• The Mission One PLE (PLE stands for Premium Limited Edition) electric motorcycle is almost the perfect blending of advanced technology with the expected SEMA speed tweaks. Built by Mission Motors in San Francisco, the Mission One looks futuristic and delivers the performance of today's sport bikes. Top Speed is 150 mph and the AC induction motor delivers 120 lb-ft of torque. To make sure the PLE delivers stopping power and handling on par with gasoline powered sport bikes, Mission Motors gave it adjustable Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, and Marchesini wheels. Mission One is also developing other electric vehicle technologies such as drive systems, energy storage and software integration.
  • Wattshocks are similar in principle to the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car featured in Translogic episode 7.3. Both recapture kinetic energy that's usually lost as heat, but where the 911 race car recaptures it from braking, Wattshocks uses the up and down motion of a shock absorber and converts that energy to electricity. That electricity can then be sent to the battery pack of a hybrid or electric vehicle or can be used to power a conventional electrical system. The best application is large truck fleets, but at $2,500 per shock, they're not inexpensive.
  • Local Motors is trying to revolutionize the automotive world by allowing anyone who's interested to be involved in the process of designing and building an all new, original car. The community votes on designs, engines and interior details and you can participate in the actual construction of your car should you choose to buy one. For more on Local Motors, check out Translogic episode 1.4.
  • The Peraves E-Tracer is an electric powered vehicle. Technically, it's a motorcycle, but it does have an enclosed body and seating for two people. Based on the gasoline powered Monotracer, the X-Tracer team won a $2.5 million X-Prize award in the Alternative Tandem class. X-Prize winners were required to build production capable cars that achieve 100 mpg or the electric equivalent. Peraves says the E-Tracer's goal is to provide a zero-emissions vehicle that's able to carry two passengers and a weekend's worth of luggage. Top speed is 120 mph but the company says it wants to build a high performance version capable of 200 mph. E-Tracer range is about 150 miles from its 200 pounds of batteries.
  • Edison2's The Very Light Car is the only Automotive X-Prize winner to use an internal combustion engine. Still, they took home $5 million dollars in X-Prize money in the Mainstream vehicle class. That class requires four wheels and seating for four people. Using a turbocharged Yamaha 250-cc gasoline/E85 engine, the team achieved more than 200 mpg by using light weight materials to build a simple, no frills car. The Very Light Car has a top speed of 100 mph and a range of 600 miles from its 6.5 gallon tank.
  • Li-ion Motors' Wave II is a $2.5 million X-Prize winner, this one in the Alternative Side by Side class. It's a battery powered vehicle that Li-ion says can go 120 miles between charges. Unlike the Very Light Car, the Wave II includes a few creature comforts including air-conditioning, satellite navigation and power windows. The company says it plans to build and sell electric cars just like the Wave II. Projected price is about $40,000.
  • Li-ion's Inizio electric sports car is not an X-Prize contender which explains why it doesn't look like it was built in someone's backyard. Li-ion says it's going to mass produce the Inizio, which will have retail price around $139,000. The company says the car goes from 0-60 in less than four seconds. Inside there are leather-covered Recaro seats and what's supposed to be a serious audio system. Estimates in range and top speed seem to vary depending on what web site or magazine you read, but Li-ion Motors says the ultimate goal of the Inizio is to make a car that goes 200 mph and has a 200 mile range.
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