- Lord Paul Drayson, who was the British science minister from 2008 to 2010 and now runs his own motor racing team, reached a speed of 204.185 miles per hour behind the wheel of his prototype electric vehicle and set the FIA World Electric Land Speed Record
- The new electric vehicle speed record was set at the RAF’s Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, and beat the previous fastest speed set by an electric car by almost 29 mph.
- A Le Mans Prototype called “Lola,” powered by an 850-horsepower battery-electric motor, beat an electric racer that General Electric set the record with in 1974 that made it to 175 mph.
- There may be a dispute over it – in 2010, the Buckeye Bullet, and EV built by students at Ohio State University, reached 307.7 mph during two runs at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in August 2010. That achievement was not officially sanctioned by the FIA, which means Lord Drayson and his team are the official fastest EV race car ever.
- The Drayson Racing design team used ultra-light carbon fiber for its chassis and body to compensate for the weight of a 30 kilowatt-hour battery pack. It also relied on custom-designed Michelin LM P1 tires.
- People might think of EVs as quietly sleeking cars that don’t have the power of muscle cars – but an electric motor yields maximum torque the moment it starts spinning. Have you ever stepped on the “gas pedal” of a Tesla Model S – that is real torque!
- The Lola can go from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds and keeps gaining speed until it goes past 200 mph. Drayson said he’ll beat his own record – he tweeted fans that on another spin the in the racer, the car was “very lively at 216 mph.”
- It’s not over for Lord Drayson. The Formula E series is set to launch in 2015 and Drayson is planning on participating.
- For fans of electric cars, one of the best parts of this record breaker is the increased attention and focus it brings to electric racing and battery propulsion.