Electric-car Nemesis at top speeds is record-breaker

Sep 29, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(Phys.org)—Fans call it the first "electric super car" for a reason. The UK-built on Thursday smashed the UK electric car land-speed record, topping 151 mph. The Nemesis was at an airfield near York, completing two runs over a one-mile distance. First the driver set a new record-breaking speed of 148 mph and then went on to set the record of 151 mph. The previous record in years past had been 137 mph. The company behind the Nemesis, Ecotricity, noted that the Nemesis is supplied by a network of 53 wind turbines in the UK from this "green-energy" company.

The car's beginnings can be traced back to a second-hand Lotus Exige bought on , which was designed and rebuilt from the ground up by a team of expert motorsport engineers in Norfolk. They built the Nemesis in less than two years, to run on battery power alone. The Nemesis can travel from 100 to 150 miles between charges. The company says the Nemesis shows consistent acceleration at all speeds.

As the electric "supercar" in the UK, Ecotricity's leader, Dale Vince, hopes that the impact will not only be in its setting a new record but that Nemesis will be changing the stereotype of an electric car as a vehicle that is eco-friendly but slow.

He said his company built the Nemesis to demonstrate how cars of the future could actually be wind-powered and more.

"We built the Nemesis to smash the stereotype of as something Noddy would drive – slow, boring, not cool," Vince said. "An out-and-out desirable sports car, capable of -beating speeds and able to do 100 to 150 miles on one 'tank'. All with . Cake and eat it stuff."

He believes the car situation as it stands is not sustainable. While his frame of reference is the UK, his concern can be recognized among environmentalists in many more places. "In the UK we drive about 200 billion miles a year, and burn almost 25 million tons of oil to do it…Nearly a quarter of all the car trips we make are less than two miles, and 99.6 percent are less than 100 miles."

Explore further: Kingston, Jamaica hybrid project to harness sun and wind

More information:
www.ecotricity.co.uk/about-eco… is/land-speed-record
www.ecotricity.co.uk/about-eco… ity/eco-labs/nemesis

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Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Sep 29, 2012
Nemesis will be changing the stereotype of an electric car as a vehicle that is eco-friendly but slow.


Isn't this just a Tesla Roadster wannabe that does half the range?

The Roadster kinda failed to convince anybody, because it's just an expensive toy even in supercar standards.
Eikka
3.3 / 5 (3) Sep 29, 2012
The point being that all the "stereotype changing" electric cars so far have all been one trick ponies. The Roadster accelerates really quickly, but that's all it does well. This thing goes really fast - for an electric car - but that's probably all it does well.

The rest is just just PR and spin doctoring about averages and percentages. If you take the 99.6% and turn it around, 0.4% of trips would be too long for your hyper expensive supercar. That means if you take two trips a day, five days a week to a total of about 500 rides a year, you'd still get stranded two times a year - which simply does not happen with combustion engines because you can always add more fuel.

Getting more fuel isn't a problem. Filling up the battery in a hurry gets more and more difficult the bigger your battery is, so the more range you have in your EV, the less plausible it is that you could just drive up to a charging station and be done with it in reasonable time.
Eikka
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 29, 2012
And here's the problem. Take an ordinary gasoline pump that fills up a 40 liter tank in let's say 5 minutes. It's a slow pump. The tank is filling up at a rate of 40 l x 8.76 kWh/l x 12 = 4204.8 kWh/h which is 4.2 MW of power.

How much is 4.2 MW? Well, a 3 kW average per household, it would be enough to power 1402 homes, or in other words, to match that amount with an electric charger, it would draw more juice than an entire city block. Probably more than the whole street.

And that's why quick charging electric cars is practically implausible. Even if the charger needed just one quarter of that power, it'd still be a ridiculous amount of power to charge up one car.

And then you realize that there might be two cars in the same charging lot.
Newbeak
not rated yet Sep 29, 2012
These stories rarely mention at what speed the car achieves a range of 100 - 150 miles.They might greatly exceed the advertised range at 55 mph.
Shakescene21
5 / 5 (1) Sep 29, 2012
I want one. I hope that these guys will sell a "kit" to convert the existing Lotus, Triumph, Mustang, etc. to run on electric power. Electric motors tend to accelerate better and run smoother than internal combustion engines, and they are better for the environment.

