Electric cars are not traditionally associated with the idea of super-speed, but this is gradually beginning to change. After Nissan recently unveiled a super-fast electric-gasoline powered hybrid, a UK Drayson Racing electric car broke the world land speed record.
Drayson Racing Technologies’ electric model, Lola Drayson B12 69/EV, reached an impressive speed of 204.185 mph or 328.6 km/h, last week in Yorkshire.
With Drayson Racing CEO and ex-science minister Lord Paul Drayson behind the wheel, the electric vehicle easily swept past the previous speed record of 175 mph or 281.6 km/h, set by Battery Box General Electric in 1974.
To qualify for the world speed record, according to Federation Internationale de l’Automobile regulations, the vehicle had to weigh less than 2,204lb (one ton) without a driver. This was achieved by Drayson Racing by modifying a Le Mans Series car originally powered by fuel. The fuel engine was replaced with a 20 kilowatt hour lithium-ion phosphate battery with an 850 HP output.
The Drayson Racing electric car’s chassis is made of lightweight recycled carbon fiber, while the 4×2-640 drivetrain is proprietary Drayson technology and consists of 4 motors with integrated transmission. The vehicle can accelerate from zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) in three seconds.
After the record run, Drayson said his company’s model will hopefully show to the people the potential of electric vehicles. Drayson Racing is already working with other companies to come up with more sustainable automotive technologies with the end goal of having these technologies widely available for the public in the near future. Until then, Drayson is planning to take its record-shattering vehicle to the Formula E championship, scheduled to be held in September 2014.
The car will take part in the Le Mans 24 race next year, Nissan hoping that the competition will be a challenging test for their technology, which will hopefully be used in road cars as well in the future.