Monaco-based automaker Venturi Automobiles along with its partner, the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research, set out a new one mile electric vehicle speed record with its Venturi VBB-3 at the Bonneville Salt Flat.
Despite very difficult track conditions, the 3000hp Venturi VBB-3 electric car established a new FIA land speed record at a one-mile average speed of 240.320 mph (386.757 km/h).
The Venturi team was targeting their previous electric FIA World Land Speed Record set in 2010 with the Ohio State University Center For Automotive Research with the Venturi VBB-2.5 (a previous 700hp electric vehicle) at 307mph (495km/h), but the team still came away with a new category record. The team is awaiting FIA homologation to establish the new record in its category.
The Bonneville Salt Flats saw a very wet July causing the organizers of SpeedWeek to cancel their famous event which should have taken place August 8th through 14th. The Venturi team was hopeful that the salt would dry for their mid-to-late August FIA world land speed record attempt, but a heavy storm on August 7th delayed their plans.
It wasn’t until August 15th that the Venturi team was able to set up their headquarters on the Salt Flats in order to make a record attempt, shortening their schedule dramatically. The SpeedWeek event would have served as a preparation and practice before the FIA world speed record attempt. However, like last year, the team instead spent that time waiting for the track to dry and then for the “Land Speed Events” trucks to work around the clock in order to groom the track to remove any bumps and to attempt to have a very steady and flat surface.
Venturi VBB-3 driver Roger Schroer spent many days learning the track mile-by-mile to be prepared for speed testing which finally began on August 19th. Despite the waiting period and delayed schedule, the track conditions were not ideal. A typical track for a world speed record attempt would be 12 miles long. However, due to the previous flooding of the salt, the team had only a 10 mile track to work with and throughout those 10 miles some segments were still partially wet and bumpy with clumps of mud and wet salt. These conditions inevitable led to problems with the vehicle, causing excessive shaking of the VBB-3 and it’s components and ultimately disrupted the electrical system. After careful consideration for the driver’s safety, the Venturi team and their experienced driver decided to make an attempt at the record on August 21st. It was their first and last attempt because on the rebound run, the front cooling system tank was pierced.
With up to 3,000HP (2200kW) and 2800Nm generated by its twin electric motors, the Venturi VBB-3 is the most powerful electric car in the world.
Energy is generated by 2000 lithium iron phosphate battery cells, with power channeled to all four wheels. The Venturi VBB-3 weighs 3.2 tons, while its drag co-efficient is a super-slippery 0.13.
With the VBB-3, Venturi plans to go up to 700 km/h (434.96 mph).