Range is not a big problem for sports cars because I rarely drive them more than 100 miles at a time. If I'm going on a road trip we take a comfortable boring car, like the Honda or the mini-van.

Newbeak
not rated yet Sep 29, 2012


Range is not a big problem for sports cars because I rarely drive them more than 100 miles at a time. If I'm going on a road trip we take a comfortable boring car, like the Honda or the mini-van.


The ideal setup,at least till better batteries come along,would be a series hybrid arrangement like the Volt uses,only with more batteries to bump up the electric range enough to satisfy 99% of drivers.
BikeToAustralia
3 / 5 (2) Sep 29, 2012
The point is striving for a responsible, sustainable vehicle that looks exciting and fun to operate. Cars use more resources than almost anything else we make and we make a lot of cars. Then, we have to have next year's model.

Fossil fuels are not a renewable resource but they are amazingly energy-dense; some gasoline engineers told me there is more energy available in gasoline than in dynamite.

But, our use of gasoline is extremely primitive; we only use 20% of the fuel stored at peak efficiency. Electric propulsion uses 97% of its fuel. I am not sure about the numbers, not my field.

Bottom line, almost all forms of energy creation and storage we know of are full of ecological issues. There are too many humans on earth for planetary ecosystems to process our waste. We are not doing enough of a job cleaning up our own mess. At what stage in an individuals life is that true? I do no want to be a baby or on my death bed.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Sep 29, 2012
These stories rarely mention at what speed the car achieves a range of 100 - 150 miles.They might greatly exceed the advertised range at 55 mph.


The advertised range is measured at 55 mph. That's the trick Tesla uses. Other manufacturers like Nissan, they like to use some Japanese urban cycle testing standard with an average speed of 25 mph.

Fuel consumption over distance increases roughly at the square of the speed, so the car probably achieves between 13-20 miles of range at 150 mph, and around 50-80 miles at 75 mph, and up to 100 miles if you never exceed 65 mph.
Shakescene21
not rated yet Sep 29, 2012
@Eikka -- It is very conservative to measure range based on a 55 mph speed. In real world conditions we don't drive 150 mph. I own several sports cars and I don't think I've driven over 80 mph in the last 5 years.
Newbeak
not rated yet Sep 29, 2012
These stories rarely mention at what speed the car achieves a range of 100 - 150 miles.They might greatly exceed the advertised range at 55 mph.


The advertised range is measured at 55 mph. That's the trick Tesla uses.

Interesting.I read the sidebar story ( http://phys.org/n...tml#nRlv ) about a Tesla going 313 miles on a single charge across Australia.A Wikipedia entry for Tesla Motors said the average speed for the trip was only 25 mph!
Jim Hardy
3 / 5 (4) Sep 29, 2012
Too many poo poo comments here. The fact is that electric cars combined with onboard renewable recycling of elements readily available converted to electricity has the POTENTIAL to unlimited range. Or until the battery wears out. This will meet fierce opposition from the oil industry for survival of their old ways. I fear we may be in an infinite loop of conservative growth based on fear of change. Rarely does anybody travel over 200 miles before stopping. These EV's are game changers and they know it.
RealScience
5 / 5 (3) Sep 29, 2012
@Eikka - your calculations on equivalent power for filling a tank with gas are mathematically spot on, but there are several holes in your overall argument.
First, if I only need an extended range vehicle a few times a year I can rent one for the occasion, rather than being 'stranded'.
Second, even if I decide to take long trips in an electric car, an electric motor uses its battery's stored energy ~3x more efficiently than an IC engine uses it gas tank's stored energy, and hence it would be more like 1.4 MW for 5 minutes for the same range as a 40L tank in the same sized vehicle.
Third, rather than the 400 miles that I'd get from 40L tank, the range is 100-150 miles so it is only 0.5 MW for the 5 minutes charging. Sure, I'd have to stop for fuel 3x as often, but a few times per year stopping and taking a 5-minute break every two hours instead of every four hours is not really a problem.

- continued -
RealScience
5 / 5 (4) Sep 29, 2012
Fourth, 3kW for a household is continuous use. A 60-amp entrance is considered obsolete, with 100A and 120A more common these days. Even a 100A entrance at 220V is over 20 kW.

So rather than an alarming 4.2 MW = 1402 homes, a realistic comparison is 0.5 MW = 25 homes.
It is still one heck of a lot of energy - I agree completely with your main point that gasoline and diesel are great energy carriers!
So good that there is no point in exaggerating the difference...

