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2006-05-12
Featured Article

X1 Electric Supercar

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Tagged As: Automotive, Electric Car, and Technology

The Wrightspeed X1 gained instant notoriety in an EnergyNEXT documenty for defeating the Porsche Carerra GT and Ferrari 360 Modena in quarter mile speed runs, by 6.6 and 1.6 seconds respectively. An X1 costs $100K, a pricetag that buys a roadster chassis, 500 pounds of Lithium-Ion batteries, a simple electric motor and a carefully tuned electronics package. Those electronics are what separates the X1 from it's combustion engine brethren. Normal sports cars accelerating at maximum speed suffer losses from wheel spin, slipping differentials and shift lag. To circumvent this problem, the X1's onboard computers carefully manage current to the battery under load to maintain maximum torque without traction loss to maximize the transfer of motor energy into forward momentum. Wright's vehicle further sets itself apart from other electrics through the use of Lithium batteries for 4000 amp bursts. Unlike Nickel Metal Hydride used in conventional electric and hybrid cars, Lithium delivers higher power ratings with a shallow decay curve - a characteristic necessary for a performance vehicle. Ultimately, Wright envisions that electric vehicles will gain consumer attention when they begin to outperform standard cars and offer something 'extra' for their premium cost.

With the track victory publicity and hopeful proceeds from the Bolinas documentary, Wrightspeed hopes to produce the X1 for performance enthusiasts. Joining a long line of electric vehicles dating back over 170 years, the X1 redefines the electric genre.



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