The Eliica (or the Electric Lithium-Ion Car) is a battery electric vehicle prototype or concept car first shown in 2004 and designed by a team at Keio University in Tokyo, led by Professor Hiroshi Shimizu. The 5.1 m (17 ft) car runs on a lithium-ion battery and can accelerate from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in four seconds (faster than the Porsche 911 Turbo at the time). In 2004, the Eliica reached a speed of 370 km/h (230 mph) on Italy's Nardò High Speed Track. The team's goal is to exceed 400 km/h (250 mph), breaking the record set by today's street-legal gasoline-powered vehicles.
The Eliica is a refinement of the earlier KAZ (Keio Advanced Zero-emission vehicle), a 6.7 m (22 ft) limousine-sized 8-wheel 8-person electric vehicle prototype of 2003 that also set speed records.
Design details 
The Eliica weighs 2,400 kg (5,300 lb) and seats the driver and three passengers. The body was tested in a wind tunnel. The front doors open forward and the rear doors open upward like wings. The car's platform contains 4 tracks of 80 batteries, which make up one third of the vehicle's cost. They currently require about 10 hours of recharging at 100 volts from empty to full charge, and can be easily charged off a residential power grid.
The car has eight wheels to improve traction, and they are smaller than normal passenger vehicles, so it can be lower to the ground for better aerodynamics and stability. Each of the wheels has a 60 kW (80 hp) electric motor, giving a 480 kW (640 hp) eight wheel drive which can tackle all kinds of road surfaces. The four front wheels steer. The electric motors mean that the Eliica can deliver a smooth acceleration free from gear shifts of about 0.8 g. Each wheel contains a disc brake and employs a regenerative brake system to recover energy.
There are currently (as of 2005) two versions of the Eliica: a Speed model and an Acceleration model. The Speed model is made to challenge gasoline-based records and has a top speed of 370 km/h (230 mph) with a range of 200 km (120 mi). The Acceleration model is made for the street and has a top speed of 190 km/h (120 mph) with a range of 320 km (200 mi).
The estimated cost of development was in excess of US$320,000. Once the team receives corporate sponsorship, they plan to produce at least 200 units. As of early 2007, the projected price was ¥30,000,000 JPY (about US$255,000).
On December 19, 2005, then-Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi tested this vehicle in a 10-minute ride to the Japanese Parliament. In 2006, the car was tested by Shintaro Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo, as well as by Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan.
See also 
- Electric vehicle
- Battery electric vehicle
- List of electric cars currently available
- Eight-wheel drive
- Toyota FCHV
- Honda EV Plus
- Land speed record electric vehicles
- Lyon, Peter (November 12, 2004). "Electric shock: it's faster than a Porsche 911". Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Super car "Kaz" EV Limo to the Stars!". ElectrifyingTimes.com. October 1, 2002.
- "Keio Advanced Zero-Emission vehicle". FreeEnergy.ca. March 14, 2007.
- "Dr. Hiroshi Shimizu's 190-mph Electric Car Contraption", Popular Science, 8 July 2003
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