Look out Tesla, there's another electric roadster ready to pounce. Well, maybe. Li-Ion Motors, the North Carolina-based company that captured victory at the Automotive X-Prize and whose financial past was the subject of some recent controversy, presented the battery-powered Inizio at SEMA. This two-seat roadster is being hailed as the world's first all American-made electric supercar.

Sporting the company's own patent-pending lithium-ion battery technology, the Inizio has a claimed cruising range of up to 250 miles and a top speed that's listed at a shocking 170 miles per hour. Runs to 60 mph are said to take a mere 3.4 seconds. Some adjustable leather/suede Recaro seats are sure to keep occupants in place during spirited drives and a high-output audio system with a 12-inch subwoofer and digital surround-sound speaker system promises to pump out tunes at a decibel level that could surely make ears bleed. The Inizio is expected to launch in mid-2011 with a starting price of $139,000.

Okay, here's where Li-Ion Motors would probably like us to cut our coverage of the Inizio, but the company's checkered financial past and some digging by our man Domenick Yoney has revealed another side to this story. First, a glance over the company's attached press release reveals a few discrepancy. Li-Ion Motors states:
The Inizio is powered by Li-Ion Motors patent-pending lithium-ion batteries and management system which generate a power output of more than 40kW (upgrade to 96.7kW available), while its electric motor delivers 145kW.
Huh? Shouldn't it read 40 kWh of energy storage and not 40kW of power output? Maybe it's just a misprint. Furthermore, we suspect that the so-called "patent-pending" batteries actually utilize Kokam cells. This recent SEC filing establishes a partnership between Li-Ion Motors and Superlattice Power. Some further digging reveals that another company, Superlattice Inc., is located just seven miles down the road from Li-Ion Motors and builds its battery packs with Kokam cells. See a connection?

There's one more thing worth mentioning. In an email correspondence dated April 2009, Li-Ion Motors told us that the Inizio would be available later that summer. Now, the company promises a mid-2011 launch date. Believe what you want to, but if you're willing to shell out more than $100K for an electric car, we've heard that some company by the name of Tesla already has a proven production model waiting for you.

[Source: Engadget, Li-Ion Motors]

PRESS RELEASE

Award-winning Li-ion Motors unveils the "INIZIO":


The world's first all American-made electric super car

Mooresville, NC– Less than a month after their historic $2.5 million win at the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition, North Carolina-based Li-ion Motors is making history again with the unveiling of the INIZIO: the world's first all American-made, fully-electric, emission-free "super car". Engineered with Li-ion Motors' patent-pending lithium-ion battery technology and management system, the INIZIO is a full-sized super car that has a range of up to 250 miles (321km) to satisfy every day driving needs, and a top-speed of 170 mph (272 km/hour) to thrill the avid sports car enthusiast. "We are excited to introduce to the world the INIZIO," said Stacey Fling, President & CEO of Li-ion Motors. "This car is the culmination of many years of research and development in the quest to design an emission-free luxury vehicle that performs and handles just as well as a traditional, gas-powered super car, and with the INIZIO we've accomplished that". Innovative, inspiring, and intelligent, INIZIO is slated for launch mid-2011 and will be priced starting at $139,000USD.
New Inizio Photo low res.jpgInnovative Design

The INIZIO is Li-ion Motors' first foray into the high-end super car arena, and is set to transform what consumers can expect from an electric vehicle. Unlike other super cars, the low-profile, two-seater INIZIO is designed to accommodate passengers of up to 7ft in stature.

The sleek exterior of the car is characterized by smooth and rounded edges, led by high-intensity halogen headlights, a removable hard top, and an optional moveable back wing that allows the driver to customize the INIZIO experience for every drive and occasion. "The INIZIO is a sleek car for a life of style," said Product Development Engineer Ron Cerven. "Each INIZIO is custom-built, but every INIZIO comes standard with the most exciting, and forward-thinking features of any super car to date. This is not just a car: the INIZIO is the ultimate all-electric entertainment on wheels."

Luxury and style come together to create a chic entry point for any passenger, when the INIZIO's rotational doors raise on a 90-degree angle, and the custom hydraulic lift system raises the car 3 inches to allow for easy and comfortable access to the sexy and sporty interior. Once inside, INIZIO owners will enjoy full-power, adjustable, leather and suede Recaro seating with heating and cooling features for optimal comfort. As if the ride wasn't exciting enough, the INIZIO comes standard with a complete entertainment system that includes a 5.0 digital surround sound system (with 12" subwoofer), GPS navigation, and video monitor with DVD player, audio/video and mp3 input.

Inspiring Zero-Emission Mobility
The INIZIO is powered by Li-ion Motors patent-pending lithium-ion batteries and management system which generate a power output of more than 40kW (upgrade to 96.7kW available), while its electric motor delivers 145kW. This ensures a highly responsive, fun and exciting driving experience; and with the addition of the optional extreme performance motor package, drivers can take the INIZIO from zero-to-sixty in 3.4 seconds.

Unlike traditional super cars equipped with internal-combustion engines, the INIZIO has no tail pipe, and thus no emissions of Co2 or other greenhouse gases. A combination of the INIZIO's regenerative braking system, innovative lithium-ion battery packs, and extreme power package enables the car to deliver a range of up to 250 miles (321km) on one full charge. INIZIO owners can expect a battery life of 2500+ full charges, and charging the INIZIO is easy and convenient to do at home with a standard 220V outlet. With as little as 8 hours needed for a full battery charge, drivers have ample time and access to enable an overnight refresh of the battery life.

Certain design elements also work to minimize the car's environmental impact: The INIZIO's moveable back wing provides optimum down force and is coupled with a ridge embedded in the body of the car, cleverly designed to redirect airflow, thus reducing wind noise and drag, and maximizing overall energy efficiency.
Intelligent Battery Management System (BMS)

The INIZIO employs an exclusive and advanced battery management system developed to provide support, and information to drivers 24 hours a day. Connected to Li-ion Motors global-reaching data center, one of the key features is the system's remote diagnostic system that proactively monitors and diagnoses the INIZIO before it can encounter error, notifying both Li-ion Motors and the driver well in advance of any future diagnosis that may be made.

More importantly, the BMS serves to protect, enhance, and take the guess work out of every day driving. The dash-mounted LCD touch screen monitor displays INIZIO's remaining power, in addition to notifying and guiding the driver to a selection of nearby charging stations. It also monitors and displays battery temperature, power consumption, drive time and distance driven.

"The battery management system is critical to the best driving experience and most optimum efficiency possible," said Luc Pham, Electrical Engineering Manager for Li-ion Motors. "We believe owning and driving any car should be a stress-free and enjoyable experience, and the INIZIO's intelligent BMS system works for the driver to make this possible." Additionally, side and rear-view mirrors are coupled with high-definition cameras to give drivers a 360-degree view of space around the car for the safest and most visually enhanced driving experience.
About Li-ion Motors Corporation

Li-ion Motors Corporation (OTCBB: LMCO; Frankfurt: LL9L) is a leading innovator in the 21st century design and engineering of emission-free, all-electric, high-speed and long-range automotive propulsion systems using lithium-ion battery technology. In September 2010, Li-ion Motors was recognized as an industry leader in the field of fuel-alternative automotives when it was awarded the Progressive Automotive X-Prize in the Side-by-Side Alternative Class for its all-electric vehicle, the Wave II. Founded in 2000, Li-ion Motors has corporate headquarters located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a research, development and manufacturing facility located in Mooresville, North Carolina. For more information, please visit www.Li-ionMotors.com.


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