Table Speech

Ellica, A Car Developed Running on Electric Power

June 1st,2005

Professor Hiroichi Yoshida
Professorthe Policy and Media Department of Keio University

 Our University Department has developed a car which uses a lithium ion battery as an energy source and is now working to make it a practical automobile. With the help of Professor Shimizu of Keio, its teaching staff and students, we have built 2 such cars. Using the shortened term Ellica meaning Electric Li-ion Battery Car, it was featured on a program on television named ‘A challenge to the world’s highest speed’. It was introduced as a monster car with 8 wheels, with streamlined appearance and powered with a 600 horsepower engines.

 Electric cars were hitherto discredited by their lack of speed, but our Ellica is designed to run at a maximum of 400kph. It emits no exhaust gasses, and converting electricity into gasoline, runs 24 kilometers per liter, or is twice as fuel efficient as ordinary cars.

 In the televised program, the Ellica was shown beside a Porsche. At the start, the Porsche led, but 3.8 seconds later the Ellica caught up with the Porsche, and when the speed reached 100kph for the Ellica 7.04 seconds later, the Porsche was doing 138kph. It took the Porsche 9.02 seconds to reach 160kph.
The television program ended with these words. “This is a super car created by the persistence of a university laboratory and the strength of Japan’s industrial strength. Will it gain popular use? The challenge continues.”
Our car has a top speed of 370 kilometers, its acceleration is 0.68g, runs for 320 kilometers at one refueling, which can be done at the speed of 70% after 7 minutes.

 The batteries are spread along the bottom of the car driving the wheels directly. Efficiency and ecological issues have been cleared but what remains is safety using and pricing. We are using lithium ion batteries which are quite expensive.

 Therefore, we are now manganese dioxide batteries, which materials can be found everywhere, but as they are not mass produced, prices do not come lower. We have started a project in the university to find popular uses for manganese dioxide batteries in order that they can be mass produced, lowering costs.
There is no doubt that the increase of CO2 is heightening the globe’s temperature, and we have a national target of reducing CO2 emission by 6% from 1990 to 2010, which unfortunately has increased by 8% in 2004. I believe that speedy practical use of Ellica will go far in reaching our target.

 China’s CO2 emission is now one fifth of Japan, but the number of cars there will double by 2010. If China’s development equals Japan, their CO2 emission will reach 11 billion tons. As the world today has a total emission of 2.3 billion tons, China alone will be responsible for half the world’s total emission.

 The other day, when California Governor Schwarzenegger visited Japan, that states Ecology Development Manager drove the Ellica and told us that he wanted us to bring the car to California. China and Korea also have shown interest in Ellica.

 For the first time in 2003, the Ellica was exhibited at the Tokyo Motor Show for which all planning, expenses, publicity, etc. was placed in the hands of the students.

 The Mitsubishi Motors Co. has announced that it will put on sale a lithium-ion run battery car on sale in 2010. This means the professionals have recognized our car and is quite encouraging to us.