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Friday, July 16, 2010

Wheel Motor Powered Electric Range Rover to go into production

What is billed as the world's first pure electric 4x4 has made its debut, before going on sale in the UK before any other country.

Oxford-based Liberty Electric Cars has completed extensive testing on its E-Range, which it claims will fill a significant gap in the family-size and luxury vehicle market.

Liberty says that the Electric E-Range has a top speed of 85mph and accelerates from 0-60mph in about seven seconds, with a range of up to 200 miles.

Another world first is the possibility of wireless charging. Instead of using conventional leads and plugs, the car is parked over an induction plate and charges automatically.

The battery can be charged in one to three hours from a fast charger or using the optional induction system. At 75kw, the LEC battery pack is the largest ever installed in an electric car yet, due to the technology employed, weighs less than many lower capacity packs according to Liberty.

Also ground-breaking are the claimed lifespan for the battery of more than 13 years and 300,000 miles – way in advance of anything offered in the EV (electric vehicle) industry thus far.

The Range Rover's existing internal combustion engine is replaced by Liberty's patented high-density Lithium Polymer batteries – two under the bonnet, with a further four under the car – powering electric motors in each wheel, each re-supplying current to the batteries via regenerative braking.

"We are incredibly proud to have proven our critics wrong and demonstrated the performance ability of our proprietary and patented, class-leading technology," said Liberty Electric Cars' founder and CEO Barry Shrier.

"The Liberty Electric E-Range accelerates from zero to 60 in about seven seconds, reaches a top speed of 85mph, and has a distance capacity of 200 miles on one charge – this is the upper end of the drive range that any current EV is able to achieve. In short, the vehicle enables the consumer to enjoy the power, prestige and luxury of the iconic Range Rover without the cost to the environment."

Liberty says that production versions of its electric Range Rover will go on sale at the end of this year priced at £150,000. The company has also commenced development on other large, luxury 4x4s, SUVs, and MPVs.

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