A winner of the Progressive Automotive X-Prize could be rolling into some, but not many, driveways as early as next year.
AC Propulsion and Peraves AG have signed a letter of intent to bring the E-Tracer to market in the United States. The funky electric enclosed motorcycle took first place in the alternative (tandem) class and won $2.5 million. It achieved the equivalent of 182.6 mpg.
Peraves has been building so-called cabin motorcycles since 1982 and introduced its latest model, the Monotracer, last year. In building the E-Tracer, the Swiss company turned to AC Propulsion for help with the drivetrain.
“The E-Tracer is the perfect expression of performance with efficiency,” said Tom Gage, CEO of AC Propulsion. “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.”
Yes, this definitely is a niche vehicle, which might explain the small production run of 100 slated for next year. Peraves will do most of the work in Switzerland and send the machines to Southern California, where AC will install the batteries, motors, chargers and inverters.
The tandem two-seater features outriggers that extend in less than a second at low speed to keep the machine from toppling over. The E-Tracer that won the X-Prize competition weighed 1,436 pounds and had a range of about 100 miles. It accelerated from zero to 60 in about 6.6 seconds. No word on the price, features or specs of the production model, but the Monotracer goes for $81,000.
Photo: Progressive Automotive X Prize
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