Why the rabbit ears around "wind powered"? Vince’s as-yet nameless car is powered by regular electricity that has been generated cleanly at one of Ecotricity’s wind farms. So it's an electric car, but the electricity used is generated by wind, so it's a wind-powered car with an intermediate step. Think of it as wind-by-proxy.
Vince has already revealed a prototype for the upcoming car that we reported on last year, but with the project now nearing the final stages of testing, more details have surfaced. Perhaps the most remarkable feature is not the car’s Ferrari-beating 0-62mph times of around four seconds, nor its sleek, sports car profile - instead it is the fact that a team of just six men, working without the resources of a large scale manufacturer, have managed to build it using off-the-shelf parts with total development costs coming in at just £200,000.
To put this figure in perspective, Tesla managed to sink around $100 million into the development and production of its Tesla Roadster. On top of this, Vince explained to the Guardian that "from a technical point of view" his wind-powered car "is way ahead of Tesla, and F1 technology". To be fair, however, Tesla did develop a new chassis - much as it might look like an Elise - for its new car, a step that Vince skipped.
Taking a Lotus Exige that was bought on eBay, the prototype shares many similarities with its donor car on the outside. Under the hood, however, 96 lithium-ion batteries and two brushless motors give it a ticket into the world of electric sports cars.
Vince's desire to preserve the image of the sports car also means that a number of interesting aerodynamic aids are being developed, such as the ducts on the rear quarter panels. Producing a slippery and aerodynamic shape, says Vince, is very easy to do, but making the shape exciting is what demands effort, though that burden has been reduced by starting with the svelte profile of the Lotus.
The first prototype is expected to complete testing in a couple of months and limited production is scheduled to start by the end of the year.