Liberty Electric Cars Ltd is set to launch an electric Range Rover that will cost up to £125k
21 May 2008

Major motor manufacturers are already investing increasing amounts of time and money to the creation of a new generation of electric cars – and now a new British company, Liberty Electric Cars Ltd, claims that it’s set to launch a range of electric versions of existing vehicles.The Liberty Range Rover is being detailed to the press at the Sexy Green Car Show today, although an actual prototype of the car is yet to break cover. It has a claimed range of up to 150 miles on one charge and, says the company, will be faster than the petrol version. Prices will be between £95,000 and £125,000 according to specification, meaning that the cars’ appeal will be to affluent early adopters rather than economy-minded misers.Liberty says it’s already built two prototypes and has a further eleven orders from customers interested in the project. One prototype is purely electric power while the other has a small, range-extending engine which recharges the batteries when they run out of charge. The company has a small-scale facility to retro-fit its electric systems to Range Rovers at the moment, but claims that it is investing £30 million into the project. Skepticism is likely to surround the project until the working Range Rover is unveiled, although Liberty cites the need to protect the technology it’s using for the delay in unveiling its protoyptes. The lack of infrastructure to recharge an electric car in Britain will be a challenge for Liberty. However the company says it will install drive-on recharging beds into owner’s garages with the cost of the car. The advanced battery technology used, says the company, takes 4-6 hours to fully recharge in this way. However it could be recharged in ten minutes with a huge 1000amp, 440watt source. Liberty bosses even claim they’re at the preliminary stages of negotiating with electricity companies about providing these power points, for example in railway station car parks, where the infrastructure already exists. The company anticipates a potential market for tens of thousands of converted vehicles per year. Barry Shrier, the company’s founder and CEO, reckons the project will create around 250 jobs, with a variety of potential UK manufacturing locations under consideration. Liberty wants the Range Rover to be a flagship model and intends to offer aftermarket electric systems to other models in the future. No technical details about the system have been released, although Liberty claims that it will be possible to specify the powertrain in conjunction with an on-board, range-extending generator in some models; that’s a similar principle to the one behind the forthcoming Chevrolet Volt.“The Liberty Electric Range Rover will drive cleanly and quietly around roads and cities, free of tax, congestion and parking charges,” said Shrier, “making less environmental impact than even the smallest, most fuel-efficient car, yet still offering the comfort and security of a luxury 4x4.”

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21 May 2008

The headline says 250 jobs being created, but the article indicates nothing to suggest more than a handful of people working on maybe a handful of cars. How exactly are 250 jobs being created? And who is investing the £30million?

I am a huge fan of electric vehicles - I believe half the population will be driving them within 5-7 years. But for Liberty themselves to talk of producing tens of thousands of cars does sound rather far-fetched.

21 May 2008

Ben - Your questioning the Liberty job creation claims is very reasonable but your confidence in "50% of the population driving electric vehicles in 5-7yrs" looks anything but!

I'm assuming here BMW, who probably know more about automobiles than anybody else on the planet, aren't bringing out new 4cyl twin turbocharged petrol and diesel engines next year with an investment cycle of 6 years!

I'd also venture new car sales don't represent more than 20% of the market and people keep their cars for 3-5 years and then sell on to the 2nd hand and 3rd hand markets (average life of a car 10-12yrs).

Then you'd need a quite astonishing level of coal, nuclear and oil fired power stations built and cleared ofm planning permission (probably double our countries exisiting grid) starting in approx 3-4yrs time to 'fuel' half the 33M vehicles on our road.

The current Prius battery lasts about 40 miles, the new London electric Taxi 100 miles. Even assuming battery technology gets to a 250 mile range in 7yrs there's still the colossal investments needed to manufacture millions of electric vehicles.

There's more "ifs" in your assumptions than there are answers. And the "ifs" are pretty substantial problems.

22 May 2008

[quote Liberty]“making less environmental impact than even the smallest, most fuel-efficient car" [/quote]

That seems like an increadibly bold claim, but after a little internet digging it seems that liberty haven't released any data to back it up.

Given that over 75% of Uk electricity comes from fossil fuels I'd be very interested to see data that shows how a 2500kg offroader can have less environmental impact than a 900kg supermini doing 65 mpg. Fewer local emissions possibly, but that's not what liberty said

23 May 2008

So, the rich can spend Circa £100,000 on a new electric Range Rover and call themselves environmentally friendly!


Why not work on a car for the masses rather than a car for the few?

23 May 2008

I'd agree with that Jon. If you watched BBC Question Time last night you'd have heard a senior Liberal Party MP say he wants £1,000 tax or more on "the biggest cars who pollute the most" like Rangies and Mercedes et al.

Twit obviously hasn't done any maths whatsoever. All the Porsches, BMW's and Range Rovers pale into insignificance when you add up their CO2 output next to volume sellers like Escorts, Clios and Golfs. In fact if you were perfectly fair about it you'd actually just wave CO2 taxes for luxury cars.

