Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands sure seems to have a love for developing cutting edge green vehicles. We’ve already talked about its solar car entry in the World Solar Challenge, as well as a hydrogen fuel cell racer built by students. Now word comes the technical university has set a world acceleration record for electric cars.
The DUT Racing team from TU Delft last month broke a previous 0 to 100 km/h (62 MPH) acceleration record of 2.68 seconds, nudging the mark down to 2.15 seconds. It did this in a self built, electric racing car from 2012 known as the DUT12. This compact vehicle with full four wheel drive weighs only 145 kg (319.6 pounds), and was driven by the lightest member of the racing team, Marly Kuijpers. That Kuijpers is female and only 24 makes the record that much more impressive given that racing is typically dominated by older males.
“It feels like a roller coaster,” said Kuijpers in a statement about the feeling during the drive, “that part when you just drop over the edge.”
According to those on the team, this was not a fluke – every effort was made to break the acceleration record. “We made the car a little lighter where possible,” said Gihin Mok, one of the students responsible for the car, “but the major difference lies in the electric motors. In the Formula Student competition, they were only allowed to produce 114 horsepower. The motors we used now are actually much more powerful, which means we had to limit them during the race. Now we used the maximum power. That totals 135 horsepower, about 33 horsepower per motor and almost one horsepower for each kilogram of weight.”
Records such as this are meant to be broken, as we all know. It seems universities are the ones doing this of late, as we saw recently when an electric airplane from the University of Stuttgart in Germany flew 244.1 miles before needing to recharge its battery. This is said to be the longest cross country flight recorded to date in such a craft.