After we posted the initial information on the Lightning GT yesterday, we contacted Arthur Wolstenholme, the Technical Director at the Lightning Car Company, to get more information on the new car. At this time they only have gas engine powered prototypes running that are being used for chassis development. The first battery-powered version should be running later this year.
The Lightning GT engineers won't have to worry about working out the blending of the regenerative braking and friction braking because there is no friction braking. The Lightning will rely entirely on regen from the wheel motors. For those of you high-performance electric car enthusiasts that were hoping to see this as an alternative to the Tesla Roadster, don't hold your breath to see this one come across the pond any time soon.
The Tesla will look cheap by comparison with an initial price estimate of £150,000 (roughly $300,000) the Lightning will definitely be only for the thick-walleted greenie. Lightning is clearly looking to recoup the entire cost of the Altairnano batteries and composite structure up front rather than selling clean air credits like Phoenix. No annual volume estimates are available until they see how many orders and how many batteries they can get. Initially the cars will be available in the UK only with a left hand drive version for the continent coming after that. If the company survives that they will consider the US market and what it would take to certify the car here.
[Source: Lightning Car Company]