VIDEO | The RMIT Electric Racing Car

RMIT Electric Race Car | Written by Ash Davies – It’s quite an appropriate time to be airing a segment like this. Just this weekend Audi won Le Mans with their R18 E-Tron, the first hybrid LMP1 car ever to compete. We’re now starting to properly see the performance gains that come from coupling an electric motor with a petrol or diesel or engine.

RMIT’s R11E was a fascinating car to work with. The 30 guys at RMIT have done a brilliant job to build a racer of this standard. Of course, there were still teething problems with the electrical system, but as a racing car it was nye on phenomenal. Sensationally fast, responsive and really exciting from the driver’s seat.

Their electrical engineer Stewart made note of the difficulties in getting power to the ground. It needs to be clarified, this is not a grip or friction issue. There are tremendous difficulties in getting that amount of electrical power and amperage through the cables and motors. Their 6 second 0-100kph time isn’t inhibited by the torque and grip of the tires, but rather by the batteries tendencies to overload the wiring and motors.

I was advised before driving the car to not go full throttle. At full power there was a tendency for the car’s power to cut out because of a system overload. Thankfully this problem was only encountered once.

We do hope to put together a follow up piece on the boys’ next car. There was radical talk of a four wheel drive car run through four separate hub motors. They were also looking to use a sophisticated new carbon tub. If they can manage the power (and they’re close to sorting those issues out), it’ll no doubt be a staggeringly fast and exciting car to drive.

The guys are always looking for sponsorship and support so if you’d like to learn more about their car or help them out, head over to their website!

You can contact Ash directly via email or through Twitter.

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