On Tuesday, professional driver Roger Schroer guided the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 2.5 to an average two-way speed of 307.7 mph (495km/h).
The Buckeye Bullet 2.5 car eclipsed the previous 245 mph world land speed record for battery electric vehicles, which was set in 1999 by White Lightning, driven by Pat Rummerfield. The new record set by the Buckeye Bullet 2.5 is pending certification by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, the worldwide motor sports governing body.
The Bullet was required to make two speed runs, one each in opposite directions and within 60 minutes, in order to be considered for the record. While the record is officially determined by averaging the speed of the two runs in the middle of the 12-mile course, the Bullet exited the flying mile at 320 mph.
The team anticipated making further tries at besting its time this week but today decided to stop after spending all night trying to replace the vehicle’s broken clutch; too much torque from the motor ripped apart the half-inch steel teeth that connect the motor to the gearbox.
The Buckeye Bullet 2.5 uses the same body and chassis of the hydrogen fuel cell powered Buckeye Bullet 2, and nearly the same electric traction system, but it is powered by a 600+ kW A123 Systems lithium-ion battery pack that was designed, tested and assembled by the Bullet team and A123 Systems. The team is supported by French electric vehicle manufacturer Venturi Automobiles, which lends its 10-year expertise in electric vehicles and significant sponsorship funding to the students.
The Buckeye Bullet 2, powered by hydrogen fuel cells, in 2009 set an FIA-certified world record of 302.877 mph for the fuel cell class. While the original battery-powered Buckeye Bullet set a national record at 314.9 mph in 2004, this record did not meet FIA specifications. That team did, however, set a certified record of 132.129 mph in 2007.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]