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Students set world electric vehicle acceleration record


October 3, 2013

The Delft team celebrates a successful record run

The Delft team celebrates a successful record run

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Most students are happy to graduate college with a degree and a few work contacts, but students from The Netherlands' Delft University of Technology have a good shot at graduating with a world record. Just days after a group of Delft students grabbed the human powered speed record, another group set a world acceleration record for electric vehicles.

The team didn't just beat the standing record for 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in an electric car, but beat its own expectations handily. On September 20, the students hit the mark in 2.15 seconds, besting the previous time of 2.68 seconds by just over half a second. They used their self-built DUT12 race car to complete the feat.

"We thought that under these conditions we’d be happy with 2.30, but we really didn’t expect 2.15," says DUT Racing team manager Tim de Moree.

Expected or not, that 2.15-second time is quite impressive. Not only is it the fastest for an electric car, but it's faster than many a notable gas vehicle, including the Bugatti Veyron, which has long advertised a 2.5-second 0-62 mph time, and the 500-hp Ariel Atom V8, which lists in at 2.3 seconds.

DUT Racing built the DUT12 to compete in last year's Formula Student competition. The group's second electric car, the update from the DUT11 introduced a four-wheel drive system comprising four individual motors. The students were able to harness the full power of the motors for the record attempt, unlike in Formula Student racing where they had to cap it at 114 hp. By freeing up the full 135 hp output, the team moved closer to one horse per kilogram and shot out of the gate with emphasis.

The ultra-lightweight, single-seat DUT12 weighs a mere 320 lb (145 kg) thanks to its snug CFRP monocoque. The lithium-polymer batteries are mounted on both sides of the driver, a change from the rear-mounted battery of the DUT11 that increases the racer's handling ability. To help keep the overall weight as low as possible, the Delft team swapped drivers for the record attempt, putting the helmet on 24-year-old Marly Kuijpers, the crew's most petite member.

When speaking of the feeling of breaking the record, Kuijpers said simply, "It feels like a roller coaster, that part when you just drop over the edge."

Source: TU Delft via Wired

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

Not the fastest electric car at all and by a log way! This does the 0-60 in 1.6 secs!



Fantastic! But the range is only about 500 yards ...

The Skud

Sorry but they are way late as EVer's have been doing this for decades.

White Zombie, Current Eliminator, Maniac Mazda did back in the 90's. Google EV Racing of more. And White Zombie was a street legal daily driver.


They might not be the actual fastest, but all the others forgot to have an official standing by and/or have proper measuring equipment (drag strip is not proper...).

Tristan Timmermans

This is great – thanks for sharing, C.C. Weiss! Congrats to these students for setting a world record with their electric car of the future, and kudos to them for opting to use CFRP which undoubtedly contributed to the low vehicle weight and record-setting acceleration. Though we may not see the DUT12 on the road tomorrow, it goes a long way in highlighting how lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastic can provide electric cars with the performance many drivers crave.

Rob Krebs, Market Innovations, American Chemistry Council

Rob Krebs
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