With 25% of the country above the Arctic Circle, you can bet that Finnish engineers spend a good deal of time indoors, especially in the winter. In the case of the engineering team at the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, that’s a good thing. It gave them the time and motivation to develop the Electric Race About (ERA), one of the more attractive electric cars built to date.
Built to compete in the Automotive X-Prize competition, the ERA features AWD via four electric motors powered by lithium ion battery packs. The engineering target weight is 2,750 pounds, and the ERA design features even front-to-back weight distribution and a low center of gravity. The goal is a 0 to 60 time of under 5 seconds, with a top speed of better than 120 miles per hour. Target operational range (at less than full throttle, of course) is greater than 180 miles.
If the car sees production, it won’t be cheap. It’s built by hand and relies heavily on carbon fiber to keep the weight down. Components will be sourced from best-in-class suppliers in limited quantities, but you can rest assured you won’t see too many other ERAs on the road. Exclusivity, performance and environment consciousness should hit the right buttons for the affluent eco-hoon.