personnel are all experienced ICE (internal combustion engine) racers.
Our original belief was that electric racing is ICE racing with
a different drive source. The drive train was modified to electric
power but otherwise our first vehicle, the Electric Imp, was a well
executed ICE race car. We then went out and proved that a battery
powered car could compete with, and defeat gas powered race cars
under the right conditions.
also discovered that EV racing is as close to ICE racing as ICE
racing is to horse drawn carriage racing. In both cases, the core
technical change is the drive source. In both cases, the early designers
built based on principles that had been, but were no longer, the
most important priorities. We, at ProEV, have built an impressive
electric powered 'gas' race car, a modern version of the 'horseless
car design is always a matter of finding the right balance between
competing demands. For example, a more powerful motor requires beefier
components which make the car heavier. Balance the gain of the extra
power against the penalty of the extra weight. Or more aerodynamic
downforce makes the car faster in the corners and slower on the
straight. These compromises are well understood. ICE race cars have
evolved based on these truths.
racing's different physical requirements change the accepted balances
of these compromises. An EV race car designer needs to go back and
question some basic ICE truths.
article about why and how EV racing is different from ICE racing
refine our understanding and build better EV race vehicles, we need
to compete in a series that is both inexpensive and has the most
technological open rules. We want low cost and freedom to try anything.
is that series. The rules can be summed up as going as fast
as possible, carrying a 180 lb (ballast allowed) driver in a vehicle
that will not tip over when not moving, powered by no more than
73 lbs of lead acid batteries. There are some basic safety rules:
mirrors; seat belts; safe chassis.
vehicles can be built or bought used for under $1,000. Race costs
can be easily under $100 including entry fees and tires.
races are generally 1 hour long. This limits speed as it is difficult
to go too fast and still finish the race. That being said, the record
average speed for an hour is over 62 MPH.
EV's can be fun to drive. Tire grip is limited and motor torque
can be powerful. It is a combination that requires fast hands and
precise throttle control.
basic truth in electric vehicle racing is that power storage adds
weight. By fixing the amount of weight allowed for power storage,
racers are forced to concentrate on getting the best use of the
what works for electrathon racing will give us an understanding
of where to start the designs for more powerful EV race cars. ProEV's
next EV race car will look more like the future than the past.