British boffins build electric speed machine

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A British firm has developed a new electric sports car that can outrace a Jaguar XKR from 0-60mph.

The Electric Lightning GT uses four electric motors connected directly to the wheels to develop 700 bhp, up to a top speed of 130mph. It uses a new kind of battery that is both fast to recharge and can provide a range of over 200 miles.

“The stunning performance of the Lightning GTS will likely surpass almost all large engine high performance sports cars in the 0-60mph range. The sensation of harnessing power and performance will be felt by the sheer exhilaration of the power pushing you back in your seat as the car accelerates,” the company said.

“Because there is no engine, the Lightning has a maintenance-free motor with just a few parts and together with the control electronics and special batteries, will not need anywhere near the servicing of other sports cars.”

The electric motors also help improve the cars efficiency, as when it brakes they switch to generate power and recharge the batteries. The car can be recharged using a standard home plug socket but the manufacturers hope that fast recharge points could be built into petrol stations and supermarkets.

At £130,000 the car isn’t cheap, but the manufacturers claim that with savings on road tax, congestion charges, and car and fuel taxes the average London commuter would save £17,000 a year compared to a similar petrol car.

It also comes with a number of optional extras, including a sound generator. Electric cars are usually silent but customers can choose the "programmable external engine sound generator" to make the engine sound more like its petrol counterpart.
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