Electric racer storms at a fabulous 328 km / h
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Give rubber: Lord Drayson’s Lola on a world record hunt.
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The electric speedster weighs 825 kilos and has 600 hp.
Source: Drayson Racing Technologies
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After his successful attempt, Drayson can be celebrated.
Source: Drayson Racing Technologies
On the runway of a British air base, a former minister and amateur racing driver beat an almost 40-year-old record for electric vehicles. Even the Google boss was watching.
E.s just made Sssssssssss. The Briton Lord Drayson, Minister for Science and Innovation from 2008 to 2010 under then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, set a new world speed record of 328.6 km / h on the airfield of the Royal Air Force in Elvington in Yorkshire. Valid for electric vehicles weighing less than 1000 kilograms.
The 53-year-old amateur racing driver and head of the Drayson Racing Technologies racing team exceeded a record held since 1974. At that time, the "Battery Box General Electric" achieved a top speed of 281 km / h on the Bonneville Salt Flats (US state of Utah). Compared to the new record holder, the vehicle, which appears filigree, was driven by an electric motor with a maximum output of 200 hp, which is otherwise used in a forklift. The 28 batteries connected in series accounted for 500 of the total weight (825 kilograms).
"The record shows the potential of electric drives and will also benefit production models," said Drayson after his successful attempt. “The challenge was not so much the absolute speed, but rather accelerating a car weighing almost 1,000 kilos to over 300 km / h, then maintaining this speed for a mile and finally bringing it to a safe stop. Then it was time to turn around and repeat the whole thing within an hour and with enough battery voltage on board. "
Converted Le Mans racer with 600 hp
Drayson admitted that there have been faster journeys with electric cars in history. "But we deliberately did not want to compete with an aerodynamically optimal model in the form of a teardrop, but with a commercially available racing car."
In fact, the Lola, which was originally built according to the rules of the Le Mans top class LMP1, was initially powered by a V10 engine fed with bioethanol by Judd and used in races. Only later did it begin to transform into a whispering e-racer, whose four electric motors placed above the rear axle (two per wheel) unleash a total of 850 hp.
For the record runs, however, the e-racer was reined in to 600 hp and equipped with a light, but at the same time very powerful, battery with 20 kWh. Only in this way did the team manage to reduce the weight of the coupe, which is made entirely of carbon fiber, to less than 1,000 kilos. With an extremely flat wing setting, Drayson went on the three-kilometer-long runway – the instruments of the officials of the International Automobile Association (Fia) showed 327.83 km / h on the 1.609-kilometer-long test track. On the way back it was even faster – thanks to the tailwind.
Contactless charging of the batteries
The world record holder’s lithium-ion nanophosphate batteries were not charged by cable, but inductively, i.e. contactless. This procedure, which is already common today for electric toothbrushes, is repeatedly mentioned as an alternative to charging stations, which require a lot of space and are difficult to protect against vandalism. The principle provides for the car to be driven on a plate that is connected to the public power grid. If the current flows through it, it builds up a magnetic field that generates electricity for the batteries via a secondary coil in the vehicle floor.
Applied to motorsport, Drayson hopes that this will result in quick pit stops to recharge the batteries, which at racing speed would only have juice for 20 minutes at the moment. In addition to induction areas in the pit area, the member of the British House of Lords, who was ennobled in 2004 as Baron Drayson of Kensington in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, can also imagine loops on the racetrack. "These would provide the e-racers with fresh juice again and again while they were driving." The technology developed by Qualcomm from New Zealand will soon be ready for series production, "emphasizes Drayson. "And then I can even imagine a 24-hour race through Paris."
Autonarr Drayson has always been good for brave motorsport visions. Before he took office as minister, the family man founded Drayson Racing Technologies, based in the USA, in 2007. In the same year he entered the American Le Mans Series as a driver, although he was blind in one eye from birth. There he won the Road America run in 2010. In 2009 and 2010, Drayson then competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours with a special permit from the organizer.
Engaged in Formula E.
After projects with engines powered by alternative fuels such as bioethanol, Drayson recently focused more and more on electric racing cars. He was the first team to register for the new Formula E. The racing series, which is advertised for purely electrically powered single-seaters, is set to celebrate its premiere in September 2014 with a city race in Drayson’s native London, followed by races in downtown areas of Rome, Miami, Beijing and Rio de Janeiro.
Berlin is also showing interest. In the first season, the teams still start with a standard chassis from Dallara and drive from McLaren for cost reasons, but from 2015 the bustling Drayson wants to bring an in-house design to the start. Of course, with as many technology modules as possible from his world record Lola.
Perhaps he still has powerful allies and sponsors: for two hours as an attentive observer during the record drives, none other than Eric Schmidt, the head of Google, was present. The search engine giant has already distinguished itself in the US in developing self-driving cars. And is currently showing interest in buying the electric car manufacturer Tesla.
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