The previous record – 137mph – was set by the grandson of legendary speed-merchant Sir Malcolm Campbell.
The Nemesis is the brainchild of Dale Vince OBE, who founded the world’s first green electricity company, Ecotricity, in Stroud Gloucestershire, and was driven by 21-year-old Gloucester racing driver Nick Ponting at Elvington Airfield near York.
Mr Vince said: “This is brilliant. We built the Nemesis to smash the stereotype of electric cars as something Noddy would drive – slow, boring, not cool – and I think we’ve done exactly that today.
“Hopefully this will further stimulate debate about the future of transport in Britain and how we’ll be getting around when the world runs out of oil.
Powered entirely by 100% green electricity made by Ecotricity’s network of 53 windmills around the UK, the Nemesis was designed and built in less than two years by an ‘A-team’ of leading British motorsport engineers in Norfolk.
Unlike a combustion engine, electric cars have 100% torque from a standing start and in initial speed tests last year the road-legal Nemesis did 0-100mph in 8.5 seconds.
|Nick Ponting after the run|
Ponting further extended the record later in the day, to 151 mph.
Ponting said: “It hasn’t really sunk in yet that we are in the record books. It was nice to break the record once and then smash it again – which proved a point really. They’ve done such a good job with the car. It’s an amazing result.”
The Nemesis can travel from 100-150 miles between charges depending on driving style and can be charged from empty in under 30mins using rapid-charging infrastructure.
Last summer the grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell, Don Wales, attempted to break his own 137mph UK land speed record for an electric car – but ran into trouble on the beach at Pendine Sands in Carmarthenshire.
Some background information:
Nick was born in Cheltenham, lives in Gloucester and works for an estate agent in Stroud. Starting in go-karts at the age of 12, Ponting received his race licence at 14 and the now 21-year-old has experience across a range of racing cars from Formula BMWs to Formula Fords.
|Nick Ponting and Dale Vince OBE|
The Nemesis team were involved in developing some of the most inspiring sports cars of this century - the McLaren F1, the Lotus Elan, the Corvette 2R1, the Jaguar XJR15 and the De Lorean. They also problem-solve for the world's top motor sports teams, yet not one of them had ever worked on electric cars before the Nemesis.
The ‘donor’ car - a second-hand Lotus Exige - was bought on eBay and rebuilt from the ground up to become the Nemesis. The engineers lengthened the chassis by 90mm, lowered and shifted the centre of gravity forward, fitted a cluster of 96 lithium-ion polymer cells that sit in a carbon-fibre and Kevlar fire resistant coating with ceramic fire suppression system, two brushless motors, a completely new transmission, and a lot of electronic wizardry. Several patents to protect the unique design have already been applied for.
Technology Strategy Board
The Nemesis is part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board under its Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles Demonstration Programme, which aims to carry out real world testing of British-designed & built ultra-low carbon electric vehicles.
The Nemesis carried out an ‘on-the-road’ demonstration and testing period until April 2012, where every aspect of its performance including a variety of drive cycles was monitored by an on-board ‘black box’.
Britain’s leading green energy company, Ecotricity, was founded in 1996 with a single windmill that started the UK’s green electricity market. Ecotricity now powers over 66,000 homes and businesses from the wind and sun, while developing technology that harnesses wave-power and green-gas. A ‘not-for-dividend’ business, Ecotricity invests more per customer in building new green energy generation than any other UK energy company.
Find out more about the Nemesis and Ecotricity on their website www.ecotricity.co.uk
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