Who says electric vehicles can’t go the distance? Neither students at theImperial College London, nor their partners at British racing-carcompany Radical, who together accomplished the impressive feat ofdriving an electric racing vehicle the entire length of the Pan-American Highway. In fact, after 70 days and 16,000 miles—from Fairbanks,Alaska, to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina—the completely electric andcarbon-emissions free SRZero sport car proved that not only are suchvehicles kind to the environment, they truly can “go the distance.” Thecar can go from zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) in a mere seven secondsand has a top speed of 125 mph. And it can log nearly 250 miles beforeit absolutely must stop for a recharge.
The secret behind theSRZero’s impressive performance lies in its brakes. With every tap ofthe brake pedal, the kinetic energy of stopping is harnessed andconverted into electricity, which is then transferred to the vehicle’slithium-ion batteries, in essence extending its range.
While theability of an electric vehicle (EV) to possess such capabilities isremarkable, the true beauty of this accomplishment is what it portendsfor the future. The meshing of an environmentally-friendly, efficient,emissions-free vehicle with the power and perseverance of agasoline-powered vehicle is almost certain to appeal to a much wideraudience than current EVs attract. And having more of such vehicles onthe road can only help in our global quest to reduce carbon emissions…in the Americas, Britain, and around the world.