NIO is a global start-up founded only 3 years ago in 2014 in Shanghai,China. They design and develop high-performance, premium electric, autonomous vehicles. Already they are making a name for themselves in the electric automotive world by breaking the autonomous lap record at Circuit of the Americas on February 23rd and the overall lap record at Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record in Germany on May 12th.
The track only, electric beast they used to demolish records with is the joint project of NIO and the NextEV Formula E team, the NIO EP9. The car is powered by four electric motors each delivering 335.25 hp (250 kW; 340 PS) for a total of 1,341 hp (1,000 kW; 1,360 PS), and all four are driven by four independent transmissions, making the car all-wheel drive. NIO has already set a total of 5 records in their track-only EP9 for the fastest lap for an electric-powered car in a very short amount of time. The EP9 was built in 18 months, and debuted at the Saatchi Gallery in London, England.Six EP9s have been sold to NIO investors for US$1.2 million each. NIO has announced that ten additional EP9s will be sold to the general public.
NIO EP9 breaks the Nurburgring record of 7:05.120s for a production electric vehicle on October 14th, 2016.
NIO EP9 later breaks the Nurburgring Nordschleife overall lap record. On May 12, 2017, the NIO EP9 set a new lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, achieving a lap time of 6m 45.900s.
Each of the EP9’s wheels has its own motor and transmission. The EP9 has an advanced torque vectoring system that can adjust the power output to each wheel. The EP9’s battery can last up to 265 mi (426 km) before it needs to be charged. Recharging takes 45 minutes, and battery replacement takes 8 minutes. The EP9 is equipped with an active suspension, including a ride height controller that makes 200 calculations per second. The car’s chassis construction is all carbon fiber, and is based on the FIA Le Mans Prototype regulations. The exterior is also made of carbon fiber.
The vehicle’s batteries weigh 635 kilograms. All of the carbon fiber in the car, in total, weigh at 364 kilograms. The total weight of the car is 1,735 kilograms (3,825 lb).
The EP9 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds, 0-124 mph in 7.1 seconds, and 0-186 mph in 15.9 seconds. Its top speed is 194 mph (313 km/h). The EP9 has the third-quickest 0-60 mph time of any electric vehicle, behind Tesla’s Model S P90D and P100D models when launched with Ludicrous mode.
NIO currently lists the EP9 and NIO ES8 as their production vehicles. The NIO ES8 is an all-new SUV by NIO that is planned to be put into production in 2018 for the China Market. Their concept vehicle is the The NIO EVE, an autonomous car that was unveiled in 2017, in a working form. The car is intended to give drivers a comfortable, entertaining, and connected experience whilst on the move.
Lola and Drayson Racing are working together to create the first all-electric Le Mans race car. Their primary goal, however, is to showcase the electric vehicle’s potential in single lap time trial results. They intend to charge the car through inductive charging and there is no word on any quick stop methods of recharging necessary to compete in longer races.
The electric Le Mans Prototype (LMP) will have 850 horsepower and reach top speeds of over 200 mph. Power for the all electric drivetrain is stored in a new generation of highly advanced Lithium Nanophosphate® battery cells made exclusively by A123 Systems. Each wheel will be powered by four axial flux Oxford YASA motors. The car will have a single gear, which is common for electric vehicles. On the exterior, the car will look like any of the other LMP, but the team hopes the electric drivetrain will prove superior in single lap time trials.
This is a pretty cool video on the Tesla Roadster Sport.
First, there is a pretty informative overview of the interior. The Roadster now has a working glove compartment, alright! The transmission selector is now four buttons on the center console instead of a traditional lever. You can select from drive, neutral, reverse, and park. The console also features a port for your ipod or iphone, which from experience, really comes in handy nowadays. Accents on the car are all true carbon fiber, which is rare, because of how commonly it is faked.
The host also gives the battery of the Tesla Roadster Sport a once over. Giving the predictable, “There’s not much to look at here” quip. The Tesla Sport only has a single speed, so there is no complicated transmission bungling up the power to the wheels. He notes the car has 288 hp as apposed to the 248 of its predecessor; which gives it a 3.7 0-60 acceleration, .2 second quicker.
The best part of this video in my opinion is the host’s explanation of the Roadster’s regenerative brakes. When you hit the brakes, you are still using friction braking. The regenerative braking is when you lift off the gas, and you are slowed down by the regen brakes to give a “synthetic compression braking”. So it gives you that pulled forward feeling like you get when you lift off the gas in too low a gear in a regular vehicle.
Shelby Supercars has been developing its Ultimate Aero EV for about half a year now in an attempt to create the fastest production EV in the world. They hinted that they had breakthorough technology earlier. Now, they are making some pretty incredible battery technology claims. This pretty much sums it up:
SSC’s Nanotechnology Rechargeable Lithium Battery pack is rechargeable in only 10 minutes on a standard 110 outlet and has a 150-200 mile range on a single charge.
