This article gives the full media treatment to Ian Wright and his electric car, the X1. During my day job I work on the design of vehicles of the hybrid-electric variety, and so get a kick out of seeing some of the weirded-out contraptions. Frankly, I don't find a lot truly special in the high-performance car; if you think of it as a lightening bolt in a can, it makes intuitive sense on how it could beat a Ferrari or a Porsche. Perhaps a better comparison would involve a rocket engine -- the coupling of energy to tractive efficiency becomes stronger as you reduce the number of parts, with a brushless DC motor, high-current battery, and advanced feedback control acting the equivalent of a controlled rocket.
And perhaps they should give more credit to the motor manufacturer AC Propulsion who have had quite a track record before Mr. Wright conceived of his X1.
Broadcast yesterday, Ed Begley recalls his early exploits driving around Los Angeles in an electric car, essentially a golf cart, on the Marc Maron show here. He also describes how he lives on $600 on green energy per year (interspersed with lots of interesting Hollywood trivia).
Begley admitted to Maron that he still prefers travelling around by bike whenever possible -- something that Maron's cohost Jim Earl and I fundamentally agree with.