Dale Vince, founder of British green power company Ecotricity, decided two years ago that he wanted to create a flashy, fun, fast automobile, that ran on nothing but electricity created by his company's own wind turbines. Vince and his team proceeded to buy and gut a used Lotus Exige, outfitted it with two electric motors, and after 18 months ended up with the Nemesis – a one-of-a-kind 170 mph green machine that reportedly eats V12 Ferraris for breakfast.
Vince’s team includes engineers who have designed cars for companies such as McLaren, Williams and Lotus. His main stated purpose for building the Nemesis was to show naysayers that "wind-powered" cars could not only be practical, but that they could also be more than just golf cart-like toys.
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The project hasn't been without some controversy. According to the Daily Mail, part of the project’s almost-£1 million cost came in the form of a £400,000 grant from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board. Given that the car is now Vince's daily commuter, he has been criticized by taxpayers groups for using public funds to score himself a pretty sweet ride.
In any case, it is indeed an impressive electric vehicle. Here's some of the key specs:
- Top speed: 170 mph (274 kph)
- 0-100mph (161 kph): 8.5 seconds
- Power: Two 125 kW motors, producing 330 bhp
- Battery pack: 96 x 100 A/h 4.2 V pouch lithium polymer cobalt cells, 36 kWh capacity
- Max. torque: 600 Nm
- Transmission: Two stage belt driven reduction transaxle
- Range: 100-150 miles (161-241 km), depending on driving style
- Charge time: Under 2 hours from empty to full with optional fast charger, 8-9 hours with 13 A overnight charger
- Curb weight: 2,571 lbs (1,166 kg)
The obvious car for comparison to the Nemesis would, of course, be the Tesla Roadster Sport – not only are they both electric sports cars, but they’re also both based around Lotus bodies (the Tesla being based on the Lotus Elise).
Here's some Tesla Roadster specs:
- Top speed: 125 mph (201 kph)
- 0-60mph (97 kph): 3.7 seconds
- Power: 375 V/215 kW AC motor, producing 288 hp (essentially the same as bhp)
- Range: 245 miles (394 km)
- Curb weight: 2,723 lbs (1,235 kg)
So the Nemesis pips the Roadster for top speed and power, but although it's interesting, the comparison is a little pointless anyway because of one critical difference not listed here – you can actually go out and buy a Roadster... and at a fraction of the cost (though you're still looking at around US$100K). At this stage there are no plans afoot to produce any more Nemesises (Nemesi?).