Ecotricity's Nemesis electric car (credit Ecotricity)

Nemesis sets new electric car land-speed record

A supercar powered by energy from wind turbines has smashed the UK land-speed record for an electric car.

The Nemesis, driven by Nick Ponting, 21, hit 148.7mph during a run at Elvington airfield, near York, today.

This breaks the record of 137mph set by Don Wales, the grandson of speed ace Sir Malcolm Campbell, 10 years ago.

The achievement needs to be ratified by the Motor Sports Association before the record can be officially declared.

The makers of the Nemesis, a Lotus Exige modified by green utility company Ecotricity, say it is the first electric supercar to be built in the UK and they hope it will "smash the stereotype" of electric-powered cars as boring and slow.

It is the brainchild of Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, of Stroud, Gloucestershire.

"We built the Nemesis to smash the stereotype of electric cars as something Noddy would drive – slow, boring, not cool," said Vince.

He added that the Nemesis is powered entirely by electricity generated by Ecotricity's network of 53 wind turbines around the UK. 

It was designed and built in less than two years by a team of leading British motorsport engineers in Norfolk. The car began life as a second-hand Lotus Exige bought on eBay and rebuilt from the ground up.

Vince said he wanted to stimulate a debate about how everyone will move around when the world runs out of oil. He said the Nemesis is capable of 0-100mph in 8.5 seconds and, on paper, is capable of topping 200mph.

The Nemesis can travel from 100-150 miles between charges, depending on driving style, and can be charged from empty in less than 30 minutes.

Ponting, who lives in Gloucester and works for an estate agency in Stroud, has had many years of experience racing a range of cars since his early teens. He said the amazing thing about the car was its consistent acceleration at all speeds.

Last summer Wales attempted to break his own record but ran into trouble on the beach at Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire.

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