With so many companies rushing into the green-car business in recent years, it can be hard to tell the difference between vaporware (projects that exist primarily in the land of wishes and fairies, with no hope for production) and really real projects that will eventually lead to a marketable product … which brings me to Delta Motorsport and the E4 Ultra-low Energy Vehicle they first announced back in 2007.
The E4? Despite all the talk of Formula 1 materials and cutting-edge technology that smacked of vaporware, the E4 is (happily!) really real. So real, in fact, that the guys at FullyCharged were invited to take a ride in one of the early production cars as part of their tour of Delta’s UK facility. As you can see from the video (below) there are currently 5 E4 cars underway. The first of (it’s hoped) many.
This first batch of Delta E4s is being funded by a research grant from the Regional Development Agency for the East Midlands (in the UK) area. The first run of 5 cars will then take part in a 12 month long Ultra Low Carbon Demonstrator Program supported by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board to prove the low energy vehicles’ viability as real-world cars (which seems to be a few months behind schedule, but moving along).
The philosophy behind the Delta ULEnV is that low energy use, rather than low emissions, should be the primary focus of future tech development, as the company’s spokespeople point out in the project’s outline – I’ve clipped a bit for you here …
The distinction between ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) and ULEnV (Ultra Low Energy Vehicle) is a subtle but important one. Powering an Audi Q7 or a BMW X5 from batteries would turn either into a low emissions vehicle, but we believe this is missing the point since they would still consume a huge amount of energy in any journey. All this energy ultimately has to come from somewhere, even if it’s from renewable sources, and we believe that over the next few years a sharper focus will gradually fall on reducing all cars’ energy consumption.
… but I encourage anyone interested in Delta’s clever approach to car design to visit the E4 project’s homepage and click around Delta’s site. They have some great projects going on ’round-the-clock, and there is plenty of eye candy there for the gearheads (extra points if you can name the red vintage racer at 0:33 – 0:34 in the YouTube video).