Feeds

Mach 0.3 milk float goes for land speed glory

Brit world record attempt

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

As the sun rises tomorrow morning over the Chott-el-Jerid salt flats in Tunisia, a British racing team will do battle with the record books, in a bid to claim the land speed record for an electric vehicle.

The car, ABB e=motion, will accelerate across the desert for nearly six miles before reaching the record attempt zone. This is a 1.6 kilometre section of desert over which the speed of the car will be measured.

To qualify as an official world record under FIA (the motor sport governing body) rules, the car must complete two kilometre-long runs with its speed above 252 mph. The second run has to be completed within an hour of the first.

This, then, is a little bit more exciting than a milk float race. After all, how many times do you see a milkman deploy a parachute from an old Mirage jet plane to slow his cart down...

The car (pictured below) is powered by 52 lead-acid car batteries which produce 600V DC output. It is ten metres long, 60cm wide and 75cm high. It weighs 1.6 tons, and develops 650 horsepower. The team is confident that it will beat the current record of 245mph, and say that it could even reach 300mph on future runs. Accelerating to 300mph should take driver Mark Newby just over 102 seconds.

Surely even Jeremy Clarkson would be impressed.

The ABB e=motion

British steel amid the sands of Tunisia

The batteries' output is converted by an ABB ACS800 Drive and supplied to the car's two spindle motors. The car has been engineered so that full torque is available, even at a standstill. This is essential if they are to accelerate to their target speed within the allowed distance.

Once they have completed the first run and managed to stop the car, the batteries will be replaced with fresh ones so that the car can turn around and go again in the opposite direction. The car's turning circle is described only as 'large' in the list of its specifications, so we hope that this phase doesn't take too long.

The current record of 245mph was set in 1999 by a US team in a car called White Lightening. Two other high profile bids are in the offing, with a team from Ohio State University eyeing the prize with a run scheduled later in 2004, and another British team, Bluebird Electric, making plans for a 2005 attempt. ®

Related stories

Swiss set to unleash flying car
Speed camera clocks motorist at 406 mph
SpaceShipOne readied for 21 June launch

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.