It's nice to see that mass-market daily drivers aren't the only vehicles going electric. Improvements in battery and materials technologies have opened the door for high performance electric vehicles like the Tesla Roadster, Li-ion Motor's Inizio, Mercedes Benz's all electric SLS AMG E-Cell Gullwing and Audi's e-tron series, just to name a few. Joining the expanding all-electric sportscar showroom is the Artega SE (Sports Electric) from Germany-based automaker Artega, which can go from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of over 250 km/h (155 mph).

Modeled after Artega's combustion-engine powered GT model, the Artega SE sports two electric motors on the rear axle with a total output of 280 kW (380 hp) that operate independently to drive each of the vehicle's rear wheels. Because the electric motors transmit their power linearly with no delay, the SE can actually hit 100 km/h 0.5 seconds faster than its GT stablemate.

"Sports car drivers usually have a very dynamic driving style, with frequent acceleration and braking, which is very energy inefficient," said Artega's Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart. "But electric cars recuperate the energy lost through braking and return it to the battery. In addition, unlike combustion engine vehicles, electric vehicles convert the full extent of the engine torque immediately, which makes driving them a completely new, very dynamic experience."

The electric motors draw their power from a total of 16 lithium-ion battery modules, each containing 12 battery cells. Twelve modules are located in the rear of the vehicle with the remaining four placed in the front. The entire battery system weighs 310 kg (683 lb) and all the batteries are water-cooled. The batteries produce a total of 37 kWh and a nominal voltage of 350 V.

The company says that, according to the New European Driving Cycle standard, the Artega SE has a range of 300 km (186 miles), but under normal driving conditions it can comfortably achieve 200 km (124 miles). The batteries can be recharged using conventional household electricity via a plug located in the rear of the vehicle, or faster using dedicated recharging facilities. The latter can fully recharge totally depleted batteries in just 90 minutes.

With an aluminum space frame, high-strength steel and alloys reinforced with carbon fiber, the Artega SE tips the scales at 1,400 kg (3,086 lb), which is around 10 percent more than the GT version. With a similar weight distribution, the SE and GT share comparable handling, braking and performance. At 4.015 m (13.17 ft) long and 1.88 m (6.17 ft) wide, Artega says the SE has the length of a compact car and the width of a luxury limosine. The body of the SE, which is identical to the GT, was created by designer Henrik Fisker, the man behind Fisker Coachbuild who is also responsible for designing the BMW Z8, the Aston Martin DB9 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

Artega unveiled the SE earlier this year at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and says its plant in Delbrück, Germany, is capable of producing 500 vehicles per year. When they start rolling out the factory doors this year you can pick one up for around 150,000 euro (approx. US$ 212,500).

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