Thursday, April 12, 2012

Electric Car Endurance Trip

A 400hp electric sports car is being driven the 16000 mile length of the Pan American Highway. A team from Imperial College London have designed and built a sports racing car based on the SR8 made by Radical but with the 2.6 V8 engine replaced by two rear AC synchronous axial flux motors. Energy is provided by lithium-iron phosphate cells with 56kWh capacity.

Cynergy3 10kV relays are used in the "pre-charge" circuit, which charges up the capacitors in the Motor Controllers before the main contactors are closed in order to avoid arcing and current surges, when the contactors do close.

The relays are performing well above their specification with each relay initially switching 350W peak, which then reduces to 50W.
The Racing Green Endurance team claims that the car has an average running cost of one penny per mile and a range of over 300 miles. They want to get as many people involved along the way as they can, as it is just as much about showcasing the technology as it is about completing the route. A lot of components of the vehicle come from the UK and it is a showcase of what British engineering can do.

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