In 1.461 seconds from 0 to 100: This is the new best time for the fastest accelerating electric vehicle and a new world record. Last month, the record was broken by 20 students from the University of Stuttgart with their self-built electric racing car, on a racetrack at the Bosch site in Renningen in the district of Böblingen in Baden-Württemberg.
The relief was great, after the students were forced to cancel the first attempt, which was planned for early September 2022, due to technical problems: Guinness World Records confirmed the new world record for the fastest accelerating electric vehicle on the October 6, 2022.
Professor Wolfram Ressel, Rector of the University of Stuttgart, congratulates the students on their success: “The University of Stuttgart is proud that the GreenTeam has succeeded in setting a new record for the acceleration of e-vehicles. I’m really excited about what our students have accomplished. Studying at university not only means acquiring theoretical knowledge, but also being able to apply it in practice. The GreenTeam’s commitment is an excellent example of how knowledge transfer can succeed.”
“We are delighted that we broke the world record and brought it back to Germany!”, says Pavel Povolni, first chairman of the Förderverein GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart e.V. The window for breaking the record this year was getting smaller and smaller because of the weather. On September 23th the temperatures were already almost too cool for the racing car. “We made the best of the situation, despite the weather. We can be proud of that,” says Marius Goletz, who is responsible for adjustment control. The driver of the e-racing car, Diogo Silva, sums up, “It was exhausting, but a unique experience and it was definitely worth the hard work.”
A year of preparation
The 20 members of the GreenTeam university group and the associated support association have been preparing for the world record for almost a year. The young team members study a range of different subjects at the University of Stuttgart and designed and built the e-vehicle in their own workshop on Campus Vaihingen.
The carbon racing car weighs just under 145 kilograms and puts a maximum output of 180 kilowatts on the road thanks to the four-wheel drive with motors developed at the university, and a newly designed high-voltage battery pack. Due to the low vehicle weight, this corresponds to 1750 hp per ton. The vehicle can thus achieve a peak acceleration of 2.5g, which is roughly equivalent to the force experienced by astronauts when a rocket re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
Accident and technical problems: setbacks for the team
The students themselves have experienced that such forces and the path to breaking a world record are full of challenges and dangers. “We suffered a bitter setback at the end of July,” explained Povolni. During a test run for the world record, the vehicle broke away at high speed and crashed into a stack of tires that served as a track barrier. “Fortunately, the driver was unharmed, but the vehicle suffered enormous damage.” Everything was repaired and then came the next shock: We suffered technical problems the evening before making a new attempt at the world record. Therefore, the trial had to be postponed again at short notice by three weeks to September 23, 2022.
The international hunt for the world record
In 2012, the GreenTeam broke the record, with an acceleration from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 2.681 seconds, thus bringing the record to Stuttgart for the first time. After this record was broken by teams from the Netherlands and Switzerland, the Stuttgart team managed to break the record again in 2015, setting a new best time of 1.779 seconds. In 2016, the Swiss team beat this with a time of 1.513 seconds. This has remained the record to beat ever since. The new best time is 1,461 seconds, thus bringing the record back to Stuttgart.