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America’s First Electric Supercar

North Carolina-based Li-ion Motors has introduced their new electric supercar, the Inizio. It makes a bold claim as America’s first and only 100 percent homegrown battery-powered supercar. Sure, the Tesla Roadster is distributed from the U.S., but with a chassis produced in England and a body made in France, the Roadster can hardly claim to be authentically American.

Green fanatics may recall Li-ion as a winner of this year’s Automotive X-Prize, an award for the most energy efficient and promising new electric cars. The victory gives Li-ion credibility in developing a feasible all-electric supercar.

Considering that independently produced supercars have metaphorically crashed and burned in the past, the Inizio does carry some promise beyond its technological merits. Ron Cerven penned the design, and it is clear that his resume of racecar driving, aerospace engineering, and Hollywood productions has helped in his vision. The Inizio is exotically attractive and favors soft throwback curves to hard edges and angular wedges. In fact, with its removable hardtop and its red paint finish, the Inizio bears at least a passing resemblance to the Ferrari F50 although seemingly channeled through the parameters of early ‘90s Japanese supercars.

The Inizio can reach 60 mph from standstill in 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 170 mph. Regenerative braking feeds power to the batteries, which at full charge are good for 250 miles. Li-ion hopes to launch the car in the middle of next year with a pricetag of $139,000, Nevertheless, the Inizio’s packaging and performance should give highline sports car manufacturers an even more pronounced kick in the butt to get their various electric cars off the ground and into high gear. – Mike Daly

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