Nemesis car smashes electric speed record


Thursday 27 September 2012 15:09 BST
The Nemesis hit 148.7mph during a run at Elvington airfield, near York, today
The Nemesis hit 148.7mph during a run at Elvington airfield, near York, today (PA)

A supercar powered by energy from wind turbines has smashed the UK land speed record for an electric car.

The Nemesis, driven by Nick Ponting, hit 151mph during a run at Elvington airfield near York today.

This breaks the record of 137mph set by Don Wales, the grandson of speed ace Sir Malcolm Campbell, 10 years ago.

Nemesis broke the record with a 148mph first run this morning, then Ponting, 21, bettered this with a 151mph later.

Today's achievement was ratified by the Motor Sports Association at the track.

The makers of the Nemesis say it is the first electric supercar built in the UK and they hope it will "smash the stereotype" of electric-powered cars as boring and slow.

It is the brainchild of Dale Vince, founder of green electricity company Ecotricity, of Stroud, Gloucestershire.

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.

"What we've been able to demonstrate is that wind-powered cars are not just feasible, but can be a load of fun."

Mr Vince said the Nemesis is powered entirely by electricity generated by Ecotricity's network of 53 wind turbines around the UK.

It was designed and built in less than two years by a team of leading British motorsport engineers in Norfolk.

The car began life as a second-hand Lotus Exige bought on eBay, and was rebuilt from the ground up.

Mr Vince said the Nemesis is capable of 0-100mph in 8.5 seconds and, on paper, is capable of topping 200mph.

The Nemesis can travel for 100 to 150 miles between charges, depending on driving style, and can be charged from empty in less than 30 minutes.

Ponting, who lives in Gloucester and works for an estate agency in Stroud, has had years of experience racing a range of cars since his early teens.

He said the amazing thing about the car was its consistent rapid acceleration at all speeds.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet that we are in the record books," he said.

"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."

Last summer Mr Wales attempted to break his own record but ran into trouble on the beach at Pendine Sands in Carmarthenshire.


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