AC Propulsion – Everything You Need To Know

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This article will cover everything you need to know about AC Propulsion, from the founders to important models and technology that the company found.

So here is everything you need to know about AC Propulsion:

Yellow AC Propulsion tzero sportscar
AC Propulsion tzero

Founders And Headquarters

AC Propulsion is an American electric vehicle (EV) company founded in 1992 by Alan Cocconi and Wally Rippel. 

The company is headquartered in San Dimas, California, and is known for its innovative and high-performance EV technology.

First Breakthrough

AC Propulsion’s first significant success came in 2003 with the launch of the AC Propulsion tzero. 

The tzero was a high-performance EV designed to prove that electric cars could be fast, efficient, and fun. 

The car was powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that allowed it to travel up to 300 miles on a single charge. The tzero could accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 3.6 seconds, making it one of the fastest cars on the road.

Here is a video showcasing the AC Propulsion tzero and how it came to be the base driveline the Tesla Roadster was based of:

AC Propulsion TZero Reveal - Electric Vehicle Phenomena Story Full (HD)

Collaboration With Other Manufacturers

After the success of the tzero, AC Propulsion began working with other companies to develop EV technology for production vehicles. 

In 2005, the company worked with Tesla Motors to develop the powertrain for the Tesla Roadster. 

The Roadster was a high-performance EV based on the Lotus Elise sports car. 

The AC Propulsion powertrain helped the Roadster achieve a range of up to 245 miles on a single charge and a top speed of 125 miles per hour.

AC Propulsion also developed its line of production EVs, including the eBox and the tzero. 

The eBox was a converted Scion xB powered by an AC Propulsion powertrain. 

The eBox had a range of up to 180 miles(290 kilometers) on a single charge and could accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7 seconds. 

AC Propulsion’s technology has been used in various other EVs, including the BMW i3 and the Mini E

Other manufacturers that AC Propulsion worked together were:

  • Volvo
  • Venturi
  • Courreges
  • Wrightspeed
  • Peraves
  • Toyota
silver Volvo 3CC rear quarter view
The Volvo 3CC Concept that AC Propulsion helped develop the electric drivetrain.

AC Propulsion In Motorsport

The company’s technology has also been used in EV racing, with AC Propulsion-powered cars competing in events such as the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and the World Solar Challenge.

Company Direction And Future

Despite its success, AC Propulsion has remained a relatively small company. 

The company has focused on developing innovative EV technology rather than becoming a major player in the auto industry. 

They also strive to produce high-performance, efficient, and valuable drivetrains for the EV (Electric Vehicles) and HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicles) markets.

Recently, the company has shifted its focus to developing EV charging technology. 

Discontinued Models

Unfortunately, AC Propulsion no longer manufactures vehicles but is still an active contributor to the EV and HEV market.

  • AC Propulsion tzero
  • AC Propulsion eBox (Converted Scion xB)

Final Thoughts On AC Propulsion

In conclusion, AC Propulsion is a pioneering American EV company that has played a significant role in the development of EV technology over the past two decades. 

The company’s high-performance EVs and innovative powertrain technology have helped change how people think about electric cars. 

AC Propulsion’s focus on innovation and technology has positioned it as a leader in the EV industry, and its contributions to the development of EV technology will continue to be felt for years to come.

sillver and yellow Mini E driving on the highway
2010 Mini E that AC Propulsion helped with the electric development.


Who Is The CEO Of AC Propulsion?

Tom Gage is currently the CEO of AC Propulsion.
He joined AC Propulsion in 1995 and has been busy commercializing electric vehicles.
In 2012 he founded EVGrid to help integrate electric vehicles and the smart grid into society.

Who Made The Tzero?

AC Propulsion produced the tzero, and it was the first breakthrough for other companies in the early 2000s.
The tzero cemented AC Propulsion’s name in the EV and HEV market after showcasing that you can have performance and fun with an electric vehicle.

Did Elon Musk Invent The Electric Car?

No, Gustave Trouvé invented the world’s the first electric car in 1880.
He improved the efficiency of a small electric motor developed by Siemens in 1867, fitted it into a tricycle frame made by James Starley, and used a lead-acid battery to power the electric motor, thus inventing the first electric vehicle.