The electric-powered Peraves E-Tracer recently won the $2.5 million-dollar Progressive Automotive X PRIZE.
Electric drive developer AC Propulsion has signed a letter of intent to bring the award-winning Peraves E-Tracer to the U.S. market. The San Dimas-based firm, which has ties to electric transportation powertrains stretching back to the early ‘90s, plans to bring 100 of the E-Tracers to the States beginning in 2011.
If the Peraves name sounds familiar, it’s because the Swiss-company’s oddball “Tracer” designs have rotated through the headlines for years now. The Tracer feature a fully-enclosed cockpit, with an aerodynamic shell. With a prominent front and rear tire, Tracer sources retractable outrigger wheels to stabilize the leans from its “motorcycle”-like steering. The machines pilot sits behind handlebar controls, with a rearward passenger seat.
The previous versions of the “Mono Tracer” sourced conventional internal combustion for power, utilizing BMW K series engines. Now with electric power as its source the Peraves design is getting a second life as an alternative-energy transportation platform.
The E-Tracer makes use of an electric drive system courtesy of none other than AC Propulsion and the electric-powered Tracer took top honors in the Progressive Automotive X Prize. With $10 million in prize money up for grabs, the E-Tracer took the $2.5 million prize for the alternative tandem class (a $2.5 million prize was awarded for the side-by-side class, and a $5 million grand prize for the mainstream four-seater class).
The E-Tracer claimed the highest efficiency in the X Prize competition, recording a 197 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent).
The low drag of the E-Tracers aerodynamics optimizes the efficiency of the battery-powered electric powertrain. Top speed is claimed at over 120 mph, with 0-100 mph acceleration in less than 20 seconds. The E-Tracer claimed the highest efficiency in the X Prize competition, recording a 197 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent, a formula created for the competition and defined as miles driven divided by energy of fuel consumed/energy of one gallon of gasoline – read the full MPGe explanation on the Progressive Auto X Prize site).
“We tried other drive systems, but AC Propulsion’s level of integration and advanced feature set gave us the advantage we needed to win the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE,” said Peraves CEO Roger Riedener in a press release announcing the two firms’ joint U.S. venture. “We’ve been building petrol-powered versions in Europe for 15 years, but now it’s the time for electric, and with this Letter of Intent, California is the place and AC Propulsion is the power.”
AC Propulsion CEO, Tom Gage, touted the X Prize win and aims to capitalize with a speedy entry to the American market. “The E-Tracer is the perfect expression of performance with efficiency. The E-Tracer a niche vehicle, but it sets a benchmark for what can be done with electric propulsion, and that will help inform the larger EV market as it develops. That was the purpose of the Progressive X-Prize and, acting on that, it is our intention to have E-Tracers on the road in 2011.”
Check out the E-Tracer in testing action in the You Tube clip below. Stay tuned for further news on the prize-winning design.