I love my Prius, it's true. But sometimes, I look at the Dodge Charger (I'm watching Burn Notice this summer) and think, "What a cool car." And when we think of cool cars, it's hard to keep the image of a muscle car or a sports car from popping up. But when you think of environmentally friendly, those types of cars don't even come to mind. Perhaps the latest creation from a software engineer will changes the stereotypes.
In order to build the Raptor, Raul Atkinson ordered a Dayton car kit and then built the necessary equipment into it. Gas 2.0 reports on the effort put into creating the Electric Raptor:
"The project took 2 years and an estimated 2000 hours to complete, but the results are pretty impressive. Using a 3-phase AC induction motor and 290 nickel-hydride batteries, Atkinson's "Raptor" reaches 0-60 mph in 8 seconds, with a top speed of 100 mph. Maximum range is about 80 miles, with a full recharge taking just 3 hours. That is much less time spent recharging than most other production electric cars can boast."
Of course, this is a kit car, and it doesn't have the same rigorous crash test standards and other cars have. But, even at $85,000, the Electric Raptor still costs less than current incarnations of similar cars that are all-electric. But what if it were mass-produced? If car companies could figure out how to build the kinds of all-electric cars that people would want to drive, for a price that they could afford, we'd be much further down the road to independence from fossil fuels.
Assuming we could switch our grid to rely more on renewables, of course. No matter how cool the car is, if you have to charge it using coal or oil generated electricity, it's still not as earth-friendly as it could be.
© 2009 PhysOrg.com
Explore further: Grass is an alternative to silage maize in biogas production