Well there’s one subject I keep regularly returning to over the months, and that’s electric transport. It’s clear that, in a world where The Gadget Show has enough to report on for an hour each week (imagine trying to do that only 15 or so years ago), technology is moving at a pretty blistering pace, and electric cars are right up there with HD televisions and your latest smart phone.
Last week yet another record was achieved in an electric car as Drayson Racing Technologies broke the World Land Speed Record. While the rest of us were wondering about our credibility with our mates if we’re spotted (not heard of course) in an electric car on our way to do the weekly shopping, the Lola Drayson B12 69/EV managed to drag it’s lightweight frame up to a speed of 204.2mph at RAF Elvington in Yorkshire at the hands of Lord Drayson, the company’s Chief Executive.
Drayson say that they want to showcase “..some of the best technology in the electric car industry”. Exciting times for the next generation of electric vehicles then surely, as anything Drayson do others will be sure to follow.
The Lola Drayson B12 69/EV can accelerate from standing to 100mph in just 5.1 seconds, or more conventionally, 0-60mph in 3 seconds. That’s pretty powerful stuff.
Now, if you’re anything like me you’re probably thinking at this point that the battery life is probably only about 6 seconds with the amount of effort and energy that the 850 horse power Lola needs to achieve such impressive statistics. But that’s missing the point. This was an exercise in proving that electric cars can be exciting and powerful. Exercise achieved then.
While we’re teetering around the subject of the battery, Drayson have employed BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre to deliver on that front. And while it works like any other battery, advanced it definitely is – it’s part of the rear wing of the Lola.
Amazingly, BAE can mould this type of battery into any shape, and with that ability the prospects for space and weight saving here are immense. Stewart Penney, Technology Commercialisation Manager at BAE says that in theory the whole of the car could be made into – or out of – the battery. Now that’ll make your hair stand on end. More curiously, he goes onto say that, with this type of battery technology, there is no reason why the battery could not be combined with solar panels and be part of the roof of the car.
The Lola racing car doesn’t actually change gears, it uses a single reduction gear that links the drive to the driveshafts from the four axial flux Oxford YASA electric motors to power the rear wheels. Cosworth provide the electronic control systems.
I think that the days of joking about electric cars and being slowly overtaken on the way home by a tortoise-slow milk float after a particularly late night out are way behind us now. In fact you only have to take a look at the Lola Drayson B12 69/EV to realise that this is not a car to be mocked, but one to be admired.
The future of electric cars looks bright – and green as opposed to any other colour. while other green projects go down the same side road as Betamax video recorders never to be seen again, battery power seems like it’s here to stay. Well, until the next big thing pops up on The Gadget Show.
Images from gizmag.com