Dale Vince OBE has spent nearly £1million building the ‘Nemesis’ – an electricity-powered supercar which can accelerate from 0-100mph in a breathtaking 8.5 seconds.
The founder of Gloucestershire-based wind energy company Ecotricity wanted to build an electric car that could ‘blow the socks off Jeremy Clarkson’.
Mr Vince now uses the 330bhp car – the first road-going British built electric supercar – as his daily runaround.
To build the Nemesis, 48-year-old Mr Vince commissioned a team of engineers who had been involved in various iconic British vehicles including the McLaren F1 supercar and DeLorean.
The crack team then set about turning a second-hand Lotus Exige bought off eBay into a green machine capable of beating some of the fastest combustion engined supercars.
Mean green machine
- Faster than a V12 Ferrari, the Nemesis has done 0-100mph in 8.5 seconds and can reach 170mph.
- It is powered entirely by 100% green electricity made by Ecotricity’s UK network of 51 windmills.
- It runs for between 100-150 miles between charges depending on driving style
- It can be charged from empty in under 2 hours from its fast charger or 8-9 hours from a regular mains supply, both via hidden retractable cable systems built into the rear of the car
- A second-hand Lotus was bought on eBay and rebuilt from the ground. The engineers lengthened the chassis by 90mm, lowered and shifted the centre of gravity forward, fitted a cluster of 96 lithium-ion polymer cells, two brushless motors and a completely new transmission
The company will attempt to break the 139mph record for an electric British car currently held by Don Wales in the Bluebird Electric at a later date.
Ecotricity claims ‘no large car company could have developed anything like this so rapidly or for the sub-£1million budget it has cost’.
But taxpayers groups have criticised Mr Vince for using public money for ‘personal benefit’.
For despite the fact he is worth £3million, the entrepreneur received £400,000 from the Government’s Technology Strategy Board to develop the vehicle.
Fiona McEvoy, campaign manager for The TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Whether or not people agree that public money should be spent developing these sorts of green technologies, it’s clear this man is deriving some personal benefit from this.
‘It calls into question what these grants are for and whether they’re going to the right places.
‘It looks totally inappropriate for a millionaire to be cruising around in a sports car funded, at least in part, by the rest of us.’
Source: Daily Mail
Although the use of public funds to develop this electric car is somewhat controversial, if this technology can be used to make affordable electric cars now and not years down the line, then it could possibly be justified. Green technology can and has been held back by companies who have a vested interest in maintaining fossil fuel-based technology. It is no secret that oil companies have stakes in numerous green tech developments; where they are the majority shareholders, it seems that green innovations are either incredibly expensive or they never go beyond prototype stage. It will probably be some time before green cars become universally affordable but you don’t necessarily need a green car to drive green.
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