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.