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All-electric vehicle drives along Pan-American Hwy

July 22, 2010 7:49:14 PM PDT
A head-turning vehicle is in San Francisco is on the quest for an impressive first. The team behind it hopes it will be the first electric vehicle to travel the full distance of the Pan-American Highway.

The Racing Green Endurance SR0 is a high-performance, all-electric car, based on the chassis of the fastest production car in the world. It has been modified by a group of engineering graduates from Imperial College in London.

"We wanted to build a car with the longest range possible to try to show people that electric cars can go farther than two miles and the Pan-American Highway is the longest road in the world, so why not try that?" says Andy Hadland, from the RGE race team.

That's 16,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina -- a three-month trip for the team of six.

If you take a look under the hood, there are two electric motors that develop 400 horsepower. The mini radiator is fan powered. The car's top speed 120 mph and goes 0-60 in seven seconds and there is potential for even faster performance.

"It handles like a race car. The good thing with electric motors is you have full torque from standstill," says Nik Sauer from the RGE race team.

That sport scar handling has come in handy so far. With just three inches of ground clearance, they have avoided some road hazards. It will go about 300 miles on a charge.

Sponsoring partners like KPMG offer up places to stay and charge along the way. For them it's part of a big green program.

"It's the right thing to do and I think people get it much more today than other days," says Steve Clemente from KPMG.

"I guess what we hope people will do it next time they go to buy a car, they will at least consider test driving an electric one," says Hadland.

The RG Endurance adventure can be followed on their website or twitter at @RGEndurance

Sure this is a prototype, but the technology under the hood could eventually wind up in a vehicle parked in your garage. The team heads out from here for Argentina.


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