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Eliica – Japanese battery electric vehicle (prototype)

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliica

The Eliica (or the Electric Lithium-Ion Car) is a battery electric vehicle prototype, or concept car designed by a team at Keio University in Tokyo, led by Professor Hiroshi Shimizu. The 5.1 metre (16.7 feet) car runs on a lithium-ion battery and can accelerate from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in four seconds. In 2004, the Eliica reached a speed of 370 km/h (230 mph) on Italy’s Nardo High Speed Track. The team’s goal is to exceed 400 km/h (248 mph), breaking the record set by today’s street-legal gasoline-powered vehicles.

The Eliica weighs in at 2400 kg (5291 lbs) and seats the driver and three passengers. The body was tested in a wind tunnel. The front doors open forward and the rear doors open upward like wings. The car’s platform contains 4 tracks of 80 batteries, which make up one third of the vehicle’s cost. They currently require about 10 hours of recharging from empty to full charge, and can be easily charged off of a residential power grid.

The car has eight wheels enabling it to be closer to the ground for better traction. Each of the wheels has a 60 kW (80 hp) electric motor, giving a 480 kW (640 hp) eight wheel drive which can tackle all kinds of road surfaces. The four front wheels steer. The electric motors mean that the Eliica can deliver a smooth acceleration free from gear shifts of about 0.8 g. Each wheel contains a disc brake and employs a regenerative brake system to recover energy.

There are currently (as of 2005) two versions of the Eliica: a Speed model and an Acceleration model. The Speed model is made to challenge gasoline-based records and has a top speed of 370 km/h (230 mph) with a range of 200 km (125 miles). The Acceleration model is made for the street and has a top speed of 190 km/h (118 mph) with a range of 320 km (198 miles).

The estimated cost of development was in excess of US$320,000. Once the team receives corporate sponsorship, they plan to produce at least 200 units. As of early 2007, the projected pricetag was ¥30,000,000, or about $255,000 US.

On December 19, 2005, the Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi tested this vehicle in a 10-minute ride to the Parliament. In 2006, the car was tested by Shintaro Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo, as well as by the Crown Prince Naruhito.

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