Here’s a guest post for you from Ecotricity staffer Dave. He was recently asked to put the Nemesis to the test as a commuter vehicle! Here’s his thoughts:
A few weeks ago I was asked if I would mind driving the Nemisis for a few weeks. We apparently needed to get a few miles on it and test it in ‘normal’ daily use – whatever that means?
I work in the Ecotricity offices in Stroud and live in Worcestershire, a daily commute of about 51 miles in each direction, assuming that I take no detours on the way home. My normal mode of transport is either a diesel VW or a motorcycle that each do around 50mpg for the journey (over £12 per day in fuel).
Well, the chance to drive a car like the Nemisis was too good an opportunity to miss so of course I welcomed it with open arms, I mean the chance to drive a super car that would do 0-100mph in 8 seconds doesn’t present itself every day! (more…)
Finally. About two years after we started – the Nemesis is ‘finished’.
I’ve been meaning to post something before now, but the last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. Here’s a quick heads up, some stuff you might know already from the news, some you probably won’t.
The car arrived in Stroud nearly three weeks ago now (Tuesday the 28th Oct) looking simply awesome. It was the first time I’d seen it in it’s finished form, complete with grey and black union jack paint job and all sorts of other bits and pieces – it really is transformed from the car that was here in the summer of 09 – for a few months.
Sorry it’s been a few weeks since I posted anything on the car here, or anything at all on this site in fact, my bad – only excuse is there’s a lot going on. More of that next week I hope.
Meanwhile, on the car front:
The new lightweight rear end and rear diffusers are both fitted and fully functional.
The rear end is now stiffer, lighter and much easier to get on and off. Also we’ve got the new rear lights installed and wiring complete now as you can see from the picture. The back end of this car is def its best side.
The diffuser (the bit that wraps under the car at the back, with the number plate on) has its twin flaps, either side of the number plate, one for normal and one for fast charge connections.
Our guys have been working on something dubbed ‘the Lobster Claw’ which is a cable retract mechanism. Looks rather cool and is about 90% complete. Basically it allows you to pull a three pin plug (or whatever connection we choose) from the back of the car, pull out as much or as little cable as you need, plug in and when you’re done, snatch to retract – like a Hoover (or should I say Dyson these days). (more…)
Here’s the latest. We’ve almost finished making a new lightweight rear body panel for the car. The old one was very heavy and floppy, so our guys whipped up a new one in carbon fibre. It’ll actually help us with the fitting of the charging equipment by saving the need for engineering up a bunch of structural support – for a panel that’s already too heavy.
We get a slick new carbon body, save a lot of weight (where we don’t want weight – the rear) and make the charging kit an easy install. Neat solution.
We’ve also got a new diffuser coming out of the moulds. This is the bit that sits under the rear of the car. It’s being engineered with some nifty flaps to the left and right that pull down to expose the two charging options:
Normal (13A and slow) or Abnormal (100A and fast).
With some changes to the rear lights and to the internals viewed through the rear window thrown in – this part of the car is going to be pretty slick. (more…)
I had my first breakdown the other week. I went to drive away in the morning and everything was just dead. Turned out the 12v battery we use to power the control side had gone flat, and oddly enough a couple of fuses were blown. As you can see from the picture, I got the youngest member of the team on the job, with my own personal favourite ‘spanner’…. 🙂
And when we’d finished fooling around we called Bob and he came down and fixed it. No big drama but some useful ‘operational experience’.
Actually things have kind of ground to a halt on the Nemesis. It’s been with me since August, for what was meant to be a months worth of road testing while the Battery Management System (BMS) was finished. Three months later I’ve still got the car and we’ve not got a BMS yet. Which is disappointing to say the least. Everything else about the project has gone incredibly well, but for this – and it’s held us up for over six months now. It’s a frustration for all of us, not just me.
The car goes – it goes like hell, it’s just not ‘plug and play’ – by which I mean I can’t just plug it in to charge it. It takes a laptop and some close attention and we’re not able to charge to the full potential of the cells (for safety). So it’s “close but no cigar”. (more…)
The Nemesis arrived in Stroud this morning, finally… After all the months we’ve spent on it, this is def a bit of a watershed. I’ll have it here for a few weeks of road trials and a general shakedown. Probably for most of August.
The car has come a long way in the last few weeks since the first test drive. The last few days have been especially hectic (for the team, not me). It got its MOT last Friday, had a Tracker fitted yesterday and we taxed it today – you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to find insurance… Anyway it’s road legal now. And sat outside my house.
It’s not totally user friendly though. The charging system is the last big thing needing to be finished, the guys are working on that while I road test the car. So recharging is a bit of a manual process, to say the least – balancing the individual cell charges and the like. (more…)
It finally happened. Last Monday on a windswept old airfield in Norfolk, we got the wind car out of the workshop and took it for its first spin on tarmac.
Not entirely without a little drama mind you – the car barely being able to climb the transporter loading ramp at full throttle was a challenging start to the day… 🙂 but we quickly enough adjusted the bugs out of that and it flew, really flew. (more…)
This blog is about answers to the big questions - how will we keep the lights on, what kind of cars will we drive (will we drive?) and how will we feed ourselves - in a post oil world, and a world where we can't afford to keep burning things and throwing things away. Energy, Transport and Food are the three big issues.