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The Flux Capacitor Becomes World's Fastest Street-Legal Electric Car (arstechnica.com) 183

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Ars Technica: Jonny Smith now has the world's fastest street-legal electric car, called the Flux Capacitor. Previously, the Flux Capacitor was only Europe's fastest street-legal electric vehicle, with a less than 11 second, 1/4-mile time under it's belt. Now it can run the quarter-mile in 9.87 seconds, thanks to the extra 44 cells added to the existing 144-cell Hyperdrive Innovation lithium-ion battery pack. That has boosted the car from 370v to 400v and the range from about 30 miles (48km) to about 50 miles (80km). "The combination of big voltage, amps, and phenomenal grip gave us early ten-second quarter miles, and when we braved the RPM limit of the motors, we managed a nine [second run]," Smith told Ars Technica. "Despite all of this power and speed, the little Enfield still felt smooth, stable, and happy, which is unbelievable given that it was designed to do 40 miles an hour."
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The Flux Capacitor Becomes World's Fastest Street-Legal Electric Car

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  • Uh... so how fast does it go? Y'know, in normal numbers?

    • Re:My brain hurts (Score:4, Informative)

      by ZombieEngineer ( 738752 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2016 @06:35AM (#52546219)

      112 MPH when crossing the 1/4 mile mark.

      The article has a photo of the summary sheet from the drag strip showing all the statistics.

      • Does anyone know the time in seconds it takes to reach 100km/h, which is how the rest of the world compares vehicle acceleration? I'm interested, and not trying to start a debate about outmoded imperial measurements :-)
        • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2016 @07:02AM (#52546297)

          I live in Australia. Our drag strips are 1/4mile long. The entire industry this car was built for uses this as a common metric (pun intended).

        • No, but I can tell you that it can do 0.402336km in under 987 deciseconds.

      • by karnal ( 22275 )

        Per the screenshot in the article, was actually 121.73 @ 1/4mi mark, 9.8697s

      • However eye witnesses said it vanished briefly when hitting 88 m.p.h. then reappeared.

    • These are normal numbers. Cars are built with a purpose. Acceleration and top speed are two completely different metrics which require different car designs. For a fantastic aerodynamic design you can achieve great top speeds without some of the acceleration that these cars typically exhibit.

      • by Rei ( 128717 )

        Indeed. It's like hearing nails on a chalkboard when I hear some motoring show talking about streamlining in a competition that's built around acceleration, or about reducing weight on a competition that's built around top speed. At least the latter is somewhat relevant, although relatively minor. Streamlining in a 0-100km/h sprint is almost meaningless.

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          ...More to the point, during acceleration, if anything, you want a high drag shape, with as much downforce as you can muster so you can get better grip with your tires.

          • ...More to the point, during acceleration, if anything, you want a high drag shape, with as much downforce as you can muster so you can get better grip with your tires.

            That's meaningless at the low end for the same reason that streaminglining is meaningless at the low end; absent speed, you don't have any meaningful drag. Dragsters have aerodynamics to keep them on the ground at the high end.

            • by Rei ( 128717 )

              A F1 car, at the speed this one got up to on the quarter mile, will have over 1000kg of downforce at the end. Obviously the relevance of that for your acceleration depends on how much power you have vs. how much traction you have.

          • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

            You don't generate a lot of downforce at the lower speeds when you'd really need it for better traction. Downforce is necessary to keep your vehicle from becoming an airplane.

        • As Enzo Ferrari said, "Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines".

    • by kqc7011 ( 525426 )
      Fastest or quickest. Big difference. A couple of years ago, Don Garlits in his electric dragster did a 7.26 seconds 184 mph quarter mile run. As of a couple of months ago, he has not broken the 200 mph barrier. Yet.
      • Fastest or quickest. Big difference. A couple of years ago, Don Garlits in his electric dragster did a 7.26 seconds 184 mph quarter mile run. As of a couple of months ago, he has not broken the 200 mph barrier. Yet.

        And then he had to have it towed off the track because it's not street legal...

    • I'm always amazed some people can't do unit conversion without their head exploding. Even with Google and computers available at their fingertips!
      • The idiot again.

        To convert time and speed for 1/4 mile to time and speed for 100/m or in other words to figure how long it takes to have a speed of 100km/h conversion of units is not enough.

        If it was that easy you had done it for us instead of posting another complete idiotic post.

        I'm surprised that you sometimes write something that makes sense, though.

        To convert from the 1/4 time and speed to metric units, we have to figure the acceleration, consider that it is constant, and construct the time for 1km or

        • When I want to do unit conversions, I just ask my Amazon Echo. It's great for unit conversions except when I'm trying to convert from megatons of TNT to kilograms of plutonium. The last thing I need is an FBI SWAT team crashing through my door.
    • I need to agree, While Slashdot is a geeky site, and I am sure nearly all of us is able to do the Math to get the numbers. But still for a news summary the numbers do not help bring the point across. We see an article saying "Fastest Street Legal Electric Car" we want to know either Miles per Hour or Kilometers per Hour. As those are the standard unit for Land based human movement. As our walk rate is between 2-4 MPH, our Jog is 4-6, run 6-12 and sprint 12+. The neat thing about units is it allows us to

      • "fastest" also includes acceleration. That's why they give it in a form that combines both speed and acceleration into one metric, not that it makes any sense to me either.

        • For acceleration we normally use Meters/Second^2
          or in car terms 0 to 60mhp in how many seconds.
          So still this was lame use of representing the data.

          • But the fact remains that it's still the only way to combine top speed and acceleration into one measurement that's in common use.

            • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

              I don't think you mean top speed (that's not measured on a 1/4 mile track), maybe speed at the end of the 1/4 or average speed (rarely shown)

    • Uh... so how fast does it go? Y'know, in normal numbers?

      The *real* question is "How FAR does it go on a charge?" Which is followed closely by a related question "How long does it take to recharge?"

      Having high acceleration and top speed are nice, but if you only get 40 miles from a full charge which takes 4 hours to achieve, what's the point? It might be interesting for the race track, but as a practical means of transportation it's useless to 90% of us.

      • Uh... so how fast does it go? Y'know, in normal numbers?

        The *real* question is "How FAR does it go on a charge?" Which is followed closely by a related question "How long does it take to recharge?"

        Having high acceleration and top speed are nice, but if you only get 40 miles from a full charge which takes 4 hours to achieve, what's the point? It might be interesting for the race track, but as a practical means of transportation it's useless to 90% of us.

        I know this is slashdot and nobody reads the article, but seriously... read the article. It's in there.

      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        Improvements at the track have frequently made their way into improvements for the rest of us.

        http://auto.howstuffworks.com/... [howstuffworks.com]

  • Fastest in what way? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2016 @06:46AM (#52546251)

    Jonny Smith now has the world's fastest street-legal electric car, called the Flux Capacitor.

    Ok what is its top speed? 0-60 time? G-force in a turn? