This site is dedicated to the building and maintenance of electric vehicles
We hope to help in the effort of utilizing new or re-discovering old sources of alternative energy. Our definition of alternative energy is: any energy that is renewable and not sole sourced from a major power company, utility or consortium. Electricity is a form of energy that can be produced from a number of sources such as the Sun, Wind and burning of renewable fuels.
Electric cars were invented over 100 years ago and basically the design has not changed very much. Modern designs are much more efficient than the original EVs but the basic components are: an energy storage device (battery, fuel cell etc.), a motor and a power manager (controller). One advantage of an electric car is that the energy used to charge the battery can come from a number of sources, a typical home utilizing the power grid is a good start, just plug in the charger to a 115 or 230V and you can charge your car. Off peak rates makes charging even cheaper, try to find a gas station that cuts their prices by 60% after 9:00! If you are interested in being off the grid, you can utilize solar cell technology readily available from a number of companies. This can be supplemented with wind power in many parts of the country. In any event, electricity is one of the easiest forms of energy to find alternate sources of supply.
Following is a series of articles describing Electric Vehicles that have or are currently involved in racing
This electric vehicle was originally built in about two months to meet a deadline to be in the 1993 Solar and Electric 500 sponsored by APS and PG&E in Phoenix Arizona. The car was not intended to be a "show car" or for jumping dunes but to compete in an electric endurance race held at PIR (Phoenix International Raceway).
I raced the Voltbuggy tm in 1993, 94 and 95. The races were held at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) in 93 and 94 and it was a blast to work on my car in the garage area of that famous track. In 1995 the races were moved to Firebird Raceway Park. That year I placed second, it was a great honor to be in the winners circle.
The car was built on a limited budget, several of the parts were acquired at bone yards and swap meets. Many parts were purchased and/or acquired with the aid and sponsorship from companies that promoted the use of Electric Vehicles. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.
APS (Arizona Public Service)
PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric)
SRP (Salt River Project)
SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District)
Without their sponsorship, many of us who competed in the electric races of the 1990's would not have been able to participate or start on our related endeavors.
See Arizona Trek below
See the Voltbuggy tm on NOVA's Car of the Future
The Voltbuggy tm helps 'Cool Fuel Roadtrip' Shaun Murphy on his way through ArizonaEco Trekker Shaun Murphy drives the VOLTBUGGYtm over Mingus Mountain and through Jerome.
The 'Cool Fuel Roadtrip' Challenge
Shaun Murphy, a TV personality from Australia, set out on his trek through the USA to go full circle from San Francisco through many of the northern states, down the east coast and back through the Southwest. The trip ends when they arrive back in San Francisco in July. The trip will take several months with a lot of help from his crew and loaned vehicles on the way.
Shaun, Sparky (his dog) and crew, were in need of an electric vehicle to get Shaun over Mingus Mountain on his way to Sedona. The VOLTBUGGY was just what they needed to get Shaun over the mountain in a "timely manner". The VOLTBUGGY is a street legal open wheel race car with no doors but lots of fresh air and scenery, perfect for this part of the trek! The buggy is fun to drive on the road or off. The car was built to compete in electric car races held in Phoenix Arizona in the 1990's.
Give it a Burl!
After hearing about Shauns's trek, I figured what the heck I'll "give it a burl" as they say down under! So I spent some time getting the buggy out of moth balls and back on the road. This exercise took me back to when I raced the car, as I remembered installing and fixing many of the parts. Besides this was a good excuse to get her fired up one more time.
After getting all the ducks in a row, I was contacted by Teresa to set up the time and place for me to charge the buggy and meet up with the crew and Shaun. The Solar charging was to be done at Michael's house on the 28th, filming would be the folowing day.
June 28 started out by arriving at Michael's solar home with the VOLTBUGGY in dire need of a charge. We quickly plugged in the trusty military charger and cranked it up as high as the circuite breakers would let us. Now with a steady charge directly from solar power, we were on our way to getting Shaun to his destination. Prescott is a beautiful part of Arizona and it was a great place to enjoy the summer day and check out Michaels solar array.
It was very interesting to see everyone at work keeping things in order and on track while filming in between. Marty, the true blue mate that keeps mechanical things in order, was sure to maintain all the vehicles in tip top shape and ready for the next days shoot.
During the charge, I checked out the Electra Cruiser up close, the size and design of the bike was a trip. The chopper style belt drive tranny was cool to see on an electric bike. I would have loved to take it for a spin but I knew Shaun needed every bit of the suns energy to get him back to California. Check out: http://www.vogelbilt.com/.
After a day in the hot sun, it was great to get together with everyone involved and tell stories over a few stubbies.
Over The Top
June 29, today was the big day for the VOLTBUGGY to help Shaun contiue his trek in alternative energy vehicles. Filming started by doing several runs with the camera in different positions. The tubular frame was perfect for the film crew to "clamp" on cameras in every concievable manner. It was a kick to watch Matt (cameraman) and and Monroe (sound) attack the buggy with brackets and braces to set up all the camera angles. I was given the honor to drive the buggy on one of the runs. My interview seemed alritght at the time but we'll see how turns out.
Shaun is a big guy, but he managed to get comforatable on his trip in the buggy. He drove the car for only a short time before he seemed pretty sure of himself. It dawned on me that after his trip accross the USA, Shaun will be one of the most efficient electric car drivers on the road and would do well in an endurance competition.
As we started up Mingus mountain, I reminded myself this was not the typical race turrain I had driven the buggy but I was still confident that the car would perform better than expected. Putting anxiety aside, the trip to the top went pretty fast, even with the stops for filming and changing camera positions. The narrow roads through Jerome only added to the fun of watching the car take Shaun toward Sedona. Marty must have had fun driving the Jumbo RV through those tiny streets.
The car will be shown in the 12th "Eco Trekker" episode which highlights the use of solar power to run a multitude of vehicles.
Overall it was a great treat to help Shaun and be part of the experience he and his crew had circling the USA. I hope the film is a great success. Shaun and his crew are a great bunch of mates that were fun to help and just hang out!Check out: http://www.coolfuelroadtrip.com/
This article describes the 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia shown in the following photos. This was built (converted to electric) in 1995 to compete in the 1996 “Electric 500” vehicle competition held in Phoenix Arizona. This was during what I consider the “Golden Age”of electric vehicle racing during the 1990's. Races were held around the country and included all types of vehicle categories.
Low CG Battery Pack
This project started by ripping out the stock interior. The body was removed from the pan and as in most cases, the battery box was installed first. The main pack is located behind the front seats and take up the space originally occupied by the rear seat and floor. It required some cutting and welding to locate 6 batteries (Trojan T125 floods) on either side of the center hump. The open frame battery box was sunken with a ground clearance of around 5 inches, this keeps the center of gravity (CG) of the pack as low as possible. The low CG and symmetric location left to right - proved to be a great asset during the road ralleys. Beefy Anti-sway bars were a must...more later.
Wait, there is too much Weight!
The unfortunate truth is; a Karmman Ghia is heavy! I honestly did not know how much of the Ghia weight was in the body alone. The good old German steel is thick and loaded with tin and lead. As we all expect, a lot of weight is removed from the car when the gas tank and I-C-Engine are removed. The doors and rear bonnet frames were skinned shedding another 40 pounds. I was able to drop close to 100 pounds by removing the stock front clip and attaching a fiberglass version with a hinge at the front. This is a good set up to access the forward battery pack. This pack is located above the front beam so it has a relatively high CG. This high CG battery pack resulted in a lot of sway around turns, so a 5/8 inch diameter anti sway bar was needed up front. The flywheel, clutch and pressure plate were also removed and a direct coupler was installed to minimize weight. After all of these modifications the body is still heavier than I would like. If the racing circuit would have continued I planned to replace the entire steel body with a fiberglass “funny car” style body.
Classic VW's utilize torsion springs in the front and rear suspensions. If converting one of these vehicles be sure to dismantle the front torsion springs, remove all springs from the beam and check each leaf for breakage or cracks. You will need to adjust the preload as necessary for the added weight. It is also good practice to install a beefy anti sway bar, unfortunately this will increase the loads on the front springs. I found this out within the first 10 laps of a practice race after installing the bar, the right front suspension collapsed. After examining the leafs, I found that 2 were previously broken when the rest failed in a hard left turn.
Roll CageOne of the advantages of building a race car is that you have a pretty safe vehicle when you're done. If needed, a cage is done early in the build but you must plan well for the major components that follow. In addition to the cage in the drivers compartment, there is also a bar surrounding the front pack. This bar is installed to protect the battery pack in addition to contain it during a crash. There are many racing manuals that detail how to fabricate and attach a roll cage in your vehicle, if you are going through the effort to build one, make sure you fasten it to the car correctly.
Comfort, Aesthetics or Efficiency?
This is where you decide if comfort and looks outrank how far or fast you can go in your new EV. Like any race car builder knows, the efficiency of the vehicle is inversely proportional to its weight, this leads to the infamous power to weight ratio. Books about racing will coach you through the weight issue and especially weight distribution for your type of racing. Removing the rear seat, chrome trim, door frames and anything else not needed for control or structure is game. A good way to tackle this conundrum is to list all the items that can be removed, tally the weight and then review this list periodically during the build. If you follow this method you will soon determine the items you can't live without and everything else you can trash or sell. Next, use this weight reduction method for parts that are not easily removed such as the back seat or any other miscellaneous metal brackets or interior hardware. The doors and trunk lid have been skinned, this is when you separate the outer skin of the door from the structural frame. This is accomplished by grinding the outside edges where the outer edges of the sheet metal is rolled over the edge and crimped to the frame. This will separate the skin from the frame rather easily and without distortion. The door skins are screwed to the body (using standoffs where necessary) and you just slide through the window opening like every other race car driver. Remember – real race cars have no doors. Note: Even these door skins on the Ghia are heavy, if I had the time and tools, I would have fabbed some out of aluminum.
If you plan to race or run on a race course, weight distribution is critical. This is where you try to tactically distribute the battery weight according to the type of racing planned for the vehicle. Road ralleys have many left and right turns so weight distribution tends to be balanced - left to right. Circle track racing (all left turns) require more weight left of center. The purpose is to keep the car from “rolling“ or leaning to the right, also this minimizes other problems such as pushing (front tires loosing grip and sliding straight) or getting loose (fishtail or rear sliding out) on turns. There are some good soft cover books available on the subject. Study this subject and figure out what is best for your car early in the build, you will be glad you did. Weight distribution is a critical factor in locating batteries, this is where the most research is needed.
The Ghia originally used a GE EVT-15 controller. It worked well for the endurance racing entered at the time. The only problem today is these controllers are essentially obsolete, if you have one that works thats great, but if the main circuit board has a problem, good luck. There are many controllers now available, more than there were in 1995. The best for your application depends on the performance you will require or expect. If you are looking for efficiency get one that allows you to closely monitor and limit energy use, if you are looking for high performance you will want one that can deliver a large amount of power when needed. Study this subject and get what is best for your application, these aren't cheap so do your homework.
The transmission is a stock 1974 VW trans axle. These transmissions I believe, are one of the best designs for an electric conversion. One advantage, is that with the proper adapter, the motor is completely suspended by the adapter plate. At first this seems precarious but the IC engine is mounted this way and weighed more than most electric motors used on VW conversions. One aspect of this transmission is that it can be used for a mid engine application simply by flipping the ring gear, this is done regularly in formula V racing. The Ghia has no clutch, I removed it to minimize weight. I designed a coupler that attaches to the motor shaft and where the flywheel is normally located, I attached the inner hub of an old clutch that is used to couple to the splined shaft of the transmission. This eliminates the flywheel, pressure plate and clutch disc. During the endurance races and when I had the car licensed, I drove the car in second gear about 95 % of the time. If you plan to license your car as a daily driver, I would install the clutch, you do not need it but it will be easier when you want to shift gears. If you need to save the weight, eliminating the clutch is an option. To shift without the clutch, you "double accelerate" (to syncro the motor to the trany output), they use to call it double clutch before syncro tranys. When you get good, its not bad up shifting, down shifting is harder. When stopping, don't down shift until the vehicle has stopped (this is good practice even in an ICE-mobile). When you need to shift in reverse your stopped anyway but shift slowly. The most difficult skill is patience - take your time and let the syncros do the work.
The stock dashboard can be used but with all the gauges and meters you may want to install, it may be advantageous to install a flat aluminum plate as I did in the Ghia. As you can see in the photo, using the flat plate makes it easy to locate switches and gauges in optimum locations. A brush finish is easy to create and never goes out of style in a race car.
Seat and seat belts
There are many racing seats available on line and at racing outlets. The expensive seats are actually molded to the user but there are many generic seats that will do the job. Don't skimp on the seat belt, always use the 5 point harness and chest strap. If you are racing, the tech inspection requirements will dictate the minimum, but try to get the best equipment you can afford.
Motor: 120VDC - 9 inch diameter - GE 20.8 HP
Controller: GE EVT15
Batteries: (18) 6 volt flooded lead acid Trojan T125
Drive: Stock VW transaxle - no clutch
Body: Stock – steel, fiberglass front clip
Cooling: AmetekRotron blowers with plenum
This article is dedicated to the memory of Ernie Holden, without whom the Phoenix Electric 500 races of the 1990,s would have never occurred.
Dennis "Kilowatt" Berube and The Current Eliminator V
It is not often when a person witnesses history in the making and actually realizes it is occurring. This is the case when one goes to watch Dennis "Kilowatt" Berube run his dragster known as “Current Eliminator V”.
See for Yourself
This run still holds the record for an electric dragster as of Feb 2013
The next run is a rear shot...just another way to see the power of an EV
Drag racing has been a weekly ritual on weekends in many major cities since the inception of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) in 1951. There is a steady flow of adventurers bringing their cars to the drag strip every Saturday night, some just to see how their daily driver can do in the quarter mile. The majority of racers are regulars with a variety of cars all the way up to the sponsor riddled, top fuel, blower infested, burnout ripping, under 5 second dragster. Most of these racers do not break the 10 second barrier on the quarter mile strip.
A racing sports center in Surprise, Arizona known as Speedworld Raceway Park is one of these places, and one of the regulars who shows up almost every weekend is Dennis Berube. When he hauls his rig in, mingles with the other drivers and deals with the challenges that arise in a typical NHRA race night, you would never be tipped off that he is unique at the track. It isn't until he backs his dragster the Current Eliminator V out of the trailer that you notice something different about his set up. No headers, no blower, no tranny, no (gas) fuel cell not even an oil change! All this because there is no Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) in his car, but just one electric motor. No - not a golf cart motor but one good size custom motor that has gotten him the all time quarter mile record of 8.801 seconds for an electric vehicle in the Super Pro Series of the NHRA. That's right, Dennis competes with the biggest and the best of his class (Super Pro) in the NHRA with an electric rail. No special treatment or “electric class” for him, but any competition is game on weekends with NHRA regulars!
The record of 8.801 seconds was set on October 21, 2000 at 137.65 mph set at Sacramento Raceway in Sacramento California. The record stands today and will most likely be broken by Dennis himself in his next generation dragster. As he plows through times under 10 seconds, his fellow gasser racers acknowledge his achievements with respect, admiration, and many questions. After all, if speed is the goal in the quarter mile, it doesn't matter what or how the energy is transmitted to the wheels, the indiscriminate clock at the end of the track is the true measure of success.
Dennis is and has been the trail blazer of record setting in the world of electric drag racing and doesn't plan to quit. As a matter of fact, Current Eliminator V is available to any buyer with the right amount of money. When it sells, Dennis plans to build a full size dragster and bury the Electric dragster time so low that it will be another decade before another EV racer even comes close. To view his website go to: http://www.currenteliminator.net/home/
The amazing fact is the extent of Dennis' domination in electric drag racing, and it is verified by the lack of competitors vying for his record in the NHRA series.
The simplicity of his set up is mind blowing when you compare it to his ICE competitors. The drive train consists of a solid axle which is directly coupled to the electric motor-no transmission. Speed is regulated via an off-the-shelf motor controller that the driver interfaces with a typical accelerator pedal. Energy is not stored in liquid fuel, but from a set of lead acid batteries strategically located in the frame. The frame, body, suspension, and tires are all typical components used in gas racers.Typical maintenance on race night consists of plugging in the battery pack to a generator for a few minutes between runs to top it off, that's it! No adjusting of fuel mixture or any other ICE components, the reason is that his power source is a simple electric motor, the typical ICE power plant has hundreds of moving parts where if any one of them fails or de-tunes it must be adjusted or fixed between runs. The wear and tear from each run on an EV is minimal, and as a result, maintenance costs on an electric racer are low. The typical ICE racer can suck down gallons of fuel each run, at todays prices racing fuel is $7.00/gallon, while Dennis uses around 27 cents of diesel to charge between runs. Now that's cheap!
Like every other racer Dennis has his own set of "tricks" or advanced technology mods that help him get to the finish line before his competitor. Dennis' include brush advance, controller cooling, field weakening, battery temperature, tire pressure and I am sure - some others that I don't know about.
Racing at the strip is not only doing the quarter mile as fast as your vehicle can run the distance. Another method to race the person in the other lane is called Bracket Racing. Bracket Racing has become the most competitive form of drag racing and has the largest number of competitors. The purses available have created a group of professional bracket racers that travel the circuit. There are seven divisions in the NHRA in the US and Canada.
Dennis presently has his dragster set up for Bracket Racing or Elapse Time (ET) Racing, and participates almost every weekend. The racing runs as follows:
Each car is given several practice runs which are considered Time Trials. This allows the driver to see the time your car will run the quarter mile. Next the Elimination Run is when two drivers compete in a elimination style tournament. Each driver selects a time they predict their car will run, this is your Dial In. When the two cars race they subtract the dial ins and the faster car is delayed by that amount. If both drivers run at their predicted time, they'll cross the finish line at the same moment. This rarely happens. This form of racing puts a great deal of emphasis on driver skills, especially reaction times.
Dennis has had many wins and some losses measured in 0.001 second increments. At the time of this writing, he is first in points for the western division of the Super Pro series of the NHRA.
“Current Eliminator V” 2006 Results in Division 7 of NHRA Bracket Racing
For much of the 2006 season Dennis was the NHRA points leader of the "Super Pro" class at Speedworld .
Dennis continued to blaze the trail and show his sagacity in the world of electric drag racing by finishing in second place at the final Division 7 event held at Speedworld in Surprise Az in 2006. This was a first in the world of NHRA bracket racing - to have the only electric dragster competing against all types of gas fueld drag racers and finish in second place for a season at the track!All of us at the Phoenix chapter of The EAA congratulate Dennis for placing so well as a bracket racer in the NHRA, we respect and admire his achievements in designing, building and piloting the quickest � mile EV dragster on the planet!!!
Personally, I have known Dennis for many years and can say he is a fine unassuming competitor that achieves his goals with an honest and focused drive to win. It is a true honor to witness his great achievements in electric auto racing - watching him run is reminiscent of my youth watching Wild World of Sports on TV during the early days when the first “Rails” were breaking all the records on the drag strip. We all knew it was history in the making at the time - so when I watch Dennis run, it is like Deja vu all over again.
Dennis - Please keep racing your hot EV, without you, the NHRA would be out in the cold with just ICE vehicles in the winners circle!
Just Another Sunny Day at the Track
Not Quite!! Well, not for me anyway! Last Sunday January 14, 2007 At Speedworld Raceway Park in Surprise Arizona was a sunny day like most others in Arizona, but for me it was the day I joined the 100 mph club in an Electric Vehicle!!
It's for real!
Talk about a trip - it was a thrill many EVers imagine but few have experienced. I was lucky enough to have Dennis Berube invite me to drive the Current Eliminator-V, the quickest quarter mile dragster on the planet! Last December Dennis asked me if I would like to drive the CE-V on the strip, at first I thought it was a cruel joke but he quickly insisted he was serious - well it didn't take me long to say: SURE! - I'd love to drive it!!
The date was set
After working through the holiday and typical family responsibilities, the date was set. It was a rare day in southern Arizona, the air temp the night before was below freezing so I came equipped in long johns since the air temp was still in the 30s. It was a test and tune day and I met Dennis at the track at 9:00am. After a little chat he immediately began to recite the function of the switches and the sequence of pedal and button pushes to energize the CE-V for burnouts and ultimately the LAUNCH. Soon it was time for me to suit up, my fire suit was a little tight on me (some-how it had shrunk the last couple years) but luckily Dennis had one I could use, I threw it on and started to get acquainted with the roll cage, belts and like any race car, the idiosyncrasies of moving, belting and putting your helmet on in a tight space. I knew dragsters typically have a tighter cockpit than the circle track cars I have driven, now I can say first hand – it is true. I am not claustrophobic but the first couple minutes belted up gave me an idea of what it may feel like. I quickly got acclimated and was ready to run.
Since it was cold, Dennis had pre heated the pack to around 85 F and we figured we would watch how much the pack would warm up after each run. We waited a few hours for the track to be ready for the days racing and the suspense for me was getting high at around noon. By then, I had taken the CE-V for a couple leisure drives and was reciting back to Dennis the button/pedal pushes for the burnout and run. I was worried about getting everything right and not messing up the burnout. Well - it came quick and before I knew it I was turning the corner into the left lane and setting up for the burnout! What a trip to let go of a couple hundred + horsepower and smoke the tires... it seemed to come natural and just what your mind needs prior to ripping down the strip.
Ok, Pre-stage.... Stage......GO! The thrill of racing down the track and constantly accelerating with no let up all the way to the finish is a feeling of pure excitement I wont soon forget! I have driven over 100mph on the road but getting to 120 in less than 12 sec(legally) is fun beyond description. The CE-V ran straight as an arrow and its set up made the overall effort seem easy.
Ok ...Beginners luck
I was lucky to get in 5 runs, but my first run was amazing in more ways than one. Besides being my initiation into the 100 mph club - my reaction time was .005 seconds! I didn't believe it at first and Dennis let out a yelp when he saw it. Even with a cold pack the time was 12.129 at 115 mph. I totally blew my reaction time on the second run but my last three were: .169, .035 and .026. The ETs and speeds were as follows: 11.995/117.574, 11.971/119.000, 11.898/120.484 and the last 11.920/113.063. Just a note - these times were done with a Lead Acid pack that was on the cool side. We had the tire pressure a little high on the last run, I corrected for some drift and decided about 100ft of finish to let up, better safe - especially since it ain't my car!
The turns went quick even with Dennis adjusting air pressure and the quick charge the times on the 5 tickets were: 12:41AM, 12:58, 13:13, 13:27 and 13:44. The average 15 min turn consisted of about: 4 minutes rolling from the finish and picking up ticket, 9 min in pit (6 of which are charge), 2 min rolling to the start. This is fast for me since I am use to road/track races where it may be from 20 min to hours between events.
Well one obvious question is would you do it again? The answer is not yes but - Hell Yes!!! Like other racing, if your mind is right you are so focused you don't have time and don't want to risk over reaction during the event, but when its over, you have the freedom physically and mentally to react to how much fun it was. If you love racing like I do, anytime you drive against a clock or competitor the juices flow and you wonder why you aren't racing more often.
Overall, it was something I did not expect and made an average sunny day an exceptional one for me. I want to thank Dennis for the trust and giving me the honor of driving the CE-V. I can definitely say the car is dialed in and has been for some time, his second place performance last year in the Division 7 “Race of Champions” proved it.
See you at the tack,Mario
Oh yea, here is a Ticket:
One Cool Day At The Drag Strip
December 17, 2007
Dennis "Kilowatt" Berube
It is very exciting when a new chapter in electric vehicle racing unfolds in front of you. Dennis Berube has been racing his dragster The Current Eliminator-V for a long time, and all of his records up to date have been made using Lead Acid batteries. This fact alone � having the quickest electric dragster at 8.801 seconds in the quarter mile has never been beat by an electric powered car � well not until recently.....
Altairnano- Lithium Titanate
The story begins with a battery company that is blazing a trail implementing new nano technology into the Lithium battery world. The company is Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. and the technology is Lithium Titanate, if you haven't heard of the company or battery you will soon - because it will revolutionize the application and implementation of Lithium batteries. From the view of an EV racer, wasted energy is any energy that is not used to propel the car and your butt down the track. In addition, extra weight is something akin to dragging a boat anchor behind the car! These are two of the main concerns of any racer especially electric vehicle drivers. In my opinion, Altairnano's Lithium Titanate battery is a natural for racing. And here are my reasons:
1) The full charge time for a dead cell is around 7 minutes, this is extremely fast considering you can charge an entire pack at the same rate if you have enough battery charger capacity.
2)When charging the pack the temperature rise is around 4 degrees � Fahrenheit!
3)When discharging the pack the temp rise is around the same about 5 degrees
4)The bottom line is no cooling system or hardware is needed to cool the Lithium Titanate pack because the internal resistance or impedance is very low. This means less energy is converted to heat and is available to propel you and your car down the track! Also, you avoid dragging the additional weight of a battery cooling system in the race vehicle!!! This is not the case with Lithium Ion technology!
New TeamSo now we have a new generation Lithium battery and a seasoned race car driver/builder both in need of the other and the big story is that Dennis Berube with the Current Eliminator-V (CE-V) has teamed up with Altairnano to take the Electric dragster records to an all new level. When the CE-V set all previous records including the 8.801sec quarter mile, they were done with lead acid batteries. The pack used in the 8.801 run weighed over 600 pounds the new Lithium Titanate pack weighs around 200 pounds and delivers more horsepower than the leads!
A New LithiumTitaniate Pack
Altairnano was very serious about designing, building and delivering a battery pack worthy of high energy competition in the racing world. They did just that - Dennis, his race team and a group of Engineers from Altairnano assembled and prepared a power pack just in time for a record breaking run on December 15, 2007. The pack is around 390 volts and can deliver all the current the CE-V 11 inch motor will need.
A really cool day
Although cold days are rare in Arizona, Saturday morning December 15, 2007 was a cool 40+F degrees. Because of the low temperature, the track officials delayed start until the bright sun heated up the track to around 50+ degrees. The battery pack was around 78deg F for the first run when Dennis ran a 10.04 ET @ 128.71mph, not bad for a cold first run. After the charge the pack Temp was around 82 deg F, still on the cool side. The second run at around 600 amps resulted in an ET of 9.957 and a speed of 128mph.
On the third run, after cranking up the current and voltage and some last minute touch up on the track just before his launch, the CE-V left the line a bit sideways resulting in an unexpected left turn. The CE-V was 180 out - facing the starting line. Dennis did a great job keeping it between the walls with no damage to the car.
The fourth run was 8.84 ET @ 144mph. Now it was time to get serious because we were approaching his record time of 8.801 ET. Crank the Zilla (controller) a bit more and on the fifth run the CE-V just does a burnout at launch � no stick, well since the track temp is staying way under 80 degrees it is time to do some mega burnouts before launch.
