Students to double electric supercar endurance

Imperial College students aim to drive two laps round the M25 in their Radical SRZERO electric supercar on a single charge, doubling the current record held by the team in a Tesla car.

The endurance test is a prelude to a 26,000km journey along the Pan American Highway from Alaska to the southern tip of South America in July 2010.

The car is the result of Peterborough based Radical Sportscars supplying one of their SR8 chassis to Racing Green at Imperial. The car has lithium iron phosphate batteries, can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 7s, has a top speed of 200km/h, a range of more than 400km, takes 6h to charge fully and costs 1p/km to run.

Alexander Schey, Racing Green Endurance project manager who is a fourth year undergraduate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College said, "We'll face all sorts of engineering challenges during the drive from North America to South America. There are no emergency breakdown services in the jungles of Colombia or the frozen wastes of Alaska, so we need to do as much testing as possible of the car before our Pan-American journey begins. By driving the car around the M25 twice, we'll be able to kill two birds with one stone, further testing the SRZERO's endurance capability while hopefully going further than any other all-electric car has managed before around the M25."

Professor Nigel Brandon, director of the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College London, added: "The need to reduce the UK's carbon emissions has never been greater. To meet current government targets by 2050, we need to refine a range of technologies including electric vehicles, which will help us move towards a low carbon economy. Apart from being great fun, we hope that the Racing Green Endurance project will show the world the leaps and bounds that electric vehicles are making. This project is also helping the next generation of UK engineers to gain valuable experience in the field, which is vital for their careers and the future of the British manufacturing."

Tom Shelley

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