Dr. Hiroshi Shimizu of Tokyo's Keio University has been working on his Eliica eight-wheeled electric car since 2003, but the Japanese government's interest in fuel-efficient vehicles has rekindled his efforts, and he's currently, um... on a roll. The current Eliicas, of which there are currently two, run on lithium-ion batteries and each wheel is driven by a 60 kilowatt engine. The auto's got a top speed of 230 miles per hour, and Shimizu's group of engineering students eventually hope to reach 250 miles per hour with new models. The team is currently trying to raise a bunch of money to build 200 of these, which cost somewhere in the realm of $255,000 each. We wish them luck in their endeavors, but can't imagine Syd Mead's going to be pleased there's another futuristic-hearse designer entering the market.

[Via AutoblogGreen]