar the INIZIO will come in three flavors. The top of the range RTX (Rally Turing Extreme) model can accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 170 mph (274 km/h) and boasts a range of up to 200 miles (321 km).
Here are the specs of the three Inizio models on offer:
R – Rally Model $139.000
RT – Rally Touring Model $189.000
RTX – Rally Touring Extreme $249.000
Options includes an exterior carbon fiber body (+US$24,900), interior carbon package including door panel inserts and center console inserts (+US$9,800), movable rear wing (+US$3,999) and adjustable suspension height (+US$3,200).
Li-ion Motors will start taking deposits for the Wave II and Inizio this month ahead of a planned July 2011 availability for the Inizio and December 2011 availability of the Wave II.
Although the company says the deposits are fully refundable, it might be wise to exercise caution. Li-ion Motors has been accused of underwriting “pump and dump” penny-stock schemes. A NY Times article from October 2010 said the company reportedly owed more than US$250,000 to the IRS in unpaid payroll taxes and company officials said they needed another US$5 million to “commercialize” the cars they have designed. We hope these problems don't stop the Wave II becoming the first car from the X Prize to to enter production.
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