It's hard to know how seriously to take pronouncements from Li-Ion Motors. The company has spent some time at big auto shows before, but the things it has said there haven't always come true. Take for example, promises made about the company's two vehicles: the Wave and the Inizio sports car. Both vehicles were on display at the 2009 New York Auto Show, and at the time, the company said the Wave was going to be delivered in 2010. That didn't happen. The Inizio was also supposed to be ready in the middle of last year. The new delivery targets, announced this morning at the Detroit Auto Show, are the middle 2011 for the Wave II and the end of the year for the Inizio. Back in 2007, Li-Ion Motors (then known as Hybrid Technologies; later it was EV Innovations) said its all-electric sports car, the L1X-75 GT, would be a "Ferrari killer." It was a terrible name, and the bold claim didn't do it any favors, either. Of course, then there's this. And this. Oh, and this. With all this in mind, here's what the company said today.
The good news for Li-Ion is that five people have plunked down money to reserve a Wave, the company's Automotive X-Prize-winning (side-by-side class) electric car since reservations were opened yesterday. The Wave II's base cost is $39,000 for the S model ($49,000 for the SE). The car's specs are here. As for the Inizio, it starts at $139,000 but tops out at an astonishing $249,000. Full specs are here. Orders for the sports car start this week. Why
Li-Ion Motors is proud of its powertrain technology, and wants to license it (or the cars themselves) to a bigger OEM. The Wave and the Inizio use Kokam cells with Li-Ion's proprietary lithium-polymer chemistry in their battery packs. The Wave has 12 packs made up of 96 cells (total) that offer 40.3 kWh. The Inizio tops out with 80.6 kWh in a pack that weighs 1,200 pounds. Li-Ion Motor's packs are air-cooled and don't need a heating system. The Wave II has 28 cubic feet of space. It got 202.5 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) in the lab and 187 mpge on the track during the Automotive X-Prize.
The Inizio – which, as we noted, is supposed to be delivered this summer – is currently going through certification. No units have been crash tested, but simulation crash testing has been done. Both the Wave and the Inizio are singular vehicles, which means that the one that won the X-Prize is the one on the Detroit show floor. There are other Inizios in various states of existence, but only one is fully assembled. Perhaps Li-Ion will make more once somebody orders one.
THE LI-ION ROARS - NORTH CAROLINA ELECTRIC AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURER TO DELIVER FIRST VEHICLES TO CONSUMERS IN 2011
Li-ion Motors' WAVE II moves to production mode on heels of Progressive Automotive X Prize win
Joined by the Inizio, the world's fastest 100% electric supercar
Detroit, MI (January 11, 2010) – In the competition to bring consumers the cleanest and most efficient next generation of automotive technology, it's no wonder that a company based in a town known as Race City USA has taken the lead.
Li-ion Motors Corp. (OTC: LMCO) announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that it will bring two 100% electric cars to the public in 2011, the practical and efficient WAVE II and the high performance supercar called INIZIO, (Italian for "the beginning").
Based in Mooresville, North Carolina, the home to many of NASCAR's top teams and support businesses, Li-ion Motors combined expertise in aerodynamics, fabrication, and chassis design with a decade of experience and development of electric car conversions and a leading edge battery management system to power the Wave II to winning the Progressive Automotive X Prize.
"How do you get more than 100 miles per gallon?" says Li-ion Motor's general manager Tom Zgoda, a veteran of more than three decades with Ford. "Well, the first thing is to eliminate the gallon."
"Hybrid cars like the Prius and Volt are still rooted in a bridge technology still based on oil. Electricity is the real power infrastructure of this country and the world and it will eventually be readily available for car fueling as oil products are today. But nothing will happen unless we make it happen."
The $2.5 million cash prize for the Wave II was part of a $10 Million pool awarded by the X Prize Foundation to spur innovation and development of practical cars capable of at least 100 MPGe. The Wave II achieved a 202.5 MPGe score on the dyno at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and averaged 187 MPGe when combined with on track tests run at Michigan International Speedway.
The only American entry to complete all stages of the competition, Li-ion is also the first company to move from prototype to production. Beginning in January 2010, Li-ion Motors will accept fully refundable deposits from customers wanting priority status for the first Wave II and Inizio cars to be produced.
The base price for the Wave II, a two passenger vehicle with 28 cubic feet of storage space is $39,000 USD. The fully refundable deposit will be only $99 USD and can be made online at www.li-ionmotors.com/wave
The base price for the Inizio, the world's fastest 100% electric supercar with acceleration of 0- 60 mph (97 kmph) in 3.4 seconds and top speed of 170 mph (274 kmph) is $139,000 USD. The fully refundable deposit of $1000 USD can be made online at www.li-ionmotors.com/inizio.
"Throughout the X Prize competition and especially after our win, interest in the WAVE and Inizio has grown dramatically," says Stacey Fling, Li-ion Motors' president and CEO. "We have given all those who have contacted us a first shot for pre-order registration and we are determining our production cap so there will be a limited number left for each vehicle when it goes public."
In addition to the company's original vehicles, Fling says that the company will license its proprietary battery management system (BMS) and other technology to established auto manufacturers looking to leap forward in bringing all-electric vehicles to market.
The strategic domestic need for energy independence and the urgency of environmentally respectful transportation are irrefutable. Li-ion Motors Corp. promises to be an integral part of the inevitable paradigm shift in sustainable transportation. The future is now.