It’s called the Nemesis. It’s electric and it’s capable of reaching 160km/h in just 8.5 seconds. It’s also the first British all-electric supercar ever made, and it was a project headed by a multi-millionaire British businessman who invested £1 million ($1.6 million) into the project, including a £400,000 ($650,000) government grant from the Technology Strategy Board.
Built using a Lotus Exige as a base, which was bought off eBay by Dale Vince and Ecotricity – a company owned by Mr Vince, they then spent a total of £1 million to turn the car into a genuine EV supercar. It has caused quite a stir with the people of England though, as £400,000 of taxpayer’s was spent on the project.
It is used as a daily driver by Dale Vince, but groups say the car is really only a benefit to him. They say it is somewhat inappropriate for a millionaire to be driving around in a car that has been built, in part, using their money.
Campaign manager for The TaxPayers’ Alliance, Fiona McEvoy, said in a recent report,
”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.”
Meanwhile, a Technology Strategy Board spokesperson recently spoke with CarAdvice, saying,
“This trial is not about one car. The true value of the investment involves bringing together a range of organisations involved in a specific issue, in this case creating low carbon cars and infrastructures to run those cars.
“The Technology Strategy Board acts as the catalyst, bringing together business, industry, research and infrastructure providers. Without the £25million pound funding which was matched by industry, these trials would not be taking place and we would not be gaining the valuable data from them that will help us make electric cars a reality for everyone in the UK.”
On an EV level though, the Lotus really has been turned into a supercar. Using 96 lithium-ion polymer cells, a custom transmission and two 246kW electric motors, the Nemesis is capable of doing 0-160km/h in 8.5 seconds and has so far reached a top speed of 217km/h. Ecotricity says the car should be capable of reaching around 270km/h and plans to break the EV British car record of 224km/h in the near future.
Ecotricity says the car can be recharged using a fast charger in around two hours, or eight hours through a conventional home socket. It then has a range of between 160km and 240km, depending on driving demands.