Competition is heating up for the Progressive X-Prize, and the latest super-efficient green vehicle to be rolled out is Finland’s Electric RaceAbout (ERA) EV. Recently unveiled by the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, the RaceAbout features a range of 200km, a chassis that weighs half as much as other cars its size, and a lithium-ion battery pack that can be express charged in 10 minutes flat. Now that the electric sportscar has proven itself in initial tests, the ERA travels to Michigan where it will compete for the X-Prize and $10 million dollars.
The RaceAbout was conceived and developed largely by students from the Metropolia, but many other Finnish companies aided with technology, research and development. Designed with a range of 200 km (125 miles), the four-wheel drive electric car has a direct-drive electric motor for each wheel, eliminating heavy gearboxes, while the transmission was replaced with a vehicle control system developed during the project. The chassis weighs half as much as a normal chassis, which is achieved by incorporating lightweight materials and technologies. Meanwhile the lithium-ion battery pack can be express charged in 10 minutes.
Project Director Sami Ruotsalainen says, “We are paving the way for creating an electric car industry in Finland. Now the industry will gain more expertise and develop rapidly in our country. Apart from the batteries and their charging system, all other essential technology used in the car, such as electrical technology related to power generation, is the product of Finnish expertise.”
This April at the Michigan International Speedway, the RaceAbout team will compete in the initial “shakedown stage” of the X-Prize against 43 other teams selected to participate out of 97 teams that entered the competition. After the first stage in Michigan, final stages for the competition will take place in July and August. The final prize will be awarded in September for the best production-capable electric vehicle that exceed 100 MPG energy equivalent (MPGe).
Via Autoblog Green