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XCAR: Renovo Coupe: America's first electric supercar
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XCAR: Renovo Coupe: America's first electric supercar

5:53 /

What looks like a Shelby Daytona Coupe, goes like a 911 Turbo S and uses no traditional fuel? The Renovo Coupe. It's a car bred in Silicon Valley and it's the first American all-electric supercar. After four and a half years of working in secret, the car is ready to be seen and we caught up with its creators at Pebble Beach 2014 for a chat about the most exciting new EV on the block.

[MUSIC] I'm Christopher Heiser. I'm the CEO of Renovo Motors. And the car you see in front of you is our debut model, the Renovo coupe. It is the first all-electric American supercar. It has 1,000 pound-feet of torque. 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds. Over 500 horsepower. And can be fast-charged in 30 minutes. You can drive fast on the street, you can drive it on the track, you can come into the pits, fill it up and go back out again. It's a car that's based on a genuine CSX 9000 chassis from Shelby American, it's factory modified by Shelby and delivered to our facility in the Silicon Valley where we assemble, test, and ultimately deliver the cars to our customers. The name [UNKNOWN] means to be renewed or to be reborn and that's what we feel is the opportunity is for the industry as a whole and particularly what we feel our role is. We're giving people an idea of a different way of seeing a car, driving a car, owning a car. We're experimenting with technologies that haven't been used on road yet. We're trying to create experiences that are extremely unique for our customers. But ultimately we're extremely optimistic about where the automotive industry is going. We feel like there's room for a lot of different points of view and we're showing ours here today at this lovely [UNKNOWN]. The range in cars is 100 mile. We could have given her a lot more range but it would have made the car a lot heavier than 3,250 pound curb weight for a sports car that we wanted people to drive in the street and track. Lightweight and handling are extremely important, just as important as power. So we felt like we've built something that's extremely balanced and usable. It goes into production the first half of 2015, and we'll be making our first deliveries before the end of 2015. A big part of what we do is we employ technologies that haven't been seen on the road today, and are really only available at the supercar segment. So we use. Batteries and battery management technology that allows us to move amazing amounts of current both in and out of the batteries. They're extremely low resistance, they generate much less heat they can still be charged thousands of times. So these are the types of things that companies that are pushing the technology to the limit can do and vehicles like ours allows us to demonstrated and get it in the hands of the customers so they can drive on the street. In the joy of it. So, we wanted something that was classic and instantly identifiable as American. So, that brought us to only a few companies that made sense for us to work with. Shelby American is a fantastic iconic American brand. And this car patterned after the original 1964 Daytona Coupe. But updated to be a modern super car and then further updated by us with a brake upgrade, a suspension upgrade. ABS traction control variable assist electric power steering, we really wanted something that would look gorgeous but at the same time would be a very modern and fun car on the street. We're. we're thrilled to have done with such a great car is this. And really the story of companies like Shelby and gurney and the Edelbrock are inspirations to us. That American companies can build performance cars and create enduring and lasting stories in the automotive world. The original designer of the car was a gentleman named Peter Brock. He designed the 1964 car which won Le Man in it's first outing in its class. He redesigned this car to be a modern supercar, but he kept. All the classic lines and proportions that made the Daytona such an iconic vehicle. The Daytona coupe was the first vehicle to be registered in the official American Registry of Historic Vehicles. it, there was only six of the original car made. It's a very special car and near and dear to our hearts. So to be able to build a easy super car on a platform derived from that original chassis was a real honor. My background is Silicon Valley for about two decades working in product development, technology, mobile software, the things people do in the Silicon Valley. Someone asked us yesterday, why jump into the automotive industry? What made you do that? And, we feel the automotive industry has really come to us. If you look at the technology in these cars, battery management, software, integration These are all the technologies that we understand well in the Silicon Valley. And the types of team that are necessary to build them, we can recruit them, we can build extremely scalable organizations. We were founded in, in early 2010, so we've been working in stealth mode for four and a half years. We've put thousands of miles and thousands of hours on these systems. But we were never able to drive these cars. Except after about 10:00 p.m. So we've done night testing up until today. We're excited to finally share the car with the world. Not only to get feedback from the general public, but so we can start driving the car during the day. It's gonna be very exciting. Our customers are looking for something that's very unique, that makes a statement about how they see the cars not just today, but in the future. But ultimately it has to be an emotional connection that they have, and part of what we've done with this car that we think is unique. So we packaged the technology in a way that people can actually see the components, they can talk about them, they can share them. It's a huge opportunity in something that our colleagues in the gas car business do a great job of, we're trying to do an equally good job with our technology. I was a mechanical engineer in school, but even before that, I've loved cars. I still remember the first time a friend of mine showed me a picture of the yellow bird roof driving around the [INAUDIBLE] ring. It was on an old VHS tape, back when that was a thing. And I remember how inspired I was by the performance and in fact it's our hope very soon, maybe in the next year or two that we'll be able to take one of our cars to the Nurburgring and try to set some records in the EV segment. Performance is something that you know, just gets into your blood. And you wanna find ways to experience it, and in our case to de, define it and push it as hard as we can. We look at the technology here, the ability to go from zero to maximum power in 37 milliseconds, that's about five or ten times faster than a human blinks. Those are game changing technology leaps. We wanna explore those, we wanna build those into our products and we want to share those with out customers. [MUSIC]

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