Brighton to London Future Car Challenge #5

November 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

And finally… one of the last off the line, the Nemesis. The one-off Lotus Exige-based prototype commissioned by Ecotricity wind farm entrepeneur Dale Vince (he of the Zerocarbonista blog), it’s said to have cost him £350,000 of his own money and £750,000 in total investment, the rest coming from a grant from the government’s Technology Strategy Board. Its development from the Exige is clearer to the tail end, where the chassis has been lengthened to accommodate the motor and lithium-ion batteries.

It’s taken Vince a long time – with numerous setbacks – to get this thing on the road, and it’s not exactly clear what he’s trying to prove with it (a speed record and small-scale production has been suggested, as reported in The Guardian* earlier this week). Hasn’t Tesla – amongst others – already proved that electric cars needn’t be nerdy little boxes, and that a start-up can move more quickly than a multinational conglomerate? And indeed, why convert a Lotus when Tesla’s done that already?

Still, as pet projects go, Nemesis is clearly a cut above most DIY conversion-jobs, as indeed it should be, given the cash spent on it. Not a bad indulgence for someone who’s made their money in green energy – but is it actually going to have any positive influence on the motor industry? Is it anything more than a promotional machine for Ecotricity and for Vince himself? Let’s see how this pans out, and where the Nemesis programme goes from here.

*A different, and less sympathetic, take on the project here at The Telegraph.

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