Electric Lightning GT ready for long-term road test

Lightning GT – Click above for high-res image gallery
Back in February 2009, UK-based Lightning Car Company announced that it was intent on selling its electric GT sometime in 2010. Well, the Lightning, as one might expect of any fledgling automaker, is running way behind schedule. However, Lightning claims that its battery-powered GT has entered its "late prototype" phase and hopes to have the vehicle production-ready by spring of ... 2012.

With that covered, it's a relief to know the Lightning GT has hit the streets and will participate in a 12-month long "real-life" road test as part of the UK's Technology Strategy Board Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator competition. The Lightning GT will be trialed under the same road and environmental conditions that a typical vehicle would encounter on a daily basis.

Since unveiling the GT back in 2007, significant modifications have been made. The proposed in-wheel motors have been ditched in favor of a rear-drive setup sourced from a German manufacturer. The electric GT supposedly sprints from 0 to 60 miles per hour in five seconds and the range is claimed to be more than 100 miles. However, with a projected price of £180,000 ($290,628 U.S. at the current exchange rate), finding buyers could be more problematic than getting the technology right. Hat tip to Mike!

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[Source: EEMS Accelerate]
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Stylish British electric high-performance cars hit the road for 12-month trial programme

17 May 2011

Tuesday 17 May 2011 – The very best in British designed and engineered electric high-performance cars have today begun a 12 month test on the UK's roads. By putting the cars through their most stringent challenges yet, the 'real-life' road tests aim to demonstrate the benefits of electric vehicles and at the same time showcase the UK's manufacturing excellence in this area.

14 EEMS accelerate vehicles are now on the road –and will be trialled in 'real-world' scenarios for a period of 12 months as part of the Technology Strategy Board's £25m Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator competition. The test drivers are expected to use the vehicles for their everyday use in the same road and environmental conditions that a regular road car would be used in.

The EEMS Accelerate programme, led by energy and climate change consultants AEA brings together a consortium of specialist UK manufacturers to design, develop, demonstrate and realise the potential of electric high-performance cars. The cars which are now on the roads are the Westfield Sport-E, the Delta E-4 Coupe, Ecotricity's Nemesis and the Electric Lightning GT.

The cars' designers have all aimed to push boundaries in research and development in batteries, motors and chassis design and media were invited to drive the vehicles at Goodwood to see how far the manufacturers had succeeded in achieving their goals.

Commenting after a successful training and media day, EEMS Accelerate programme manager Justin Brock said:

"We are proud to be pioneering the future of UK manufactured electric high-performance cars, which represents green, sustainable cutting-edge technology. The intelligence gained will be crucial in further developing the technology and demonstrating its importance to the UK."

Data collected by AEA from the EEMS Accelerate programme will be published and used by the Technology Strategy Board to demonstrate the wider benefits of electric vehicles and illustrate the UK as an emerging centre of development and manufacture with the potential to generate lasting, high quality employment.

For more information on EEMS Accelerate please visit www.eemsaccelerate.co.uk

About EEMS Accelerate
EEMS Accelerate is a consortium of organisations including AEA Technology, Delta Motorsport, Ecotricity, Lightning Car Company, Westfield Sports Cars and Green Motion. The consortium is one of eight that have been chosen for part-funding by the government's Technology Strategy Board under their Carbon Vehicles Demonstration Programme.

The aims of the EEMS Accelerate programme are to showcase electric vehicles with high performance and low emissions using cutting edge British design and engineering; to motivate British industry to pursue further research and development in electric vehicles and to challenge the preconceptions of electric vehicles held by general public, motorsport enthusiasts and specialists. These are tomorrow's cars today.

About The Technology Strategy Board's contribution
The Government-backed Technology Strategy Board is working with business to speed up the development of low carbon vehicles, towards the point where they become a practical reality and UK business can benefit from the future commercial opportunities.

The winning projects in the Low Carbon Vehicles Demonstrator Competition have received a total of £25 million as part of an ongoing commitment to invest jointly with the industry to speed up the introduction of low carbon vehicles. This will support the investment already made by the consortia themselves and is the most significant step to date in the UK of a co-ordinated move towards low carbon transport.

