Electric vehicle goes for world speed record

June 7, 2013
The Drayson B12 69/EV will try to go faster than 175 mph in an attempt to break a 40-year old world record.

Drayson Racing Technologies will try to set a new FIA World Electric Land Speed Record this month in the under 1,000-kg category. The car, a slightly modified B12 69/EV, will be driven by Lord Drayson, the company’s co-founder and a one-time science minister for the U.K. The attempt will take place at RAF Elvington on the airfield’s 1.86-mile runway.

The current record, 175 mph, was set by Battery Box General Electric in the U.S. in 1974. This record has not been broken in 40 years due to the challenge of running an electric vehicle consistently and reliably at such speeds when weighing less than 2,200 lb. According to Drayson, “It is not the outright speed that is impressive about this record attempt, but the engineering challenge of accelerating a 1,000-kg electric vehicle to such a high speed, sustaining that speed over a measured mile, stopping safely within a relatively short distance, then turning round and doing it again within an hour.”

The B12 69/EV was partially conceived as an entrant in the new Formula E Series, a new race series for electric vehicles. The racer generates over 850 hp and can hit speeds of 200 mph or more. The batteries, Nanophosphate cells made by A123 Systems, power four rear-mounted, axial-flux motors. All the motors’ tractive force gets channeled through the rear wheels. There is no transmission; a single reduction gear links the electric drives to the driveshaft. And batteries are recharged via induction coils in the floor of the car. These let the car recharge when parked over a charging pad.

For the record attempt, some changes have been made to the drivetrain and set-up of the car so that downforce is minimized. This will give the race car enough traction to quickly get to its top speed and stop within the distance available.

The technology is similar to regenerative braking which stores braking energy as electricity which can be used later. DSERD road inputs into electricity and stores it in a capacitor for later use. The same hardware and actuators can be used to adjust the suspensions damping characteristics.

Sponsored Recommendations

The entire spectrum of drive technology

June 5, 2024
Read exciting stories about all aspects of maxon drive technology in our magazine.


May 15, 2024
Production equipment is expensive and needs to be protected against input abnormalities such as voltage, current, frequency, and phase to stay online and in operation for the ...

Solenoid Valve Mechanics: Understanding Force Balance Equations

May 13, 2024
When evaluating a solenoid valve for a particular application, it is important to ensure that the valve can both remain in state and transition between its de-energized and fully...

Solenoid Valve Basics: What They Are, What They Do, and How They Work

May 13, 2024
A solenoid valve is an electromechanical device used to control the flow of a liquid or gas. It is comprised of two features: a solenoid and a valve. The solenoid is an electric...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!