It took only 1:38.858 for an electric race car called the EV-X11 to traverse one 2.3-mile lap at the Mazda Leguna Seca racetrack in Monterey, Calif. This is a new lap record at the track for electrics.
The milestone took place at the 3rd annual REFUEL - Clean Power Motorsports Event recently. The same race team, from KleenSpeed Technologies in Mountain View, Calif., also set lap records at the track in the previous two years.
One of the key changes the team made to this year's car was the installation of a PowerPhase Select 145 electric drive system from UQM Technologies. This motor delivers 194 hp and 295 lbf-ft of peak horsepower and torque respectively with a power density of 1.76 hp/lb and 94% efficiency. The racecar itself weighs 1,400 lb and is geared to go 140 mph at the end of the main straight on a race track.
KleenSpeed says the car runs at full throttle and full braking with no heat or power limiting problems, and no performance degradation until it runs out of juice. Unfortunately the car would need to make a lot of pit stops in a lengthy race: It can go about seven laps or 12 minutes at racing speed. And it is only able to do so thanks to a patent-pending 15.4 kWh KleenSpeed ESS battery pack.
The team reported that they were only using 65% of the available torque when they set the lap record. They are still assessing the performance potential of the new electric-drive system.
KleenSpeed is located in the NASA Ames Research Park near Mountain View, Calif.: http://www.kleenspeed.com
UQM Technologies: http://www.uqm.com/