Then a panel member mentioned the green cars the Liberal mentioned weren't "as green as they were cracked up to be according to the motoring media" when all CO2 is taken into account. The Liberal said "err well yes umm ahh we do need to look at this.." Ok mate well done! Next.

23 May 2008

Have to say I don't buy into this reduction of CO2 etc. Bio-diesel white elephant that it is. I actually work in the Oleochemicals industry, the technology used in our refinery is the same as that used to make bio-diesel out of Used cooking oil, tallow, virgin Rapeseed, Soya, palm oils blah, blah.

The big issue is that what we save in CO2 emissions we replace with other more environmentally damaging gasses, eg. 200-300 times more Nitrous Oxide than conventional fuels!

The other nonsensical part of all this is the US government are subsidising US bio-diesel producers at $200 per tonne. Over 1 million tonnes came over form the US to Europe's shores in 2007. Coupled with the week dollar and the zero tax import incentive given to so called green products, the European producers are performing what is called a 'Splash and Dash' transporting literally thousands of tonnes of conventional fuel over to the States to add the 1-5% bio fuel to gain from the incentives handed out by US and European governments!!!! So what about all the CO2 being emitted by these bloody great ships too-ing and fro-ing across the pond?

It's all a load of political bo--ocks in order to tax us some more.

23 May 2008

Just thought I'd add this extract from the Times On Line.

Rapeseed and maize biodiesels were calculated to produce up to 70 per cent and 50 per cent more greenhouse gases respectively than fossil fuels. The concerns were raised over the levels of emissions of nitrous oxide, which is 296 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Scientists found that the use of biofuels released twice as much as nitrous oxide as previously realised. The research team found that 3 to 5 per cent of the nitrogen in fertiliser was converted and emitted. In contrast, the figure used by the International Panel on Climate Change, which assesses the extent and impact of man-made global warming, was 2 per cent. The findings illustrated the importance, the researchers said, of ensuring that measures designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions are assessed thoroughly before being hailed as a solution.

“One wants rational decisions rather than simply jumping on the bandwagon because superficially something appears to reduce emissions,” said Keith Smith, a professor at the University of Edinburgh and one of the researchers.

Maize for ethanol is the prime crop for biofuel in the US where production for the industry has recently overtaken the use of the plant as a food. In Europe the main crop is rapeseed, which accounts for 80 per cent of biofuel production.

Professor Smith told Chemistry World: “The significance of it is that the supposed benefits of biofuels are even more disputable than had been thought hitherto.”

It was accepted by the scientists that other factors, such as the use of fossil fuels to produce fertiliser, have yet to be fully analysed for their impact on overall figures. But they concluded that the biofuels “can contribute as much or more to global warming by N2 O emissions than cooling by fossil-fuel savings”.

The research is published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, where it has been placed for open review. The research team was formed of scientists from Britain, the US and Germany, and included Professor Paul Crutzen, who won a Nobel Prize for his work on ozone.

Dr Franz Conen, of the University of Basel in Switzerland, described the study as an “astounding insight”.

“It is to be hoped that those taking decisions on subsidies and regulations will in future take N2O emissions into account and promote some forms of ’biofuel’ production while quickly abandoning others,” he told the journal’s discussion board.

Dr Dave Reay, of the University of Edinburgh, used the findings to calculate that with the US Senate aiming to increase maize ethanol production sevenfold by 2022, greenhouse gas emissions from transport will rise by 6 per cent.

24 May 2008

Jon - The IPCC getting their figures wrong!! Again? Out by 50% to 250% is staggering but after all I've read on the IPCC it's almost a mundane reality to be expected from these United Nations clowns!

The British government and EEC call them "the most authoritive voice in the world on climate science". When they wise up about the IPCC they'll reach the conclusion it's the most disturbingly inaccurate and politicised body in scientific history.

The American subsidies you mention are worrying. The US already subsidises Ethanol 8x more than Oil (Eth's $8bn per annum v Oil £1bn). Yet look at what Oil provides compared to Ethanol and you're looking at a factor of 1,000's. It can't go on there or here in the EEC. The Germans have already pulled the plug.

How do these politicians ever think subsidising anything helps? Subsidies time after time just keep bankrupts going longer, wrong political policies more costly and distorts the 'real' market working at its most efficient. When WILL politicians ever learn?

24 May 2008

Yeah I just read that 50 page document you posted in another section of this site regarding nature itself being the culprit behind our climate problems - although according to that document there doesn't appear to be a problem, since overall the effect of global warming will actually improve our standard of living and the economy (US), even if CO2 emissions are to blame, which they aren't.

I suppose the real issue though is about developing sustainable energy, once oil runs out we will need a replacement and whoever has that replacement, will be very rich, environment doesn't even come into it.

24 May 2008

In light of that though I think I'd prefer to hear that sort of attitude from our government rather than all this drivel about future climate doom and gloom that when scrutinised is based on falsified, inconclusive and misinterpreted science as a justification to tax us all into a recession!


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