Electric RaceAbout sets ‘Ring record; Thursday newsbriefs

September 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

A fast Finn. The Electric RaceAbout, a prototype coupe built by students from the Helsinki Metropolita University of Applied Sciences, has set a new speed record – for road-legal electric vehicles – on the Nordschliefe circuit of the Nurburgring. Driven by racing driver Ralf Kelleners, it lapped the ‘Green Hell’ in 8.42.720, beating its 9min 40 time set in early August despite its road tyres, and hit 148mph. The RaceAbout features a carbonfibre composite body designed by students from the Lahti University of Applied Sciences’ Institute of Design, and four in-wheel motors (the work of a team from Lappeenranta University of Technology) giving a total 300kW of power; its batteries are lithium-titanate. Video posted at The Charging Point, btw.

  • CPT (Controlled Power Technologies) is developing a 48-volt electric supercharger (based on its 12-volt product already available) which can transform 7kW of battery power to a highly-boosted air charge for petrol or diesel engines almost instantaneously. CPT says that this will aid engine downsizing and enhance torque at low engine speeds, giving small engines a welcome boost for overtaking, hillclimbs and acceleration; it “foresees a new generation of micro mild hybrid vehicles with radically-downsized engines featuring transient electric boosting as a more effective hybrid alternative to the mechanical supercharging and/or twin turbo-charging systems in use today”.
  • First reviews of Revenge of the Electric Car, a documentary from the makers of Who Killed The Electric Car?, are out; nice summary at Autoweek. “Ends on a more optimistic note than the last movie did.”
  • Chrysler’s delivering 10 Dodge Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid pick-ups to the Massachussetts Bay Transportation Authority; the MBTA is to monitor their performance and impact on the region’s electricity grid. These 10 are part of a 140-vehicle test fleet of these prototypes; Chrysler says it has no plans for a production Ram PHEV, but it’s no doubt under consideration. More at Green Car Congress.
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