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Electric RaceAbout – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Finnish X-Prize contender from the RaceAbout Association is finally, well, completed. The Electric RaceAbout (ERA) had its first test-driving session a few days ago and, with its virginal 100 kilometers on the odometer, was presented to the public at the Cable Factory in Helsinki last night. With the formalities finalized, the four-wheel-drive electric sportscar is now headed to the U.S. for this month's "shakedown stage" of the Progressive Automotive X-Prize competition.

Said to be "paving the way for creating an electric car industry in Finland", the majority of the 60 companies and institutions involved with the project are from that Nordic country. One of the technologies involved are the direct-drive motors the ERA has powering each wheel. The design, developed specifically for electric vehicles by Lappeenranta University of Technology and also shared by Valmet's EVA concept, allow builders to forgo the use of a mechanical gearbox. To get a sneak-preview of the two-seater in motion, hit the jump for several videos showing the development process and some footage from the track tests.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess they left out the performace figures from the international press release, but this thing has four engines, EACH providing 800Nm (~590 ft.lbf) of torque, and the combined power output is 370kW (~503 hp)... 0-60mph under 5 seconds, range ~130 miles on single charge
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very attractive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is one good looking EV! While a more affordable EVs would be helpful for folks like me (broke a$$ folks), every new EV brings the price per kWh tipping point that much closer! More, please!

      BTW, sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but we're coming into summer so you know that there will be refinery shutdowns and "accidents" to limit production -- and jack up prices -- during the summer high-profit season. This time it's an oil refinery in Washington and sadly there was one fatality.
      http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/04/02/general-energy-us-refinery-fire_7484437.html

      I want my EV... now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I see a tesla roadster nose. but it's not adequately aerodynamically dictated and it's much too heavy at 1250kg. it's more or less a tesla roadster remake and that's not focused enough for the xprize. of course most of the other teams haven't thought the theme through at all but in this category they are up against the aptera (which unduly had it's own category made for itself when they realized it had no chance again inline 2 cars) and the aptera does have thoughts about aerodynamics and weight.

      they got composite monocoque right though but didn't capitalize to keep the weight down. looks like a nice build and nice car, just not forward enough thinking.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sweet ride.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Woot! Now that's what I'm talking about! Anybody else see Saab Sonnett influence in this design?