Last month, however, AC Propulsion unveiled the latest version of the car, now powered by 6,800 lightweight lithium-ion laptop computer batteries. With these batteries — and an increased top speed — the Tzero weighs 700 pounds less and the company says it will run up to 300 miles on a single charge — which requires a few hours plugged into a 220-volt outlet like the ones many households have for clothes dryers. It can also be recharged at a 110-volt outlet, but it takes about three times as long.
What will a Tzero buyer get?
A car that, from zero to 100 and through the quarter mile, will run with, or beat, the $281,000 Lamborghini Murciélago, the $224,000 Ferrari 575M Maranello or the $440,000 Porsche Carrera GT. And do it cleanly and quietly. However, with the single-gear Tzero's engine limited to just over 100 m.p.h. at 13,300 r.p.m.'s, it will never win an oval-track race against those supercars. But its developers are betting that the car's power and range will generate renewed interest not only in their company's offerings, but in electric cars in general.