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Name: Simon Quellen Field
Location: Los Gatos, California, United States

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Friday, April 21, 2006


Yesterday I got to ride in Ian Wright's electric supercar, the Wrightspeed X1. In 3 seconds, we went from stopped to 60 miles per hour, and kept accelerating. By the time 8 seconds had gone by, we were moving at over 100 miles per hour. My stomach tightened, my fingers gripped the tubular steel frame for dear life, and we kept accelerating at nearly a full G. Finally, we slowed down, turned around, and the whole terrifying ride started again.

It isn't the speed that terrifies you. It is how fast you get to that speed. Your brain doesn't have time to get used to it. The X1 is better than any rollercoaster ride for getting the adrenalin going.

The car runs on $40,000 worth of Lithium Polymer batteries. Driving in a sane manner, it will go for 125 miles on a charge. But nobody buys a car like this to drive sanely. But it will do 100 of those quarter mile races before needing to be plugged in. That's a lot of adrenalin.

Ian Wright did the driving, and he built this prototype by hand for about $150,000. But he calculates he can make money selling production versions for $100,000 each.


Blogger Thanh Lim said...

Heh. I wanted to come back to this. You got to ride one while folks over at slashdot are only talking about it.

Now, the other problem of course, is that sooner or later, those batteries poop out. It'll be costly to replace them, but I suspect people wouldn't mind.

May 05, 2006 3:29 PM  
Blogger Simon Quellen Field said...

The lifetimes of lithium polymer batteries is getting better all the time, and while the current technology is good for about 3 years and costs $40,000, it won't be long before the lifetime of the battery is longer than that of a typical internal combustion engine, with equivalent cost to replace.

May 05, 2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Thanh Lim said...

It all depends on how long the "before long" is. That's always the gotcha.

Last longer than a typical ICE? How long do ICEs last? 20 years or so? And if you take care of it, possibly 100 years? Kind of tough to beat those numbers, considering like you said, 3 years has been the usual limit.

I don't think that limit has been around for ages.

Oh, also, a sidenote, you don't publish your blogs very often? Seems like write a number of entries, and then publish them a little bit later.

May 05, 2006 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This all sounds fun, but isn't there a problem with hot lithium batteries exploding?

February 13, 2007 10:43 AM  

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