• May 21st 2008 at 10:19AM
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Take £30 million, create 250 jobs and end up with "tens of thousands" of new electric vehicles in the UK. This is the plan of the new company Liberty Electric Cars Ltd. Liberty announced today that it will be converting many currently-existing large luxury cars and 4 x 4s (SUVs) into electric vehicles - starting with Range Rover models - and sell them for between £95,000 and £125,000 ($187,000 U.S. to $246,000). Liberty Electric Cars made the announcement at the Eden Project Green Car Show.

The battery technology that Liberty will use in these luxury EVs was not disclosed, but it will be "state of the art energy storage and management systems" that will give the vehicles "extended driving range and shorter recharge times." On the electric Land Rover, that means a range of around 200 miles. Whatever the system looks like, Liberty says it will offer the technology to other automakers. ETA on these expensive rides? N/A. More details after the break.

Press Release:


Eden Project Green Car Show: Newly formed Liberty Electric Cars Ltd is investing £30 million in the re engineering of large luxury cars and 4 x 4s into emission-free, high performance electric vehicles. The company will design and manufacture a unique electric drive-train platform to power a wide range of large vehicles, which will also have the flexibility to incorporate emerging technologies. Annual vehicle production, which will include the world's first zero emission, electrically powered Range Rover, will be in tens of thousands and will create around 250 new technology and manufacturing jobs.

Barry Shrier, Liberty founder and CEO says; "The Liberty Electric Range Rover takes electric vehicle technology into a new sector, to large luxury cars that people aspire to drive, particularly in cities and urban environments where environmental controls are becoming increasingly tighter. The Liberty Electric Range Rover will drive cleanly and quietly around roads and cities, free of tax, congestion and parking charges, making less environmental impact than even the smallest, most fuel efficient car, yet still offering the comfort and security of a luxury 4 x 4."

Liberty electric cars will incorporate state of the art energy storage and management systems, which the company will also offer to other vehicle manufacturers, commercial fleet operators and emergency response organisations. They will deliver superior performance and acceleration compared with existing technology. Liberty electric cars will have extended driving range and shorter recharge times. The Liberty Range Rover will power its way through 200 miles before needing a charge, and some models will carry on board range extending generators. Costs will range between £95,000 and £125,000 depending on model and specification.

The market for electric cars is still in its early stages, however exponential growth is expected as legislation, social awareness and technological advances accelerate change in transport choices.

Electric vehicles have 80 per cent lower running costs than petrol cars. Electrical power is also a more efficient source of power, as petrol engines only use around 25 per cent of their energy to create motion - the vast majority is lost in heat and the mechanical movement of the engine and transmission. Electric motors deliver 90 per cent efficiency.

An electric motor also provides superior acceleration because unlike a petrol engine it does not need to be revved, in order to achieve full power. The power (torque) is instantly available at all times. This is why petrol engines use electric starter motors!

Liberty Electric Cars' management team is led by Barry Shrier, founder and CEO. Barry Shrier is a technology entrepreneur and a well educated and charismatic leader, with proven board-level general management experience. As managing director at Deutsche Bank, he developed the mobile payment system – Pay Box. He is also a non executive director of Washington-based satellite technology company Leo Terra LLC.

Barry Shrier is an active member of the Institute of Directors. He has an MSc in Philosophy from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Politics from Middlebury College, Vermont, USA.

Since July 2007, Shrier has focussed his considerable expertise on the development of zero emission cars, through the creation of Liberty Electric Cars Ltd.

He is joined by Peter Sylvester, a former finance director of Harley Davidson, BMW and Rover and Ian Hobday, who has a background in international sales and marketing that spans careers with BASF and Arch Chemicals Inc, where he was global managing director of the coatings business.

Lord Anthony St John of Bletso LLM chairs the company's advisory committee, which includes former science minister Ian Taylor MBE, MP and a number of experts in electric vehicle system design.

Liberty Electric Cars has been established to respond to the rapidly expanding demand for zero and low emission cars. Worldwide concern about global warming and climate change is growing enormously. Individuals and businesses are taking steps to lower their carbon emissions, and Governments are now legislating to change consumer purchasing and behaviour.

The electric car market is moving out of its early adoption phase and electric cars will soon be part of mainstream sales. However the major area of product development is in small 'city' type cars, with compromised performance and functionality. Liberty will focus on zero emission cars that satisfy the family, luxury and sports cars sectors, such as the Range Rover.

