Ask most consumers to describe an electric car and the chances are they will talk about the Tesla, the 2011 Nissan Leaf, maybe the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. They almost surely won't think of the large, luxurious, and expensive Range Rover.
They may talk about how expensive EVs are. And unless they're familiar with Toyota's RAV4 EV, produced in small numbers from 1997 to 2003, the concept of an electric SUV will be an oxymoron. A go-anywhere, do anything, carry everything SUV? As an EV?
But a U.K. based firm is taking the concept of an all-electric SUV to a whole new level with a vehicle it claims will revolutionize the luxury vehicle market. And it is set to go into production this fall.
Enter Liberty e-cars, an appropriately named company with its headquarters in Oxfordshire, England and offices in Lamorlaye, France and Chicago, IL.
With a claimed $45 million in investment behind it, Liberty is offering to sell a converted fully electric 2011 Range Rover to anyone willing to pay the price tag, which is a breathtaking $225,000--more than twice the cost of a 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5.
Liberty E-Range Electric Range Rover
With the stock gasoline version of the 2011 Range Rover weighing in at just over 3 tons, it's no wonder the battery pack is the largest pack to be installed in an EV.
Although the Liberty E-Range is a professional conversion, Liberty have worked hard to introduce features that it hopes will place its vehicles at the top of the luxury market.
As well as claiming a highly optimistic 13 year or 300,000 battery lifespan Liberty also claim that its E-Range will feature the ability to charge wirelessly using a parking space fitted with an inductive charging plate that will automatically charge the vehicle from empty in 6 hours when parked.
According to our calculations, Liberty's system would pull some 52amps at 240V to achieve this feat. Plug in on a standard 110V outlet and it would take over a day to recharge the E-Range.
Given the price tag, over twice that of the 2011 Tesla Roadster, Liberty are clearly targeting the high end of the luxury car market. And with good reason. Range Rovers are traditionally the preserve of English Soccer Stars, Wealthy Landowners, Drug Dealers and Socialites world-wide.
Rupert Grint, the $4 million-a-year ginger-haired actor known for playing Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter Films, has a bright orange one.
Is it vaporware? We're not sure what to make of Liberty. If true, its range and performance claims are impressive. If its battery pack is as good as Liberty say its then a substantial manufacturer's warranty to back it up should be at the top of the list for anyone considering buying one.
Converted Liberty E-Range Electric Range Rover.
We know two things. Firstly, Liberty reiterates on its site that is is not related to or endorsed by Landrover PLC, the company which makes the 2011 Range Rover. Secondly, it can't be that long before we see a fully electric or at least plug in hybrid Range Rover built by Range Rover. Can it?
[Telegraph] [Liberty e-cars]