A new kind of electric autoIan Rowley
Okay so it's not the best looking machine in the world, but C-COMS (above) is a world first according to researchers at the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science. Its inventors claim that the 200kg, one-seater auto is the first car to be powered completely by capacitors. In total, C-COMS has 21 capacitors each weighing 1.9kg, which make for a maximum speed of 50kph.
According to Yoichi Hori, a professor at Tokyo University working on the project, C-COMS is aleady showing some interesting results. In particular, it can run for 20 minutes or 10km after being charged for just one minute. By contrast, electric cars powered by lead-based batteries would need charging for ten times as long to achieve the same results. In time, Hori reckons that capacitors could become a useful--and environmentally friendly--means of powering smaller electric cars. Let's hope they sharpen up the design before then.