Luxury Electric have used the 2008 Democratic National Convention as a platform to announce the company’s intention to drive its fully electric prototype (a retrofitted Acura TL) across the United States in an effort to prove that fully electric vehicles will be practical for longer journeys as well as the short-range commuting at which they already excel.
The prototype vehicle (known simply as “The Electric”) will carry some 24 Lithium-ion cells, which give it a range of around 140 miles. Each time the batteries run out, the car needs to be plugged in to a regular power outlet for about 10 minutes - so the average ‘fuel stop’ time will be longer and more frequent than it would for a petrol powered car, but still not a major hindrance or hassle.
Good luck to them - the company is currently selling one-off Acura TL conversions with around a three-month wait for customers and a price tag significatly higher than the estimated US$75,000 expected list price for the company’s top-of-the-range 200+ mile production model when it launched in 2010 (2010 is shaping up to be an enormous year for production electrics.)
As usual, it’s the battery technology that’s driving the price that high - the most affordable model on the cards will have a commuter-friendly 80-mile battery range and is projected to sell for only US$20,000. And while all the vehicles are fully electric, they should live up to the “luxury” tag as well, as they appear to be well specified.
As for power… Well, the prototype has enough to spin the wheels up quite nicely, according to this YouTube video.
Full press release follows:
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Luxury Electric Announces Completion of World’s First Full-Sized, Long-Range, All-Electric Luxury Sedan at 2008 DNC
“The Electric” to Embark on Historic Transcontinental Drive after Convention
DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The founders of Luxury Electric, one of America’s first electric car companies, today announced at the 2008 Democratic National Convention plans to take their prototype car, “The Electric,” on a record-setting transcontinental trip, the first for an electric luxury sedan.
“We will demonstrate that electric cars can perform as well or better than gas-powered cars,” said Luxury Electric founder and Nevada Democratic Party Delegate Elliott Small. “The coast-to-coast drive will show that all-electric automotive technology is ready today. We’re eliminating the biggest barrier to mass-market acceptance of electric vehicles by showing that they are not only practical for daily commuting, but deliver outstanding performance, range, comfort and durability as well.”
“Most people commute easily on 30 to 50 miles per day, the average distance electric vehicles can go between charges,” said Engineering VP Bill Rowling. “To achieve our goal of driving cross country, we’ve improved that to about 140 miles per charge.”
Luxury Electric has an exclusive license for two rapid battery re-charge patents from the Georgia Tech Research Corporation and will demonstrate that technology in Atlanta during the coast-to-coast drive.
“The new battery technology will allow full charges from any outlet in as little as 10 minutes,” said Small. “The cost of the electricity will work out to about $4 per 150 miles. Future motorists will be able to buy electricity from wind or solar power sources, resulting in a virtually zero emissions vehicle that performs as well as traditional autos.”
Throughout the convention, Small will be assisting with Colorado Delegate Nate Vanderschaaf’s Electric Vehicle Rolling Showcase.