Lots of email this week about electric car and motorcycle speed records. My apologies to the many who corrected my errors, I was probably looking at old information. To be fair, there is a difference between speed records set at the Bonneville Salt Flats, speed records for the quarter mile, and competition racing speeds. So if you have an update on any of the above, please feel free and send me an email so I can add it to our emails.
To start with the question was whether electric car or motorcycle racing could establish itself as genre like gasoline powered racing. Judging from the response levels I would have to say, yes, there is a lot of interest. It is going to compare in terms of loudness and flashiness? Maybe not so much in the loud department, but definitely serious flash.
Maybe the high tech aspect attracts to a different crowd. Certainly, the environmentally conscious will find racing without burning fuel appealing. The challenge is getting the most power and control where you need it, and squeezing all the performance you can from a kilowatt of battery instead of a liter of fuel.
Among the many venues for electric car racing, one that really pushes the envelope is solar car racing. Using only the light of the sun for power, converting that power into electricity and crossing the continent of Australia was the challenge years ago when I worked at Uniq Mobility and we supplied the early high performance, high efficiency brushless dc motor technology that powered those racers.
Nowadays college teams are designing more sophisticated racers that cross North America to show their skills.
All this effort is a collaboration between industry and education to drive (pun intended) the technology and gain wider acceptance for electric vehicles as a viable alternative to gasoline power.