Frankfurt Motor Show: Thunder Power takes the vapour-ware award

New electric car player boasts of Bugatti engineering pedigree and 650km electric range from its concept car

Time to park your cyncism: The Thunder Power claims  outputs of either 310 or 430hp, can accelerate from 0-100kmh in less than 5.0 seconds and  can go for up to 650km on one charge. It can also have a range of 300km after just a 30min charge.

Time to park your cyncism: The Thunder Power claims outputs of either 310 or 430hp, can accelerate from 0-100kmh in less than 5.0 seconds and can go for up to 650km on one charge. It can also have a range of 300km after just a 30min charge.

 

You might want to file this one under ‘yeah, right…’ Taiwanese electric car maker Thunder Power (which at least is surely the best name at the Frankfurt motor show) reckons it’s got one over Tesla, Porsche and the rest with its first-ever car. It’s saloon model will, it says, “redefine the benchmark for electric vehicle innovation and performance.”

Certainly the performance claims are something close to staggering. It comes with power outputs of either 310 or 430hp, can accelerate from 0-100kmh in less than 5.0 seconds and runs on to a top speed of 250kmh. All while it’s doing that, Thunder Power reckons it can go for up to 650km on one charge, and can have a range of 300km after just a 30 minute charge.

All of that is topped with a body said to combine the best of European engineering and Italian design, thanks to input from the famed Zagato design studio. That’s not the only famous European name helping out on the project – electronics giant Bosch and Italian race car experts Dallara are also involved, while Thunder Power has brought in Dr Peter Tutzer, formerly of Bugatti, to be its chief technical officer.

Thunder Power says that its 125kWh battery pack is microprocessor controlled and is “based on ‘unique’ high-energy-density lithium-ion cell technology.” It claims that the battery pack will be a class leader when it comes to degredation of the cells thanks to a clever charge balancing system. The whole car is said to be under 2,000kg in weight and Thunder Power is aiming for a 2017 market introduction in China, followed by a global roll-out (and a European factory) in 2018.

CEO and Chairman Wellen Sham said, “The electric vehicle industry is constantly evolving and we are making sure that we are one step ahead. Our range of electric vehicles will push the boundaries. We have drawn on the expertise of world-class European designers and engineers and after five years of research and development we are proud to launch our luxury range of vehicles at IAA 2015. Frankfurt is one of the highest profile motor shows and known for showcasing the latest trends and technological industry highlights. So it’s a perfect setting to showcase the world premiere of our electric vehicle range to the media, investors and consumers.”

Dr Peter Tutzer added, “It is not a question of if, but when Electric Vehicles will go ‘mainstream’ and take over from the internal combustion engine cars.” As a manufacturer of a dedicated EV platform, Thunder Power is able to optimise both vehicle efficiency and performance, offering the contemporary driver a motoring proposition without compromise and of course with zero emissions.”

Now, call us cynical but is there the faintest whiff of silliness about all of this? A never-heard-of start up coming in an beating the entire rest of the motoring world when it comes to range, power and performance, not to mention price and weight? Now, in fairness, there are a lot of very clever people living and working in Taiwan and the country is one of the world leaders in battery design and engineering, but we can’t help but feel that there’s going to be some interesting conversations to overhear down the Taipei job centre in the coming months…