WEST RICHLAND, WA : January 21, 2009 – Shelby SuperCars (SSC) released the details today of the revolutionary electric vehicle technology to be unveiled in the second quarter of this year. SSC will reveal its innovative all-electric powertrain in the current Ultimate Aero, the Guinness Certified “Fastest Production Car in the World,” to create the Ultimate Aero EV and will reinforce the company as a benchmark in the auto industry. But unlike other auto manufacturers, SSC’s new technology will set a new standard in the electric car industry – one of 10 minute recharges, super horsepower and ranges of up to 200 miles per charge.
While other auto manufacturers focus on producing Green technology for specific cars, SSC’s focus is on producing Green technologies for a wide range of applications for an even wider range of vehicles. SSC’s electric powertrain package, named AESP (All-Electric Scalable Powertrain) is unique due to its scalable horsepower, light weight, compact size, quick recharge time and liquid cooling.
SSC’s Nanotechnology Rechargeable Lithium Battery pack is rechargeable in only 10 minutes on a standard 110 outlet and has a 150-200 mile range on a single charge. This means that in a typical 8 hour day, the car using this technology could go 200 miles, charge for 10 minutes (the time it typically takes to fill up a tank of gas), then drive 200 more miles, charge for 10 minutes and continue on. Some other EV technologies necessitate an overnight charge creating a class of “commuter electric cars” and are not practical alternatives to gas combustion automobiles.
The AESP’s main feature is its scalability. The all-electric SUV or delivery truck is now a reality in the not-so-distant future. The AESP is scalable from 200 horsepower for economy and midsize cars, to 500 horsepower for light trucks and SUVs, and up to 1200 horsepower for delivery trucks, heavy duty equipment, buses and military vehicles. The revolutionary design proves electric-powered vehicles not only match, but also provide more linear power (electric motors have 100% torque at 0 RPM) and overall performance than internal combustion vehicles.
SSC Electric Powertrain Technology
* All-electric. No gasoline.
* Light weight. Just a fraction of the weight of a standard combustion engine (less than 200lbs.)
* Extended performance. Internal cooling systems are built into the motors.
* Compact size. 1/18 the space of a standard engine; significant increase in cargo room.
* Scalable horsepower. From 200 horsepower (one motor) to 1200 horsepower (two motors “piggy backed”).
* Quick recharges. Only 10 minutes on standard 110 outlet.
The current AESP was designed to meet the manufacturing and quality requirements of major automotive manufacturers, transportation operators and the military. SSC will wholesale the AESP to mass production car companies, governments, and to public, private, and niche businesses. Costs for mass-produced units are $5K-$6K per unit for 1000 to 10,000 units (with further reduction in unit cost for increased production.)
SSC’s next milestone will be the pursuit of the “World’s Fastest Electric Car” with the Ultimate Aero EV later this year.
Even though this British electric supercar will be well out of the price ranges of most of us ($300,000); the Lightning GT utilizes such a unique drivetrain and battery that I think it will be an important project for the future of the electric car industry.
The Lightning GT has four electric motors at each wheel, but don’t confuse that with the Venturi Volage’s Michelin “Active-Wheel” technology. However, the concept is similar. With this format, there are no gearboxes, differential, axle, drive shafts or propshafts. All of the power is generated at the wheel, the point at which it’s required, which eliminates mechanical complexity and power losses experienced in standard sports cars.
The Lightning GT uses a unique battery called NanoSafe. These batteries use nano titanate materials instead of graphite which makes them far more thermally stable. There are no toxic substances or heavy metals used in NanoSafe batteries. Unlike standard Lithium-Ion batteries in electric vehicles these don’t need to be kept cool when charged/used or heated to get them to perform in sub zero temperatures. Therefore, the batteries can operate in hostile environments and will work in temperatures between 75°C and minus 30°C.
The Lightning GT’s Nanosafe batteries are not of the “laptop variety”. They are each about the size of a regular car battery. 30 of these units are dispersed around the Lighting GT to provide optimum balance and performance. This ‘designed-in’ weight distribution, low roll centres, and wheel mounted motors will allow the GT to achieve excellent road holding performance dynamics. The Nanosafe batteries should allow the car to have a max range of about 200 miles and be fully recharged in 10 minutes using a 3 phase power supply.
Here is some spy footage of a Lightning GT test drive for your viewing pleasure:
Below is a transcript of Peter Ward’s speech he gave at the launch of the Lightning GT. His speech has all the trappings you would expect from somebody that ran Rolls Royce and Bentley for 10 year.
Transcript of presentation by Peter Ward – Launch of the Lightning Car at the British International Motor Show at 13:00 on Monday Tuesday 22 July 2008.
