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tZero electric sports car with trailer-mounted power generator
The tZero with trailer-mounted electric power generator that gives the car range comparable to any conventional vehicle. New batteries virtually eliminate the need for the trailer except on very long trips.

tZero Redux

One-on-one interview with AC Propulsion president Tom Gage on new and improved tZero electric sports car

By Bill Moore

"If only battery electric cars could go 300 miles and be recharged in minutes instead of hours..."

This is classic lament heard countless times over the decades, a fantasy that has proven tauntingly elusive... until now.

AC Propulsion recently swapped out their 1,200 pounds of Optima lead-acid batteries for 700 pounds of off-the-shelf lithium-ion batteries and suddenly found themselves with a car that comes the closest yet to fulfilling that wish. Of course, price is still a very BIG issue, but the technology is now here and ACP's Alan Cocconi just proved it could be done by driving 300 miles round-trip to San Diego on a single charge and still having 10% battery reserve left.

To find out what's up with the new, improved tZero electric sports car and what else Cocconi and company have been up to lately, EV World talked with AC Propulsion's president, Thomas Gage in a 40 minute-long conversation about the company, its new battery pack and the future of the EV industry, in general.

AC Propulsion not only helped usher in the modern EV age with Cocconi's landmark work on the power control system of the original Impact electric car developed by Aerovironment for General Motors but now is also pioneering the concept of vehicle-to-grid electric vehicles systems. They are even playing with fuel-cell and solar powered ARVs -- aerial remote-control vehicles or robotic aircraft.

To listen to our interview with Tom Gage, click the Play Audio links at the top right. You will need the RealPlayer plug-in, various versions of which are available for free from Real.Com.

Times Article Viewed: 8565
Published: 13-Sep-2003

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