What is it?
Here you’re looking at the beginning of Ginetta’s electric revolution.
The Ginetta G50 EV Prototype is a pure-electric, rear-wheel drive sports car that the Leeds-based company believes it can make road-car reality within the next few years.
Developed in conjunction with Zytek Engineering (another British company) the G50 EV gets a 90kw electric motor mounted in front of its rear axle that sends power straight through a differential to the wheels.
Three sodium nickel-chloride batteries, chosen for their reliability, are placed in the nose of the car and where the fuel tank would go and are encased in steel and surrounded by a vacuum for extra safety.
These can be recharged at a standard 13-amp three-point plug socket, will take six hours to charge from flat and will provide the G50 with up to 250 miles range, though even company execs admit that average use will reduce that to 200 miles.
But the Ginetta is different in that it is guaranteed to return a minimum range of 150 miles.
This is achieved partially by the advanced batteries and brushless DC motor, but is more to do with a fly-by-wire throttle that limits power usage to extend range. Ginetta maintains that even with hard track use the G50 EV would achieve 150 miles.
What’s it like?
The basic set-up of the electric Ginetta is taken straight from the G50 race car, and as such you get race car levels of feel and response. The steering is heavy but perfectly weighted and satisfying to use, providing a real sense of connection with the car.
Cornering ability is equally track-worthy, with no body roll involved and very firm suspension proving that a circuit is probably the best place for the G50 EV Prototype.
Still, the suspension can’t be criticised as it’s not yet been altered for road-use, when it will get much more forgiving damping – something that it really needs if it’s to be usable as a road car.
Throttle response is a strange sensation, as you don’t get the immediate and ample torque that many consider a huge advantage of the electric motor.
Rather you get a steady build of power more like that of a naturally aspirated engine – a result of the throttle trickery implemented to improve the range.
Because of this the car doesn’t feel quick. In fact if feels quite sedate when you initially stab the throttle and don’t get the instant propulsion you would generally expect.
The G50 EV Protype is still a long way from finished, and it will be a different proposition when it is. For a start, it’s likely that production cars will get variable settings to offer different power outputs depending on whether you want performance or range.
In this Prototype form the G50 EV is a crude thing to experience, but even so it’s obvious how much potential there is in the concept of a car with this level of handling ability, an electric motor with usable range and a reasonable price tag.
Should I buy one?
You can’t, and it’s likely that you won’t be able to for a while yet.
Even company execs admit that the production of the EV is dependant on battery evolution and prices.
But the will is there and the G50 EV proves that the company also has the know-how. Ginetta could well go on to create a desirable and attainable electric sports car.