Norfolk’s 170mph electric car powered by wind energy

A team of expert engineers spent two years and �750,000 designing and building a new supercar prototype at a secret location in Norfolk.

It can reach 170mph and accelerate from a standing start to 100mph in just 8.5 seconds.

But most impressive of all, it is powered entirely by wind.

The Nemesis was the brainchild of Dale Vince, who has gone from Great Yarmouth schoolboy to multimillionaire green energy entrepreneur.

His firm, Ecotricity, now provides 42,000 customers across the UK with clean, green electricity from its ever-growing portfolio of 51 wind turbines.

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It takes most of its operating profit and ploughs it back into developing more wind farms to serve new customers.

Mr Vince, 49, was born in Burgh Castle near Great Yarmouth, and founded the business in the mid 90s.

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Having successfully grown it into a �100 million concern, he decided to turn his attention to transport.

The car is the firm's latest project and runs on nothing but electricity generated by its own turbines.

It is based on a Lotus Exige, itself designed and built in Hethel near Norwich, and which was chosen because of its light weight and superb handling characteristics.

But most of the car has been altered, tweaked and replaced to create an entirely new electric vehicle.

The plan had been to create something which would 'blow the socks off Jeremy Clarkson'.

'The idea is to demonstrate what cars of the future might look like,' he said.

'I wanted a car which was fast, but really green. The stereotypical idea of an electric car, less so now, was a car which didn't go very fast. I often use the phrase 'a car that Noddy might like to drive'.

'I'm not against that kind of car or anything like that, but to get most people involved in green issues then green stuff has got to be about not giving up things.'

Mr Vince said that the car was developed at a secret location in Norfolk by an automotive firm with years of experience in motorsport, including the cutting edge F1 competition.

The car was bought on eBay and torn apart immediately to convert it from petrol to electricity.

Mr Vince said that the location of the Norfolk workshop where this happened and the identity of the staff cannot be revealed because work is due to start on an even more advanced electric car which it is hoped will break the land speed record.

But while that second car is shrouded in secrecy, the Nemesis is designed to be in the limelight and show off exactly what electric cars can do.

'We made it better than the standard Lotus. The engineers we assembled had Lotus experience. Their brief was to convert this car to be purely electric and improve the handling of the car,' said Mr Vince.

'That's quite a challenge because you're adding a lot of battery weight.'

After two years of development Mr Vince is now using the Nemesis as his every day car, to promote electric vehicles to the public as practical and reliable.

'Part of the idea of this car is we can live greener lives and still have fun,' he said.

'I've had it about two weeks now. It's just an amazing car. It's hard to describe.

'Electric cars are very different to petrol cars, there's no gears, no clutch. When you press the throttle there's no lag, you get instantly 100pc torque.

'If you floor it, it will pin you to the back of the seat. It's like a missile,' he added.

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