Written by Stephen Hurrell ▼

Gordon Murray unveils world's most efficient electric car

Gordon Murray unveils world's most efficient elect

Gordon Murray, the man behind the McLaren F1 supercar, has unveiled something at the opposite end of the scale: the world’s most efficient electric car.

London-based Gordon Murray Design has unveiled the three-seat T.27 city car at an event at the RAC in London and promises it will use less energy per mile than small electric cars such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the electric Smart car.

The T.27 is 36 per cent more efficient than the electric car from Mitsubishi and 29 per cent more than the Smart car thanks to the car’s lightweight structure, says Murray, who is now CEO of Gordon Murray Design.

He said: “Lightweight is the most powerful tool we have in our armoury in the fight against emissions and fuel consumption. This is true of all cars and especially so with electric vehicles!"

The weight of the car, 680kg including the battery, means the 25kW electric motor is powered by a single 12kWh battery.

Despite the relative small size of the powertrain, the car is capable of reaching 62mph in under 15 seconds and has a top speed of around 60mph. Its lightweight design means it is capable of matching the 100 mile range of current electric cars on the market today.

Gordon Murray Design has started crash testing the T.27 under the criteria used for the EuroNCAP tests and described the results as ‘first class’ after a second assessment of the vehicle.

In total £9m has been invested into the development of the compact T.27 and into the processes used to build the car.

Using the ubiquitous ‘i’ naming method, the iStream process means the cars are built in a different way from conventional models. For the T.27, the powertrain, brakes and suspension are all added to the chassis before the body panels.

This, says Murray, simplifies the process, reduces costs and allows more lightweight materials to be used in a more efficient manner. It also allows the car to be designed to meet stringent safety criteria – an often visited criticism of small electric vehicles such as the G-Wiz quadricycle.

Gordon Murray Design hopes the process can be used in Britain as a low-cost method of manufacturing the compact electric cars in future.