Last Sunday an Elettrica two-seater made the 50 mile plus run from London all the way to Brighton sea front on a single charge – ‘with battery capacity to spare’.
“Range has always been the electric car’s equivalent of the Red Flag act. Like the Red Flag act, with recent developments in lithium-cobalt battery technology, it has now become more of a psychological rather than a practical limitation”, says Vaughan Richmond, partner at Elettrica’s UK agents’ Travelelectric.
Organised by the Battery Vehicle Society, the 22nd of July’s London to Brighton EV Run event has become an annual gathering that attracts both amateur enthusiasts for this mode of transport, as well as commercial entries from the UK’s growing clutch of electric car and light van manufacturers.
Retracing the route taken by those early internal combustion motor pioneers, one of the company’s Elettrica vehicles took in the climb over the Ditchling Beacon – proving that today’s EVs need no longer be restricted to central London flood-plains or the flat-lands of Cambridgeshire. As Richmond is at pains to make clear: “You have to remember that this is not a prototype, or a vehicle using technology that is 10 years in the future. What we achieved on Sunday can be repeated day in, day out, with two adults, and all from a car that has sufficient in reserve to cope with the cut and thrust of urban dual-carriageways”.
Travelelectric, based in Ringwood, Hampshire was established to develop the Italian-built Elettrica into a form more suitable for this country. The vehicle now features a range of 60 miles from a single 5 hour charge, and a top speed of 40mph, using British-designed control technology and aircraft-grade lithium-cobalt batteries. Deliveries to customers are currently scheduled to commence during September of 2007.