If you think Sri Lanka can produce only fabulous tea, think again! Meet Vega, the island country’s all-electric supercar. The effort is the brainchild of technology entrepreneur Harsha Subasinghe, chief executive of Colombo-based CodeGen, a developer of software for the travel and tourism industry.
According to BBC, building a luxury sports car is certainly a departure for Harsha, but one with broader objectives than simply a quick zero-to-60mph time. (That’ll be 3.5 seconds, according to the Vega’s builders.) Harsha envisioned the Vega not only as an all-electric thrill machine, but a demonstration of Sri Lankans’ ability to develop advanced transportation technologies.
“Getting people to believe that a complex engineering project like a supercar can come from Sri Lanka is a huge challenge for us,” Beshan Kulapala, the car’s project manager told BBC. “This country produces some of the best engineers in the world, but in the past we’ve been afraid to commit to innovative product development for fear of losing, or being ridiculed.”
The Vega bears a sophisticated silhouette befitting a boutique hypercar, and considerable innovation beneath that sheet metal. Dual electric motors power the rear wheels, producing a combined 900 horsepower with 530 pound-feet of torque. Carbon-fibre construction helps hold vehicle weight to about 3,000lbs – rather remarkable, given the density of the on-board lithium-ion battery packs. The team, comprising over 30 engineers and other personnel, is developing what Beshan – a 13-year veteran of Intel with a PhD in electrical engineering – calls a state-of-the-art motor controller, and new thinking around battery packaging.
Beshan said: “The lithium battery modules have a number of innovations in packaging, safety, battery management, system hardware, and firmware and software., “Our eDiff [electronic differential] will also run cutting-edge algorithms to control the vehicle in different road and driving conditions. The 3.5-second zero-to-60 time places it firmly in supercar territory, and the in-house engineering should help the vehicle – which is expected to carry a six-figure price tag – achieve a 150-mile range and a top speed of 150mph.
Harsha has invested more than $500,000 in the initial development costs to get the idea off the ground. The company is taking the funding process one step at a time. Beshan sees this proceeding at an aggressive pace, with the first prototype having been rolled out in April 2015 and the technology tuning and certification process following. To know more about the Vega, visit http://vega.lk/