Of all the renewable energy sources that car manufacturers have been trying to harness to make the latest electric vehicles, the one most people would never think of is probably wind power. The idea of using wind to power a car seems like it would be impossible or at the very least very impractical. However, there are some people out there who refuse to accept the idea that wind power cannot be used to power an electric car and they have set out to prove it.
Ecotricity, a British based electricity company with big plans for wind power, is comprised of just those kinds of people. On November Fifth, Ecotricity announced their wind powered sports car called the Nemesis. The idea behind the Nemesis is that it is a 100% carbon emissions free electric vehicle that is powered off of a wind based power grid. According to Ecotricity, their network of fifty one windmills, all of which would be integrated into charging areas, allow a Nemesis driver to charge their car in under two hours from empty to full on a fast charger or between eight and nine hours on a standard charge. Ecotricity believes that in using this system, electric cars in the future could easily be powered from a vast network of windmills that would effectively reduce the need to gather power in any other way. According to the press release that announced the completed Nemesis, Ecotricity claims that they could “power all of the UK’s 30 million cars with 10,000 of today’s windmills – or just 5,000 of tomorrow’s.”
The Nemesis itself is fairly interesting as far as an electric vehicle that doubles as a sports car is concerned. Designed by a development time that has pooled experience from working on such cars as the McLaren F1, the Lotus Elan, the Corvette 2R1, the Jaguar XJR15 and the De Lorean, Ecotricity has said that they created the Nemesis as a wind based electric vehicle just to show that it could be done. Using a modified Lotus Exige body and lithium ion battery based engine, the Nemesis boasts a top speed of 170 miles per hour and an average range of 100-150 miles depending on driving conditions. Ecotricity also claims that the Nemesis is faster than a V12 Ferrari with the ability to hit 100 miles per hour in 8.5 seconds. The downside to those interested in the Nemesis: a potential price tag of nearly one million pounds.
While the Nemesis is not necessary running directly off the movement of the wind, it does present itself as an electric vehicle with a rather unique connection to an overall wind based energy system. Ecotricity is hopeful that showing that the technology is possible in practice will lead to the future development of more of these kind of cars.
Article by Richard Cooke, appearing courtesy Justmeans.