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What on earth is... the Nemesis?

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By Beth Timbrell
12 Jun 2018
What on earth is… the Nemesis? - Image 2

In the words of Ecotricity founder Dale Vince: “it’s a mad car.” Dale wanted to smash the stereotype of electric cars as “something Noddy would drive – slow, boring, not cool.” So a team of ex-motorsports engineers spent two years making Dale’s vision a reality and in 2012, The Nemesis became the fastest electric vehicle in the UK.

Dale’s love of fast cars was well known but he was fully aware of the contradiction as he spent so much time fighting climate change. As he said in 2008: “This whole thing started a few years ago, with me trying to reconcile the tree hugger and the petrol head within me. The question is, how do we live more sustainably and have fun at the same time? It can’t all be sandals and lentils can it!”

So that was the challenge. To build an out-and-out electric sports car powered by electricity from the wind. Capable of 0 – 60mph in four seconds and more than 100mph top speed, with brilliant handling and outrageous looks. And as if that wasn’t enough, it was also required to be able to do between 100 – 150 miles between charges. No pressure then.

The team were most definitely up for it. Using the body of a Lotus, the biggest problem was finding space for all the batteries, motors and controllers. There was also the problem of a battery management system which couldn’t be bought at the time, so one had to be made from scratch. None of these hurdles were too much and the dream was realised when Nick Ponting got the Nemesis up to 151mph at Elvington Airfield on 27 September 2012. The Motor Sport Association was on hand to officially verify the record and, after two complete runs, the UK record of 137mph was officially broken.

Ponting of Stroud, Gloucestershire said, “It hasn’t really sunk in yet that we are in the record books. It was nice to break the record once and then smash it again – which proved a point really. They’ve done such a good job with the car. It’s an amazing result.”

The Nemesis was designed by Dale in a bid to “blow the socks of Jeremey Clarkson” and with record breaking speeds under its belt, it had done just that. “What we’ve been able to demonstrate is that wind-powered cars are not just feasible, but can be a load of fun.”

The Nemesis was most recently on show at Fully Charged Live at Silverstone 9 – 10 June; the electric vehicle and renewable energy event of the year, showcasing a wide array of low emission vehicles.

What on earth is… the Nemesis? - Image 2

Transport accounts for around a quarter of UK greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why, if you drive an electric vehicle, you’re a genuine green pioneer.

And why stop there? One of the biggest things you can do to cut your carbon emissions is to switch to a green energy supplier. Get the Fully Charged energy and EV bundle from Britain’s greenest energy company and save money on both your energy bills and your electric vehicle charging.

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