For enthusiasts to get behind electric cars, they have to be quick, nimble and just all-around fun. Tesla has made the first step with the Lotus-based Roadster, and if Shelby Super Cars can deliver on its promises, the Ultimate Aero EV may be the first supercar to not make us miss the gas pump. But America shouldn’t be the only one producing this kind of fun. Now, former McLaren designer Jim Dowle has created the U.K.-based JJAD to produce its own electric sports car called the P1-E.

According to JJAD the P1-E should accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds (by comparison Veyron makes it in 2.6 seconds) will weight only 1,055kg (2325 lbs.) and will have a practical range of 230 miles. Prices for the P1-E will start from £55,000 (around $78,000 at the current rates). All of this seems almost too good to be true. But lofty ambitions are what makes for a good sales pitch, and if you read the press release after the jump, you’ll clearly see the car’s development is still in the sales pitch stage.

Press release

This is the electric car that enthusiasts WILL want to own!

Former McLaren designer Jim Dowle (JJAD) first announced details of his eye-catching P1 sports car back in February of last year. The response was universally positive and the subsequent progress has been both rapid and dramatic - in particular, a switch to electric power means the P1-E is destined to be one of the world’s first purpose-built electric sports cars. With stunning acceleration (0-60mph in 2.9 secs), practical range (230 miles), low weight (1,055kg) and a price around £55,000, this gullwing-doored, pocket rocket will be the electric car enthusiasts really will want to own.

Having worked on such landmark projects as the McLaren F1, Dowle knows what it takes to make a drivers’ car. The P1-E’s twin electric motors and attendant lithium-ion batteries are placed for optimum weight distribution and low centre of gravity, while the long wishbones front and rear ensure ideal suspension geometry. Four-wheel drive endows the car with maximum traction. It also allows regenerative braking on each wheel, the energy gained from which is used to top up the batteries.

Said Dowle, "All the electric cars produced to date have been compromised in one way or another and most have been of little attraction to the enthusiast driver. We decided it was time to create an affordable electric sports car that combined the advantages of conventionally-engined machines with those of electric ones, without the disadvantages of either - in short, a drivers’ car for the 21st century.

"Since February we’ve been busy finalising the specification, fine-tuning the styling and seeking appropriate funding, and plan to have our first prototype up and running during 2009. Most of the programme’s key partnerships are now in place, though we’d still welcome approaches from any companies interested in investing in our mould-breaking performance car. Another remaining task is to agree its final name, P1-E being the project’s code."

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