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From Zero to Sixty in Three Seconds

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Faster acceleration than a supercar, 1/3 the energy consumption of a hybrid

Last month, we learned that the initial batch of the amazing Tesla Roadster was completely sold out. Now a former Tesla worker, Ian Wright, is taking the electric-supercar in a direction of his own. Ian Wright’s company, Wrightspeed, is privately funded and is currently developing an electric car also capable of staggering performance.

The X1 prototype car is able to hit 60 MPH in 3 seconds, 100 MPH in 7 seconds, and returns an energy equivalent of 169 MPG. Those impressive figures also come with a considerable price tag of an estimated $120,000.

"You can't make cheap electric cars. You can now make good ones, but not cheap ones," Wright said to CNET. "While everyone wants efficiency, no one wants to pay for it. It's like selling safety...You've got to offer your customers more than energy efficiency."

While supercar performance tends to command supercar price, the real reason behind the 6-figure price of the X1 (and the same applies to the Tesla Roadster) is that lithium-ion batteries are extremely expensive. While comparatively small li-ion batteries used in our little gadgets are still quite affordable, the whole game changes when you’re looking at a 538 lbs battery. The battery alone makes up a third of the vehicle’s cost. And while that battery will propel you to your destination in record time, it won’t get you very far. The X1’s range is estimated to be 100 miles under regular conditions, but it’ll drop to 25 miles once on the track.

Wrightspeed promises that the X1’s performance will improve even further by the time the car enters production. For more info on the X1, check out Wrightspeed.com.

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