Lake Norman Magazine

Enterprise: LI-ION Motors

It’s sleek, low to the ground, and can go from zero to 60 in a blistering 3.4 seconds. And it can do so without burning a single drop of gas. Say hello to the Inizio, the world’s fastest all-electric car, which is being developed and produced at the Li-ion Motors Corp. headquarters in Mooresville. The company is aiming to pioneer fully electric vehicles that are eco-friendly and produce zero emissions, yet are also cool, sporty and fun.

On changing technologies: Li-ion Motors was founded in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2000, and at the time was known as Hybrid Technologies, says Rich Ralston, public relations manager. The company was a forerunner in developing vehicles powered by rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in consumer electronics. The company moved its research and production facility to Mooresville in 2005 to take advantage of the area’s talented, NASCAR-fueled pool of automotive workers. “We do high-tech, sophisticated work, and we knew Mooresville had the skilled labor force to do what was needed,” says Ralston. “As the lithium-ion technology advanced, the company expanded into what it is today.” On new horizons: The Inizio is Li-ion Motors’ newest vehicle. Reminiscent of a Ferrari, it can travel up to 200 miles on an eight-hour charge. Another cool touch: It’s silent. Despite its muscle-car performance, it barely makes a sound when you press down on the accelerator. Li-ion Motors also manufactures the Wave II, a two-door, two-passenger vehicle that can travel up to 150 miles on a six-hour battery charge. The vehicle helped Li-ion Motors win the prestigious Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE in September, which included a $2.5 million award. The annual Washington, D.C. competition recognizes companies that are inspiring a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles capable of achieving 100 miles per gallon or the energy equivalent. On diversifying: Li-ion Motors is working to add more electric vehicles to its fleet, including a motorcycle, moped and even a four-wheel ATV, says Ralston. The company also specializes in converting traditional cars such as the PT Cruiser and Mini Cooper into all-electric vehicles. Ralston says the company is still awaiting a final safety certification from the National Transportation Safety Board in order to start selling the Inizio and Wave II directly to consumers. He expects the company to get final clearance this year.

Details:www.li-ionmotors.comThe electric vehicles can be charged at home using a standard 220V outlet. There are also several public charging stations in Charlotte. For details go to: www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/

To read about Lake Norman Magazine editor Leigh Dyer's recent experience riding in an Inizio, click here.

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