A vehicle powered by 52 lead-acid car batteries and using components from factory machinery will attempt to break the world land speed record for electric vehicles on Wednesday.

The picture makes this car look like an electric pencil.

The “ABB e=motion” car will have to surpass the existing record of 396 km/h (245 mph), and the British Primetime team behind the car believes that 480 km/h (300 mph) could be achieved on further runs.

The needle-shaped car is 10 metres long, but just 60 centimetres high and 75 cm wide. Thanks to the batteries, it weighs 1.6 tonnes but can produce 650 horsepower – about half a megawatt. The car is propelled by a drive inverter and two spindle motors like ones used in industrial tools worldwide.

The first bid will take place shortly after dawn, at 0500, on the Chott-el-Jerid salt flats in Tunisia. After designer Colin Fallows has helped driver Mark Newby into the cockpit, the car will steadily accelerate for nine kilometres before entering the marked mile through which its speed will be measured.

More here.