Monday, May 3, 2010

Mercedes to unveil zero-emission sports cars

Mercedes Benz are about to offer the perfect vehicle for people who like their cars to be fast, but at the same time are conscious of the environmental impact they are having by driving them.
A press release issued on Monday announced the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG electric drive; a sports car running on four electric motors producing zero emissions. The car sports a 400-volt liquid-cooled lithium ion battery that is recharged through breaking, but at the same time can power the four motors to produce a 0-62mph time of just 4.0 seconds.
Volker Mornhinweg, Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, said:
With the SLS AMG with electric drive, we wanted to redefine the super sports car … For us, it is not just about responsibility. We attach just as much importance to excitement and classic AMG performance.
The positioning of the electric motors and two transmissions near the wheels, combined with several battery modules positioned along the center of the car, allow the SLS to have a very low center of gravity resulting in a sports car with great handling. The combined power of the motors results in 517bhp and 649lb of torque.
The new car will be unveiled in September at the Franfurt Motor Show along with the new non-electric SLS.

Matthew’s Opinion
I find it hard to believe Mercedes has made such an advance that it can produce a sports car powered by nothing other than electric motors that recharge from breaking alone. I expect further details will reveal a standard engine as a backup and further charging required from the mains between journeys.
Regardless of the questions about recharging though, managing to create a sports car running on electric motors bodes well for the future of zero-emission cars. We just need a better way of powering these cars beyond the lithium ion battery we rely on so heavily today. Replacing that with a fuel cell or similar power source will surely put electric car development into overdrive.


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