By Ciara Lydon
A Louth company’s revolutionary new electric car, will defy negative assumptions on ‘green-friendly’ vehicles and hit speeds of 100km in under ten seconds, all made with Irish materials.
Swift Composite Prototypes Limited, based in Dunlear, is targeting releasing their ALEX eroadster as early as next year, retailing for €30,000 (£21,000).
The company plans to produce an affordable, appealing vehicle that is a viable alternative to the conventional car with an internal combustion engine.
Electric cars have struggled to make an impact on the market, with customers suffering from ‘range anxiety’ and doubting their safety.
Motorists’ concerns include their suitability for long journeys due to limited battery life, their appearance, acceleration and top speed, as well as the fact that the lighter material may make it more susceptible to damage in a crash.
Swift Composite Prototypes believes that they can rectify all of these issues and assumptions. The car will be made of lightweight composite materials including carbon fibres and Kevlar.
These materials, although lighter than metals, are extremely strong, with Kevlar being used in the manufacture of bullet and stab proof vests.
The electric car will be 30 per cent lighter than other cars and will be stronger and safer. The lighter mass of the vehicle will also improve the range, which will be at least 250km and acceleration is predicted to be 0-100km in less than ten seconds.
The ALEX eroadster’s AC motor and nanotechnology batteries will give it greater energy storing capacities as well as fast charging capabilities compared with previously manufactured electric cars.
The roof will have solar panels to provide an energy boost and the interior of the car will be full of the latest technology including a tablet which can be used to monitor the car as it is charging.
Project manager Tom Finnegan, has previously built a working electric car prototype, says he hopes as many materials as possible will be sourced in Ireland.
He has said that he has been developing the idea for some years but it all came together with the assistance of the European Union’s Vital Programme. The chassis of the vehicle is currently being designed by a company in Denmark and the suspension will be designed and built by Track Day Performance which is a leading suspension company.
Finnegan hopes that a working prototype will be manufactured by the middle of next year and the cars will be available to purchase by the end of 2016.