To meet the UK's commitment to an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050, the carbon output of transport - currently a quarter of all UK emissions - has to be significantly reduced. The vehicles that we drive need to be part of the solution.

The journey towards low carbon transport will not be easy but the demonstrator programme is a major step in the right direction. With around 340 cars being trialled in several regions across the UK, and with the involvement of large and small manufacturers, RDAs, local authorities, universities and infrastructure companies, it is the biggest project of its kind to date.

Andrew Everett – Head of Transport at the Technology Strategy Board is available for interview. Please contact - Claire Cunningham on 07755 4115745.

About the Consortium Partners
The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.

AEA is one of the world's leaders in energy and environmental consultancy and information management. It operates in the UK, Europe, US and China advising the UK government, the EU and major private sector organisations in energy and climate change, air and water quality, sustainable transport, risk management, carbon management, resources and waste and knowledge transfer. For more information please visit www.aeat.co.uk.

Delta Motorsport
Delta Motorsport has a background in high performance engineering and is best known for designing and building the cars that competed in the Grand Prix Masters series. It is building the E4 Coupe – a compact, lightweight, low drag, 4-seat passenger car with a super-efficient drive train to improve performance and range.

The car is a fully functioning concept car, built as a showcase for its engineering prowess with an aim to enhance Delta's profile with OEMs developing mass market EVs to generate business. For more information please visit www.delta-motorsport.com.

Britain's first green energy company is dedicated to changing the way Britain's energy is made. Ecotricity's founder Dale Vince OBE set out to prove that electric cars need not be boring but can be fast, exciting and safe, with the aim of building a car that can turn heads and minds. The Nemesis is designed and built by a team with F1 experience, with batteries are charged using green electricity that has been generated by Ecotricity's own wind turbines, hence the Nemesis has been dubbed the world's first wind-powered car. For more information please visit www.ecotricity.co.uk.

Lightning Car Company
Lightning Car Company was built on a strong heritage of British design inspired by motorsport and the company released the UK's first electric GT sports car at the International British Motorshow 2008. The car combines classic, British sports car design with racing car technology. Innovations include the state of the art NanoSafeTM battery power and Hi-Pa DriveTM 'in-wheel' electric motors in all four wheels. Designed with exhilarating performance front of mind and with head-turning looks, the GT features the technology that will underpin the future generation of EVs.

The EEMS Accelerate project is the backbone of the testing and development of the Electric Lightning GT. Lightning's ambitious goal is to put the Electric Lightning into full production and take on other premiere manufacturers of luxury GT cars. For more information please visit www.lightningcarcompany.co.uk.

Westfield Sports Cars
Westfield is engineering driven, focusing on lightweight, innovative sports cars which lead the niche and component build markets. The company has been working since 2006 on low carbon, high performance vehicles to meet the needs of the future. The pure EV road car participating in the EEMS Accelerate trials, based on a Lotus 7 platform, has been developed in tandem with the i-Racer, a motorsport car for circuit racing.

With 25 years of experience, Westfield is one of the UK's premier brands in the niche and kit sportscar market, looking to expand globally and increase growth (of the i-Racer, pure EVs and hybrid variants). For more information please visit www.westfield-sportscars.co.uk.

Green Motion
Green Motion is the world's first fully environmentally friendly car and van rental company. It offers both retail and leisure and corporate hire customers the choice to rent vehicles featuring the latest CO₂ and low carbon emission technology. In addition to offering green vehicles for hire, the company also abides by its own all-embracing environmental policy.

Within the EEMS Accelerate consortium, Green Motion provides full operational support to the vehicles being tested. This extends from using its experience to ensure that the right legal obligations are in place between drivers and manufacturers from day one, to providing 24-hour telephone and roadside assistance. Green Motion is the vital interface that keeps the drivers and the cars on the roads. For more information please visit www.greenmotion.co.uk.

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