Good afternoon ladies & gentlemen and a very warm welcome to you all on behalf of the Lightning Car Company. We’re absolutely delighted you could join us. For those of you who have been doing the press tour this morning and have got tired legs by now, we believe we’ve got the perfect antidote for you with an absolutely remarkable car to show you. This car is full of inspiration and has the latest you could hope to see in design and in terms of technical inspiration with both the batteries that drive the electric motors and the fact that it has four electric motors, one in each wheel. My name is Peter Ward and, for those of you who may have very long memories, in the 80’s and the 90’s I ran Rolls Royce and Bentley motor cars, so I was responsible for those 10 years for some of the largest and the most expensive
gas guzzlers on the planet. Having been at that end of the market I am delighted to be associated with the Lightning Car and to be able to present to you a very, very different motor car, a car that is purely electric – not hydro- and a car that is driven in a totally different way. Now you could perhaps say that I’m converted and I’ve got the commitment to the converted but nonetheless this car is a car that really and very truly can make a difference to motoring and I’ll talk about that in a little moment. The Lightning Car Company was started in 2006, so if you just think back, in under two short years, lead by the inspiration of Iain Sanderson and the sheer hard work of Chris Dell and Arthur and the team, then they have moved mountains and probably got very little sleep over that time to get this car to you today to present to you a true and working car, it really does work. They have moved a long way to get to this point but it is a car that is genuine and a true performance car, it’s a true GT as you will see and it has all the characteristics that you’d expect of a GT. When you actually see the car, then remember one thing, it is the actual car that you’ll also see on the plasma screens, so it’s a driving car and it’s capable of doing what it’s claimed to. The claims are quite marvellous, it only takes 30 batteries, it’s not one of these that has thousands and thousands of laptop batteries – it takes 30 batteries. Those batteries can be charged in 10 minutes, so by the time you’ve had a cup of coffee on the motorway you can charge this car. That’s just a 10 minute charge time on the right connection.
It has a motor in each wheel, so for those of you that are technically minded, the chassis dynamics and the opportunity for chassis dynamics on this vehicle are phenomenal because it means the turning angle into a bend and the speed at which you approach it you can get the wheels turning at different speeds. The expression of ‘on rails’ is almost true of this car, it is quite amazing. You can also put the sounds in it which means you can have it purring away like a beautiful smooth straight six or as raucous as a V12. You can choose whichever you want, so have some fun with that. I know that Chris and the guys are desperate for me to get these covers off and get me out of the way. This really is the moment that they’ve all worked very, very hard for, as I said earlier, when you look at the plasma screens; this car is a running car. This is the car that was at Alconbury airfield doing the road testing. It is going to be quite a life changing car. It’s going to meet a lot of things that come forward. You can talk to any CEO of any vehicle manufacturer here today and they’re talking electric cars and, in fact. even Gordon Brown two weeks ago was saying that his vision for 2020 was that electric cars and hybrid cars would be at the forefront of all our motoring needs. But that doesn’t have to be an odd looking or an unusual looking style it can be a performance car, as this will prove to be. So we’re very excited that this is a dynamic car, a car that does have all the performance characteristics. It will do 0-60 in less than 4 seconds when it’s fully developed – that’s because the wheel motors have such fantastic torque. It really can do an awful lot and the guys have worked extremely hard to get it to this point. It is an amazing car, the dynamism, the style and the technology that’s in it really will amaze you. So I’m going to ask the guys if they’ll come forward to take the covers off it, but as they do that I’d like all of you if you would to take absolute pride in what I know is the very finest in British engineering and British design. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Lightning Electric Car.
After the unfortunate Top Gear review of the Tesla Roadster, I thought I would provide a more in-depth and encouraging review hosted by Emile Bouret of OnCars.com. This three part review is very informative and really covers all the bases, as Emile describes the Tesla Roadster’s design, experience, and performance. You can watch the videos in high quality at OnCars.com, but it was a bit hard to navigate, some of the links sent me to a Maxima review instead of the next part. So I embedded them below.
2009 Tesla Roadster Part 1: Design
This goes over the exterior of the Tesla Roadster. While the car is based on a lengthened Lotus chassis, the two cars only share the same windshield. The car’s large front intake provides an aggressive look, and more than enough air for the cooling system.
2009 Tesla Roadster Part 2: Interior & User Experience
Don’t let the title fool you, this is actually really interesting. Emile sits inside the Tesla Roadster and starts the car, which is a very unique, Playstation like experience. He also notes that if a law is passed to make electric cars louder, it should amplify the jet turbine sound of the regenerative braking. I don’t really understand how a car can be too quiet and thus a safety concern, especially when most modern family sedans are nearly silent from over 10 feet away.
2009 Tesla Roadster Part 3: Performance
What can be said that hasn’t been said already. 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, instant full torque, and zero emissions.