Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Software Engineer Makes His Own Electric Car

Software Engineer Makes His Own Electric Car

Raul Atkinson, a software engineer, wanted an electric car for himself, but couldn't find one on the market that was affordable or good looking. So did what any reasonable person would do, he built his own.

He calls it the Raptor. And he spent 2,000 of his spare hours building it from a 1965 Shelby Cobra body kit.

NBC(via Jalopnik): The car runs on a 3-phase AC induction motor and is currently powered by 290 nickel metal hydride batteries (Atkinson says the next version will use a lithium ion battery). It can reach speeds up to 100 MPH and can travel from zero to 60 mph in about eight seconds. The time it takes to charge the car is typically three hours, which will allow it to travel up to 80 miles depending on the driving environment.

Atkinson estimates the car cost about $85,000, but for some reason thinks it could be made for cheap as an alternative to the Prius.

Our unsolicited advice to Mr. Atkinson: forget the mass market. Go high end. Think Lamborghini, Porsche. You'll make a profit, and you'll be less susceptible to the rise and fall of gas prices. Rich people don't need to worry about getting hurt at the pump.

Atkinson's tracked the progress of the car at Electric Marin Wheels. Here's a selection of photos that chart his progress as the car went from kit to hot rod.

Start Slideshow →

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