Students Break the Electric Car Land Speed Record in a Salty Blur

By Brent Rose on at

And they say electric cars don't go fast. A group of BYU engineering students have built an electric streamliner that peaked at speeds of 175 mph. With that quiet electric motor I'll bet the "whoosh" it makes is gorgeous.

It took seven years and the work of more than 130 students to make it happen. The car, called Electric Blue, barreled down the Bonneville Salt Flats for two runs, averaging 155.8 mph and peaking at 175 (they got it up to 180 last year but rolled the car in the process, so it didn't count). Students custom built the body out of carbon fiber after intensive modeling in a virtual wind tunnel. Fueled by a trunk full of lithium iron phosphate batteries, this sucker officially broke the world land speed record for electric cars under 1,100 pounds.

Batteries that are powerful enough to accomplish such a feat are extremely heavy, and before this no one had been able to get enough juice in while keeping it under weight. While, obviously, this type of car is in no way street-legal, it's another important step in showing what battery-powered cars are capable of.

Big congrats to everyone involved in the project, now can you please make something I can take down the Pacific Coast Highway? Preferably with a sunroof? Thanks. [PhysOrg]