Just a few months ago I was presenting the Tesla Roadster as a pioneer in electric vehicles. And it surely is. It does 60mph in just 3.7 seconds, is extremely light and not so comfortable.
This time, the British have projected a brand-new electric car that would ultimately compete with Tesla’s famous Roadster.
The car is called Lightning GT. It does the 60mph in 4 seconds (only 0.3s slower than the Roadster), and it is expected that the first prototypes will be unveiled by the end of 2008. The most interesting thing, though, behind this electric car is the battery.
Indeed, it is a Li-Ion battery, because this is now the trend, and Li-Ion technology as well as battery technology is still in its infancy, but a different type of Li-Ion: The manufacturers chose Nanosafe’s Li-ion cells using nano titanate structures instead of traditional graphite. That gives the GT an incredible 250-mile range, a full recharge time of only 10 minutes, and a life expectancy of 12 to 20 years, or 15,000 charge cycles before the battery performance drops significantly. They are made by Altairnano, who describe themselves as “an innovator and manufacturer of advanced novel, ceramic nanomaterials which are used in products that exhibit ground-breaking performance.”
So, nanotechnology has surely caught up much space in the eyes of battery manufacturers. These batteries are expensive for the moment, and the regular green optimistic cannot afford them. In fact, the most expensive thing in this car will probably be the battery, as for the rest it doesn’t have many moving parts like regular cars do. Still, there is place for development in the battery industry, and as time goes by, they will become much more cheaper, making them a serious candidate for the already growing oil, whose price keeps rising, making place for other technologies.
Maybe in 5 years most of us will be traveling in our electric cars, either converted ones or genuine electrics. We’ll then pollute less and plant more trees.
And that’s optimistic!