Electric Ambitions

Congrats and hurrah for these doughty English schoolboys; they designed, built and drove an electric car, the SRZero, from Alaska to Argentina. It took 5 months and cost £3 ($4.75), aside from the expense of developing the car, of course.

The 6 brainy guys from the Imperial College in London travelled 24,000 km. through 14 countries to show that electric cars can be practical in day-to-day living and to inspire maths and science students to see where studying engineering can take you…

The team’s goal is “to encourage the younger generation to take up science and technology subjects, and we still want to make people aware of the benefits of electric cars.”

Their route began in Northern Alaska, on the Pan-American highway, and ended up in Tierra del Fuego on the southern tip of South America. They crossed the Andes and the Atacama desert, all in plein air–the car has no roof. Twice they had to take boats. And it seems that they are still speaking to each other.

The car went 600km (372miles) on a single charge costing just £3. For the rest of the time “the SRZero was literally being charged from energy taken straight out of the earth with absolutely zero CO2 emissions ” said project leader Alex Schey in his blogof the journey.

The car, donated by manufacturer Radical, took nine months to design and modify. It weighs 1,433lbs and has a 363 V8 in the back. There is a pair of Axial Flux electric motors, producing a combined peak of 386hp. With the batteries, the car’s weight is doubled to 2,600 lbs. The two engines were powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries, which allowed the car to reach 60mph in seven seconds and give it a top speed of 124mph. The batteries take 6 hours to charge. The car’s top speed is 200 km/hr (124 mph). Its range is 400+ km. (248mph) which is what the Tesla can do.

It’s not over yet; the boys are going to be on t.v. The BBC wants to do a documentary on the trip in the new year.

Photo: racinggreenendurance Bariloche Argentina

Imperial College

via Treehugger