For every Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler that made an appearance at SEMA, there were other less-heralded American automakers in attendance, most of who were there to attract some much-needed publicity.

Li-Ion Motors is one of them. A lot of you might not be familiar with the North Carolina-based company, but thanks to events like SEMA, the electric automaker was able to build on its attendance and the car that it brought to the event, the Inizio all-electric supercar.

So you’re probably asking yourself, “Wait a second, an all-electric supercar?” Well, if you go past the skepticism, you might discover that there really is such a thing.

UPDATE 01/12/11: The Li-Ion Inizio is the world’s first all-electric supercar, making it a pioneer of sorts despite not being a recognizable brand. Well, everyone needs to get ready to be introduced to the Inizio because the car is now slated for production. On top of that, it’s going to come with a pretty steep price tag of $139,000. For a brand that you probably couldn’t pick out of a line-up of auto brands, forking over that much money might be a stab in the dark. But hey, it’s a world’s first, so at least it has a distinction all its own.

Details after the jump.

Exterior and Interior

2012 Li-Ion Inizio Interior AutoShow
- image 381075

The exterior of the car looks like a mesh between the front of a Dodge Viper with the backside of a Ferrari. A couple of striking features of the Inizio include rotational doors that rise on a 90-degree angle and a hydraulic lift system that allows the car to rise about three inches for easier and more comfortable access. Then there’s the set of what looks to be 20-inch rims that add a final touch to the car’s supercar appeal.

Since the car runs on electric batteries, the interior was built to accommodate having to remove the lithium-ion batteries without breaking so much as a sweat. The two-seater electric supercar comes with adjustable Recaro seats – leather or suede, depending on customer preference – that also come with heating and cooling features. In addition to that, the interior was also given some pretty nice entertainment digs, including a DVD player, a built-in 12-inch subwoofer, digital surround sound system, and an integrated navigation satellite system.


2012 Li-Ion Inizio Drivetrain AutoShow
- image 381077

The Inizio electric supercar comes with lithium-ion batteries that produces more than 40kW with an electric motor that bumps up the figure to about 145kW. That kind of power allows the electric car to reach a range of 250 miles with a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of somewhere around 170 mph. For comparison’s sake, the established Tesla Roadster can reach top speeds of only 125 mph, pedestrian figures when lined up against the Inizio.


The good news for the boys over at Li-Ion Motors is that the Inizio already has DOT approval, which means that should all things fall into place, we could see America’s very first electric supercar out on the market by 2012.

The bad news is that Li-Ion is looking to build about 2,500 units a year with a price tag of $139,000 a pop. Definitely not chump change.

2012 Li-Ion Inizio Exterior AutoShow
- image 381076


The easy thing to say is that the closest competitor of the Li-Ion Inizio is the Tesla Roadster. But given the huge discrepancy in numbers – and price tag – it’s more likely that the two cars fall on two different market segments, and as far as affordability is concerned, two different client markets.

  • Leave it
    • Overall design looks like a knock-off
    • $139,000 for a first-issue release is asking for trouble
    • Name sounds like a Chinese replica-maker
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (727) posted on 03.16.2012

Where have I heard of Li-Ion before? Anyway, it’s impressive that their first innovation is so dynamic. Maybe this is their road to fame, but for a newbie starting with a quite high price, I’m not sure how it will do in the market.

  (577) posted on 02.6.2012

The name was familiar, it sounds like the copycat of branded items. Sorry guys, it’s my opinion. The car looks good. I don’t like the headlights. The interior looks like an arcade machine.

  (502) posted on 12.29.2011

Inizio seems that it is from a cartoon. It’s too outdated for me, but I’m still impressed and happy to see a design like this. Anyway, I love the sleek body paint of it.

  (594) posted on 11.17.2011

Inizio is maybe so unique on its platform, but for some reason, I’m not so impressed with that uniqueness. Anyway, I wonder if what will be the engine specification of this one?

  (374) posted on 11.9.2011

Sorry to say, but this Li-Ion Inizio is looks so awful for me. Well, if I’m going to choose between this one and to its competitor, which is Tesla Roadster, I must say that I would prefer Tesla than to on this one.

  (463) posted on 10.11.2011

It’s just different and the headlights so extreme like an eyeliner, then it seems rock and bad, despite the great concept convertible.

  (428) posted on 10.3.2011

The dashboard and the handling of this Inizio seems that it is from a cartoon. It’s too outdated for me, but I’m still impressed and happy to see a design like this. Anyway, I love the sleek body paint of it.

  (797) posted on 09.27.2011

The style of the interior part of this car is so old but, The exterior part and performance of this car is not old because exterior and performance is really great. And the style of the car specially the head light is great.

  (474) posted on 09.22.2011

Funny! hahaha it’s like a toy for me smiley kidding aside, I’m quite impressed with the looks of this Li-Ion Inizio. It’s seemed not a real one! smiley Anyway, I don’t like the fact that it is an electric car, so unreliable!

  (197) posted on 08.17.2011

Same thing here. I think the one created this car is non-sense. Just look at the handling of the car. I think it will break if I will hold it. HAHA! This car must be burned right away or even not release in the market.

  (364) posted on 05.2.2011

Sorry guys, but I want to laugh straight to the face of this car! I’m convenience that the reliability is doubtful since it counterfeit the platform of other car.

  (666) posted on 05.2.2011

Tesla is wasting their time producing this unreliable cars! BTW, I don’t think that this would be the day for electric cars, for I believe that it needs a lot of study to become more reliable.

  (473) posted on 03.16.2011

For a small company, they sure make good looking cars. The Inizio is actually comparable to the ones made by Lotus. And this one is electric too.

  (309) posted on 01.17.2011

for me I’ll choose Inzio, it looks more aggressive and sporty with that design, plus it looks more cheaper than wave.

  (765) posted on 01.16.2011

Where is their plans to produce the vehicle they won the X Prize with? Instead, we get a sort of Tesla wannabe, but at a higher price and with a questionable corporate reputation.

  (477) posted on 01.16.2011

You’ve been very forthcoming with the obvious issues, having to have your car shipped cross-country a few times for major repairs - repairs that have would have sent many people into the courts demanding compensation or refunds.

  (325) posted on 01.13.2011

wow great cars but i like the green one rather than the red one. the geen one looks more futuristic and weird for sure there are only few will have the interest of buying this.

  (702) posted on 01.13.2011

The Wave II will likely be useless as an actual vehicle to use, but it is kind of cute with its streamlined almost classical lines. Then again it also kind of looks like a frog.

  (51) posted on 01.13.2011

Tesla is by far more refined and cool! Sorry guys! You just need to try harder!

  (151) posted on 01.13.2011

Yeah right! It looks like it was build by students in the spare time! And for 139k you can buy allot of batteries!

Is it road safe?

Car Finder: