U.K. Company Claims Breakthrough on 1,000-Mile Electric Vehicle

By · April 01, 2013

Liberty E-Range

Liberty Electric Cars does electric conversions of Land Rovers, using a 75-kWh battery pack.

Liberty Electric Cars, based in Newton Abbot, U.K., claims it will have a prototype this year of a pure electric vehicle that will be able to travel up to 1,000 miles on a single charge. At least that is what the U.K.’s Motortrades Insight reported in early March.

Liberty Electric Cars was a bit cagier about the claim. “Liberty is constantly searching the market for new technologies that would allow EVs to cover a much greater range than is readily available today,” said the company in an email to PluginCars.com. “At this stage we can’t give you any more details about the technology as the project is still under development.”

If the prototype, which should be complete in six months, is successful, the vehicle will be on the market in two to three years, said Liberty.

Ian Hobday, the CEO of Liberty, said, “Our engineering team has recently seen a new type of energy storage that would allow EVs to reach a range equal to, or potentially in excess of, what today’s best internal combustion engines can achieve."

Take With Grain of Salt

Sorry to be skeptical, but an affordable pure electric vehicle that can manage a few hundred miles on a single charge would change the automotive world. As the saying goes, if something is too good to be true...

To be fair, Liberty is currently marketing the E-Range, a pure electric SUV that it says gets 200 miles on a single charge. The company's website describes the E-Range, alluding to a battery breakthrough in its use of a 75-kWh pack: "Liberty has developed unique energy storage with batteries that are larger than any car battery used before, yet they are lighter and more power dense. The battery is located in a such a way that there is no loss of interior space, and we use four motors, one per wheel with each one creating braking energy."

According to the website, the E-Range carries a price tag of about U.S. $240,000.

Liberty Electric is owned by Green Automotive Company, a Newport Beach, California-based company that also owns California-based electric bus maker Newport Coachworks Inc., and U.K.-based EV sales and service company GoinGreen Ltd.

Green Automotive shares trade over-the-counter in the U.S. In late March it secured a $3 million line of equity from Kodiak Capital Group LLC, so Green Automotive may indeed have worthwhile technology. The money will be used to fund Green Automotive’s business development and for “general corporate purposes,” it said in a statement.

Liberty said it is also working on an EV motor that does not use rare earth metals and a second motor with a “radical new design” that reduces energy consumption and thus increases range. No details on either motor, but both should reach the market within 18 months, said Liberty.

Well, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. At least not all of Green Automotive’s eggs are in the pure electric basket. Last November, Newport Coachworks announced a two-year agreement to supply Don Brown Bus Sales Inc. of Johnstown, New York with a line of diesel- and CNG-powered buses starting in Spring of 2013. The size of the order was not included in the announcement.

Comments

· · 1 year ago

I'd be very wary of this claim without any substantial proof.

Any company which claims such a battery breakthrough would have had its IP snapped up a very long time ago.

Here's my with Liberty Electric...

· · 1 year ago

Ah, so the guy who was running Zap is back at it again, this time in a different country? Yeah, I can't imagine why.

· · 1 year ago

April 1st? Or does this involve lithium ion batteries with added sodium chloride?

· · 1 year ago

With that size and power required, it will be lucky to get 2.5miles per KWh.

@ 1,000 miles, that thing would need aobut 400 KWh size battery. That is about 4.5 times the Tesla S battery pack....

So, it has to have something that is 4-5x higher in energy density to make that happen...

· · 1 year ago

Some of these claims are easy:

1). No Rare Earths. I believe the most Rare Earth in any Tesla motor is copper as opposed to aluminum bars in the squirel cage.

2). Highly efficient motor? So what. Most motors are pretty efficient already.

3). $240k for 75 kwh? Thats easy. $100k in a tesla gets you 85 kwh.

This seems like one of these "Nothing to See Here" moments, except this time is this nothing. The only thing going for these guys is they are not some Chinese company making wild million mile claims that don't pan out. But its not much going for them. Anyone can brag. But not to be a naysayer, I hope someone can make a cheap 250 kwh battery and soon.

· · 1 year ago

I read where Toyota is working on a Lithium/Air battery that will do 500 miles on a charge and hope to have it out before 2020. On another site I read where the Israel's have an Aluminum/Air battery that will do 1,000 miles. The problem is you can’t recharge it, and you must fill it up with water every 200 miles. The replacement cost is projected to be very cheap. Currently they are testing it as a backup/range extender for Lithium/Ion batteries. The next 10-20 years should be very interesting in the battery department. There are lots of promising technologies on the horizon. It’s just a matter of which one can hit the sweet spot first of price, range, size, weight and charging speed.

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