On the sixth run after a long 70+ft burnout, the CE-V breaks its old record with an 8.40ET @ 148mph. This was a happy time since it had been a few years since the CE-V had broken a dragster ET record. On run Seven and a little more juice, it pulls an 8.23 ET @ 150mph, very Impressive!!! Now after a fill up, what do you think the battery temp is after 6 quick charges? Your probably guessing a little high, it was a COOL 105 deg F! just a little warmer than the 11 inch motor that was sitting at a COOL 85 deg F!
Now it is later in the afternoon and temperatures are starting to drop, maybe we should call it a day, but wait someone calls for one more run and Dennis says �lets go for it!�
Run Eight � everything is cooling down, even the battery temp. The motor has been cool as a cucumber all day so no problem there. So crank up the Zilla one more time and Dennis decides to follow a supercharged alcohol dragster that conveniently heats up the track and has a final run of 8.10 ET @ 153mph WOW!
It was a really COOL day, not only was the air, track, motor, Zilla and battery temps low, it was a cool day to be at the track watching a record being broken in 3 steps!!
Well one thing we learned was that 7s are around the corner. If it was a typical 110F summer day in Arizona all the times would have been at least .100 seconds lower and we would have had at least one run in the sevens. Dennis plans to go to some larger tires and get some more WORK out of the motor since after all - there is a lot of battery left to go! Remember we are talking about a battery pack of around 200 pounds cranking an 11 inch motor that is accelerating a 1000 pound car to over 150mph and still has energy to spare!!! The batteries were so cool we may have to heat those puppies up - maybe with some of the heat from the Zilla?
One thing for sure, it verified to me that these are the batteries a professional EV racer would want in his/her car!
Check out: http://www.altairnano.com/documents/NanoSafeBackgrounder060920.pdf
Here is the official press release from Altairnano on the days events: http://www.b2i.us/profiles/investor/ResLibraryView.asp?BzID=546&ResLibraryID=22794&Category=987
Update - Sevens are Here!!
Dennis has been racing electric dragsters since 1991 and has continuously held the record for the quickest (elapsed time) Electric Dragster in the quarter mile. Continuing the tradition he now holds the present record of 7.956 seconds was set on December 30, 2007 at 159.85 mph set at Southwestern International Raceway, Tucson, AZ. Dennis has been a trail blazer in Electric vehicle racing for over 20 years. He continues to race the CE-V and a converted S-10 Pick up at local drag strips.
Here is history being made!! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsoF1XAaHsY
A BIG THANK YOU to all our sponsors:
Altair Nanotechnologies Inc.
Miller Electric MFG. Co.
Some Facts about Dennis:
Did you know Dennis is one of - if not THE best EV Motor Builder in the world. His single motor designs presently hold both the Electric dragster (Current Eliminator V) and Electric Motorcycle (OCC/Lawless Electric Drag Bike) quarter mile ETs
If you need a motor contact Dennis at: http://www.currenteliminator.net/
Here are a few active links that are EV related:
Meet Others with similar interest in EVs
For more details go the the following URLs:
If you are motivated to build or simply drive an electric vehicle on a regular basis, get acquainted with other EVr's in your area. You can join one of the chat rooms on line in addition to joining the Electric Auto Association (EAA) http://www.eaaev.org/ The club is a good way to meet others in your area with the same interests and goals.
One more link: http://firstname.lastname@example.org/
Thanks to the many sponsors that continue to assist racers and builders of electric vehicles, in our effort to promote the ALL-ELECTRIC vehicle. Active participants included high school shop classes, college and university project groups and of course the independent EV car builders and racers.
The original VOLTBUGGYtm race car from the Electric 500 races held near Phoenix Arizona in the 1990s is For Sale!!!!!
The car is the original tube frame with VW tranny and suspension. Includes the original 9 inch GE motor and plenum set up. Does not include the batteries or dated GE controller but I do have a Zilla 2KW controller if interested.
The car was featured in the Arizona episode of the COOL: Fuel Roadtrip movie.
Serious inquires contact Mario at: