May 16, 2014
Silent But Violent
With the high cost of gasoline, more and more electric vehicles are being produced theses days. They are getting faster, quicker and have a longer travel range than when they first came on the scene.
Almost every manufacturer is involved in producing an electric vehicle (EV). With that said, there are also many who are striving to set world records using electric powered vehicles.
One name comes to mind in the drag racing world. “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, who has set numerous records in his racing career, recently set another one. At the young age of 82, he motored an electric powered dragster down the quarter mile track in 7.258 seconds at 184.01 mph. This broke the previous record by 24.16 mph.
“We didn’t get the 200 but we set a new record, our 200 is coming up next!” Garlits said in a statement.
Two lithium-polymer battery packs on each side of the car feeds power to six 7.5 inch electric motors producing 2,000 hp. “I think we’ll tinker with the gearing and be looking for more power control to the motors so that we have full current delivery. We hope we can turn it around soon for another test and record attempt. We should get 200 next time out and I think we can break into the sixes [seconds],” said Mike Gerry, who designed the SR-37 dragster.
Over recent years, other records have been set or broken by EVs. One in particular was set by students at Ohio State University. The car was called the Venturi Buckeye Bullet, which achieved an average land speed record of 307.7 mph in August 2010, at Bonneville Salt Flats.
An earlier version of the Bullet reached 314.9 mph in 2004, but the time was disallowed because the car didn’t meet the FIA specs for a world record attempt.
The actual top speed was 320, but to qualify for the record, an average of two runs must be done.
An electric motorcycle set a new world record in May 2012 with a 6.94 second, 201.37 mph quarter mile run. It was powered by a 355-volt battery pack hooked to a 1,340 hp GE electric motor. The record was not only set for electric motorcycles, as it was quicker than any electric vehicle.
On the racetrack, a Lightweight Electric Lola modified by Drayson Racing Technologies hit 204.2 mph at a track in Elvington, Yorkshire, UK. A Toyota TMG EV P001 set a record time for an EV around the Nurburgring racetrack at 7:48 using two electric motors producing 375 hp.
The record for an electric motorcycle with a sidecar is set at 216.5 mph. It was built by Eva Hakansson from the University of Denver and powered by a 250 hp electric motor.
The longest run on a track is 1014.8 miles on a single battery pack without being recharged. Of course it also used gasoline, however only 2/3 of a gallon, equaling 1610 mpg.
At Pike’s Peak Hill Cimb, a Toyota finished the climb in 10:15.380, finishing sixth overall, but first in the electric division.
I am sure as technology progresses in the EV world, these records will be broken. But for now, these silent running vehicles are violent performance wise.
Image Credit: Thinkstock