(And, of course, this discussion ignores things like battery swapping).
Jo01
1 / 5 (1) Sep 29, 2012
@Eikka, your argument isn't correct.
As the comment above mentioned an electric car is much more energy efficient, it's 90% versus 20% for an internal combustion engine (so it's more than 4 times as efficient).
And the car itself uses regenerative braking and has a much better aerodynamic shape than most cars, so it's efficiency is even better than that.
So we need 1 MW during 5 minutes charging and - as stated above - the battery has 1/4 range of the gas tank, so 250 KW is sufficient.
That is if you want a full charge, normally you wouldn't do that because you only need to get home, most of the time less than 30 km. So we need only 84 KW during 5 minutes in a realistic scenario.
The points is that the car is charged at home at night (and this will not add more power plants because the load on the plants is in that case comparable to the daytime load and costly and inefficient shutdowns can be avoided).

J.
Meyer
2 / 5 (1) Sep 29, 2012
Very cool. I could see this replacing gas vehicles for most daily use. Now we just need to find 10 million tons of neodymium. If 50,000 tons per year could be dedicated to automobiles, it should only take 200 years to dig it up. But that could be bootstrapped by recycling wind turbines as they are replaced by LFTRs.
runrig
not rated yet Sep 29, 2012
Very cool. I could see this replacing gas vehicles for most daily use. Now we just need to find 10 million tons of neodymium. If 50,000 tons per year could be dedicated to automobiles, it should only take 200 years to dig it up. But that could be bootstrapped by recycling wind turbines as they are replaced by LFTRs.


Neodymium is (apparently) no longer needed.......http://www.upi.co...4178904/
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Sep 29, 2012
you'd still get stranded two times a year

Well, it's not like these long trips happen so unexpectedly that you do get stranded.
Either take another mode of transport for such long trips or just rent a gasoline powered car. That's not really a terrible hardship twice a year, is it?

Certainly requiring a truck once a year doesn't require you to always have a truck in your driveway. So why not apply the same logic to EVs?
Newbeak
not rated yet Sep 29, 2012


Certainly requiring a truck once a year doesn't require you to always have a truck in your driveway. So why not apply the same logic to EVs?

Especially with the price of gas.While paying $40 to fill my Civic at the local Shell,the attendant mentioned he had processed several $200 gas purchases earlier by the owners of large trucks/SUVs.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 29, 2012
Nemesis will be changing the stereotype of an electric car as a vehicle that is eco-friendly but slow.


Isn't this just a Tesla Roadster wannabe that does half the range?

The Roadster kinda failed to convince anybody, because it's just an expensive toy even in supercar standards.
In the future everybody will have 150mph electric supercars. Energy will be free and complex tech like this will routinely be built in fully-automated factories. One charge will last for months.

Alas it will be illegal to drive them. They will only be allowed to drive themselves.
hopefulbl
not rated yet Sep 29, 2012
i have a tesla s on order, how about you
Parsec
1 / 5 (1) Sep 29, 2012
And here's the problem. Take an ordinary gasoline pump that fills up a 40 liter tank in let's say 5 minutes. It's a slow pump. The tank is filling up at a rate of 40 l x 8.76 kWh/l x 12 = 4204.8 kWh/h which is 4.2 MW of power.
...

Math lost units. 4.2 mw/hr. Given that most charging would be over 12 hours at home, thats 350 kw/hr. While thats 2 orders of magnitude larger than the 3kw a home consumes the rest of the time, it changes the actual economics of electric cars a lot from what you suggest. Also, most fillups will happen once a week at a maximum.
Eikka
not rated yet Sep 30, 2012
So we need only 84 KW during 5 minutes in a realistic scenario.


A typical small electric car consumes 20 kWh/100km and upwards, or 200 Wh/km which means that 84 kWh net charging power after losses (about 100 kW at the source) gives you 35 kilometers of driving for 5 minutes of charging.

As the comment above mentioned an electric car is much more energy efficient, it's 90% versus 20% for an internal combustion engine


Not true. The difference in modern cars is more like 75% vs. 30% or 2.5 times less energy. The whole point is that to achieve the same level of convenience, you'd have to charge at more than 1.5 MW which is simply too much to be plausible.

Either take another mode of transport for such long trips or just rent a gasoline powered car. That's not really a terrible hardship twice a year, is it?


