Thursday, October 22, 2020

Electric Sports Car

A few companies have focused on this vehicle style with the goal of providing transportation that is both electric and eye-catching. Among the cars that fit this description are offerings from Renault, Tesla, Fisker Karma and a handful of others.

There are even some reliable plans for converting a Porsche to electric power, if you are into doing it yourself or having a professional conversion company do the work for you.

The Renault DeZir is designed to travel more than 100 miles per hour using an electric motor and lithium-ion batteries. It's a two-seat coupe that promises to have a quick recharge time. Public release is still some time in the future though the car will be shown in Paris soon. The company has plans to produce half a million electric cars annually.

Tesla Etc.

Tesla already has an electric vehicle that is being driven by about 1,000 individuals. The Roadster from this company has been road-tested by industry engineers and major media. Reports show the car delivers 248 horsepower, 211 pound-feet of torque and weight/torque ratios comparable to cars like the Lotus.

A charging system has been integrated into the Tesla Roadster and it works in the power train. But there are also connectors for 120 volts and 240 volts. Automotive news indicates that Tesla will focus on a sedan model after 2011.

These are not the first cars that could be listed under the electric sports car is the Lightning Car presented at the British International Motor Show in 2008. At that time Peter Ward talked about as being an "inspired" design that has electric motors in each of its four wheels. Ward once directed the Royce and Bentley auto directions, so there were plenty of interested listeners.

In 2009 the company was still working on a 700-horsepower rival for the Tesla Roadster, with hopes of putting the car into production in 2010. Media reports show information about the company and its high-powered electric sports car is still scarce. Lightning Car Company has a complex, active Web site that offers plenty of information. News includes a partnership with Applus Idiada, a Spanish engineering group.


They're Not the First

If you think Tesla, Lightning and Renault are leading the pack in the electric sports car field, think again. Reports from the Electric Vehicles Symposium in Monte Carlo in 2005 presented the Venturi Fetish as the first production electric sports car. The price tag was set at $450,000 Euro, well above the expected price of the Lightning and the Tesla.

The Fetish was produced with very good acceleration and a range of close to 300 miles on a full charge. Delivery time on these early vehicles was about one year. They did not meet United States standard for highway use when first produce. A few years later the company was presenting as a positive step the collaboration between Venturi and Michelin. This concept car, the Volage, was presented in Paris in 2008. The Fetish is hand-made in very limited numbers at this time.

There was a Dodge electric car called the Circuit EV. A great deal of marketing effort and press hoopla went into the introduction of this concept car in 2008. However, the news turned about 180 degrees in the next year, as industry observers were saying Chrysler was "pulling the plug" on the project.


And Now...?

Current work in the world of electric sports cars includes the efforts of French automaker Citroen, which took the wraps off its Survolt sports car. This concept vehicle is fully powered by batteries and has been tested at Le Mans. Some of the numbers on the Survolt: 300 horsepower; top speed – 162 mph; 0 to 60 acceleration under five seconds; and range of 124 miles on full charge. Media reports indicate Citroen does not have plans for production at this time.

It's also possible to get an SSI Racing 65 Coupe with a 0-60 time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 140 mph. Reports from the company show that less than a dozen have been sold at the $120,000 price.

In the last year or so the deep pockets of the U.S. Department of Energy have been opened to the benefit of car makers that have new ideas. Ford, Tesla, Fisker and Nissan have been recipients of this financial aid. General Motors and Chrysler have not been so fortunate until now. The news (rumor) seems to be more positive for those two traditional U.S. car makers. Some of this money may well go to producing sport vehicles, though it would be safer to bet on family sedans and tiny, efficient cars.

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