(PhysOrg.com) -- While it may be inherently wasteful to enjoy luxury cars, it can still be fun to look at -- and even drive -- them. And, if you are concerned about the environmental impact of such cars, you can breath a little easier. At least if your idea of luxury includes the Mercedes-Benz Gullwing. Mercedes-Benz recently confirmed that it will be producing an all-electric version of the SLS AMG Supercar.
The specs on this car are tantalizing to luxury lovers: 526 horsepower, 649 pound-feet of torque, 0 to 60 in four seconds. Gas 2.0 reports on how the new electric Gullwing will be powered:
"The motors will be fueled by a 400-volt liquid cooled, high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack delivering 40 Ah of current. The packs will run down the center of the chassis. They can be charged via an electrical outlet and also through regenerative braking.
Since an electric version of the car was considered during its design, no modifications will be needed to the car's lightweight aluminum frame. In fact, the electrical version is expected to perform on par with the petro-based SLS. Well, except it will be quieter than its V-8 sibling."
Clearly, becoming electric will not diminish the appeal of the Gullwing for those who like their cars fast and strong.
As the move toward EVs becomes more fashionable, we are likely to continue to see high-end versions of luxury cars. (And of sports cars and muscle cars that are electric.) However, these automobile wonders do not address the problems inherent to using electricity: It's still coming from polluting oil and coal sources in many cases. I may reduce my gasoline use with an EV, but I'm still using fossil fuels when I plug the car in to recharge.
While the transition to hybrids and all-electric cars is a step in a direction that is more environmentally friendly, until we start using more clean technology to power our grid, the steps made will be small indeed.
© 2009 PhysOrg.com