Although Finland isn't exactly a tour de force in the automotive industry, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences has unveiled its Electric Race About electric car on 31st March, a project which took 3 years and involved more than 60 partners.
There is no transmission, just a fancy computer-controlled vehicle drive system that controls the four individual wheel motors.
The ERA uses the latest Li-Ion battery packet technology powering all four wheels and propelling it 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5 seconds and a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph). Operational range is 300 km (186 miles) on a single charge.
The Lithium batteries, full carbon fibre body and 4 electric motors (one motor per wheel) lead to a high financial cost which Helsinki Polytechnic belive the market can bear in limited quantities.
"The car's range is about 200 kilometres and its batteries can be given an express charge in ten minutes", says Project Director Sami Ruotsalainen.
A significant amount of state-of-the-art lightweight technology has been utilised in the construction of its chassis, which is why it only weighs about half as much as the chassis of a normal car.
The exterior design of the ERA was undertaken by the Institute of Design, Lahti Polytechnic. The ERA is based on the lightweight aluminium chassis of the Audi R8.
The car will participate at X-Prize competition in Michigan, USA, in April. The final stages of the competition will be held in July and August and the winner will take $10 million.
"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", says Ruotsalainen.
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