Li-Ion: Winner of the Alternative Side-by-Side class
Team Name: Li-Ion Motors
Location: North Carolina
Who are they? We almost needed a scorecard to keep track of the name changes for the company now known as Li-Ion Motors. It started as Hybrid Technologies, then Team EVI. This North Carolina company changed its name to EV Innovations when it gave up on its goal of finding a gasoline engine to build gas-electric hybrids. Now it just builds electric cars, hence the Li-Ion Motors moniker. Names aside, the business partnership has been converting vehicles such as the Smart ForTwo, Toyota Yaris, and ATVs to electric power for several years.
What they say will set them apart: The Wave is an aerodynamic fiberglass two-seater entered in the Alternative class. The car has four fully-faired in wheels and a surprisingly spacious gull-wing trunk. The company claims the Wave will have a range of 170 miles on an eight-hour charge. It is also planning an electric sports car called the Inizio.
Field notes: Team leader Ron Cerven was very proud of the fact that his was the only team that made it to every preview of the XPrize cars, at the New York Auto Show (twice), the Detroit Auto Show, and the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association show in Las Vegas. "If it weren't for XPrize, I would never have been able to see those things," he said. Although the car had some trouble with its initial technical inspection, it made it through all the tests without a significant problem.
No. of wheels: Four
Drive type: Battery electric, front-wheel-drive
Power source: Lithium-ion batteries
For more information, see the Li-ion Motors team page on the X Prize site.