It is when you've bought a very expensive electric car, while a cheaper hybrid vechile could.

It's not a good selling point now is it?
Eikka
not rated yet Sep 30, 2012
40 l x 8.76 kWh/l x 12 = 4204.8 kWh/h which is 4.2 MW of power.
...
Math lost units


Yes. The number 12 has a unit of 1/h because 5 minutes is 1/12th of an hour.

And the car itself uses regenerative braking and has a much better aerodynamic shape than most cars, so it's efficiency is even better than that.


Regenerative braking doesn't actually extend your range by more than 5-10% because the efficiency of the generating drops the slower you go, which means the energy recovery works poorly in urban traffic, and on a motorway where it would work better due to the higher speeds you barely need to brake.

There's even a cut-off at low speed where the regen brakes consume more energy than they recover.
Eikka
not rated yet Sep 30, 2012
The pork in the pie is, that electric cars will always be slower to "fill up" than gasoline vehicles, due to inherent limitations in transmitting electrical power.

That's a non-issue in everyday driving where you typically don't need to recharge on the go anyhow because the trips are short.

It is an issue over the long distances, where you'll be constrained by the short range and slow recharge rate, making the electric vehicle hopelessly inconvenient.

Inconvenience means that you buy an expensive car, and you still have to rent another vehicle. It's not a comparison between trucks or vans and cars, but cars and cars - you have a £50k car sitting on your driveway that you can't use because it will only go 100 miles on a fair day, and getting another 100 miles out of it takes the rest of the day.

Why would anyone buy that when there's better options available? Buy a bloody hybdrid.
Newbeak
not rated yet Sep 30, 2012

Why would anyone buy that when there's better options available? Buy a bloody hybdrid.

And make sure it is a series hybrid.Parallel hybrids are constantly burning gas.Series hybrids only burn gas once the batteries are depleted.
RealScience
not rated yet Sep 30, 2012
@Eikka - Hopelessly inconvenient???
It would only be 1 MW for the same level of convenience, and if it is only on a couple of trips per year, I could easily live with a bit less convenience (or rent a gas car when I need to travel across the county).

... electric cars will always be slower to "fill up" than gasoline vehicles, due to inherent limitations in transmitting electrical power.


Today, yes, but ALWAYS?
I agree that hydrocarbons are amazingly good for energy storage. Evolution has had billions of years to perfect it, and what does most life use energy storage? Fats, which are essentially the same as crude oil.
And almost all batteries are handicapped by having to carry their oxidizer with them, and even zinc/air batteries carry their 'exhaust' with them, while hydrocarbons use the atmosphere for both.

But 'always' ignores possibilities like recharging built into highways, battery swapping, or superconductors fast-charge batteries.
Shakescene21
not rated yet Sep 30, 2012
Like most American families, we have more than one car. It makes a lot of senese to me to have a sporty electric car for 99% of my trips, and use the gasoline car when we take a road trip.

Electric cars aren't a universal solution for personal transportation, but there are a lot of niches they can fill. As batteries improve and gasoline prices rise, I expect that electric cars will steadily expand their market share and eventually outnumber gasoline-powered cars.
qitana
not rated yet Sep 30, 2012
if an electric generator can be about 90 % efficient, would it then be possible to charge an electric car with gasoline by using a gasoline driven charging engine as an electric generator at a gas station ?
Newbeak
not rated yet Sep 30, 2012
if an electric generator can be about 90 % efficient, would it then be possible to charge an electric car with gasoline by using a gasoline driven charging engine as an electric generator at a gas station ?

Yes,but the generator gas engine is inefficient.Best to just plug in at the gas station,assuming there is a charging station offered.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Oct 01, 2012
if an electric generator can be about 90 % efficient, would it then be possible to charge an electric car with gasoline by using a gasoline driven charging engine as an electric generator at a gas station ?

That is what some hybrids do. The advantage is that the (gas) motor is working at its optimum efficiency while charging (i.e. better than if it were responsible fo delivering ever changing rpm/torque to the wheels during driving operations).

But when all is said and done a gas engine is - even at its very best - only half as efficient as an electric motor at converting available energy to usable force.
Newbeak
not rated yet Oct 01, 2012
[
That is what some hybrids do.

Yes,with his idea,it would be a hybrid in two parts,and nowhere as efficient as a Prius,for example.