The Bullet Buckeye team from Ohio State University has set a world record average two-way speed of 307.7mph (495km/h) with its battery electric Venturi Buckeye Bullet 2.5. The lithium ion battery powered car eclipsed the previous 245mph (394km/h) world land speed record for battery electric vehicles set in 1999 by White Lightning. The new record was set by the Bullet at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah this week, is pending certification by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), 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 (515km/h).
The team led by Ohio State engineering students had anticipated making further tries at besting its time this week but 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 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, the company behind the Fetish and Volage electric sportscars.
The Buckeye Bullet 2, powered by hydrogen fuel cells, set an FIA-certified world record of 302.877mph (487.4km/h) for the fuel cell class in 2009. While the original battery-powered Buckeye Bullet set a national record at 314.9mph (506.7km/h) in 2004, however this record did not meet FIA specifications. That team did, however, set a certified record of 132.129mph (212.6km/h) in 2007.
The Buckeye Bullet 2.5 will provide a test platform for systems including an all new inverter, control system and batteries to be used in the Buckeye Bullet 3.