Students at MIT are building an electric car capable of being recharged in about ten minutes. Granted, the kind of power that’s necessary to do that would be enough “to blow the fuses on 20 residential homes at once,” according to project team member and MIT student Radu Gogoana.
Thankfully, the car — a modified Mercury Milan Hybrid — can be charged overnight using a standard wall outlet as well. Under the hood there’s a 250 horsepower electric motor powered by almost 8000 lithium-ion battery cells.
Aside from the $80,000 battery pack, Gogoana says that all the other parts are relatively straightforward and wouldn’t require much maintenance beyond the tires and the brake pads. Even the brakepads wouldn’t require as much maintenance as a regular car’s thanks to the regenerative braking system. So as the price of batteries falls, a car like this could become pretty affordable someday.
On the road, the car can go zero to 60 in under ten seconds, has a top speed of around 100 miles per hour, and a range of around 200 miles before needing recharged. The MIT Electric Vehicle Team is working to get the project — called “elEVen” — completed by the third quarter of next year.
MIT Electric Car May Rival Gas Models on Performance [IDG News Service/PC World]