Liberty Electric Cars will engineer electric propulsion into existing vehicle platforms, replacing the internal combustion engine with electrical power. This approach has less environmental impact than creating a new range of vehicles. It also lets customers drive the vehicle they want, without additional cost to the environment.

A number of UK manufacturing locations are under consideration, including south west
England. Manufacturing will be managed in a way that makes as little environmental impact as possible, with much of the assembly work taking place alongside key suppliers' existing operations.

[Source: Liberty Electric Cars Ltd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I reckon just the opposite Terry. I don't believe they intend developing or producing any components of their own at all. This looks far more like it is purely doing assembly and installation, using bought-in components. Buying in the motor, the battery pack, the control mechanisms etc. off the shelf - and that all they mean by system is that they will systematically tailor the installation to suit whatever make of car is called for.

      Incidentally, there is already an electric Range Rover under development at the Range Rover factory in Solihull. It is expected to come to market around the middle of 2009 or a few weeks earlier.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why pay £95 to £125k for 0 emissions, when this guys is doing it for a thousand pounds on any car.


      And you get cheaper fuel aswell.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That really is kick ass , but i bet the price owuld drastically come down if they didn't have to actually pay for the whole car (engine ,transmission etc)because it is going to get ripped out anyway. It would be even better if the major makes of these cars adopt this system or something similar . It really makes sense , you get luxury and eco friendly . also for those who be the question " what happens if you run out of juice" some models will come with rang extenders. So lets review a luxury car with 160 electric range ( it will not get the full 200 miles that with a light foot), creature comforts and a range extender just in case , a price for 189,000 base price. Anybody see anything wrong with that besides the price??? If i was rich i would buy one
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's not zero emission you idiots. Where do you think the energy comes from? This is the opposite of green. I'm so angry I could firebomb liberty electric.
        • 4 Years Ago
        guess what, you're right. They know that and hence you hear them talk about "0 emissions at the tail pipe"...what this does is legally free themselves of claiming to be 0 emissions per se... with that they claim that whilst driving only the Range Rover is not emitting anything and successfully exclude the initial power source, namely the coal or whatever burning power station.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The energy comes from the same sources used to make hydrogen, including natural gas, coal, nuclear, solar, wind, hydro, etc. The neat thing is that EVs and the electricity grid is very efficient, 3x more efficient than the combination of water electrolysis/storage/ transport/H2 fuel cells.

        Even when coal is used for electricity, the higher efficiency of power plants (thanks to efficiency boosting techniques not available in cars) and the very high efficiency of EVs insures less CO2 emissions compared to the equivalent standard IC engine cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That rocks, why can't some of the billionaire's over here have vision like that, instead of just sitting on their money like a big zit
      • 7 Years Ago
      It sounds like this company is trying to become an electric motor manufacturer. They are converting some expensive cars in order to prove their technology, but are probably hoping other companies, like Honda, Toyota etc., will buy their motors to be used in their cars.

      So the 250 employees could be for the manufacturing of the motor only, not actually doing the conversions, because as David said they will never be able to sell a significant number of cars at the listed prices, but if they price their motor right they could sell tons of them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I hope something comes of this. Unfortunately the press release sounds heavy on hype. In what way are they creating 250 jobs?? Sounds more like a handfull of guys offering to work on a handful of cars if or when some rich enough customers ask them to.

      I can think of several greater-or-lesser celebs who will probably buy. Portsmouth and England goalkeepr David James for one. He is into things green and helped host the recent PR event in London at which parcels firm TNT bought another hundred 7.5ton battery powered trucks from SmithElectricVehicles.com

      But tens of thousands of cars, selling at those prices quoted? Dream on Barry!
      • 6 Years Ago
      A better deal would be to use a Poulsen Hybrid system on a Subaru Legacy with a Boxer diesel engine - add a generator to the engine, about 20KwHs of high quality Li-S batteries and about 1KwHs of Lithium ultracaps, now that would be pretty sweet.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      We will have a major announcement in Monroe, Louisiana, USA tomorrow about a company moving here with 1300 jobs to make a fuel efficient automobile. It is called "Operation Liberty". Everything confidential and the local govenment is under a gag rule not to mention the company name until tomorrow's announcement. It will be housed in an GM headlight plant that was shut down three years ago and sold to a local industrialist. Lots of money being donated by the Louisiana government and local govenment. It will be interesting to see if it is the same Liberty Electric involved. They involved the founder of Oracle in this one.
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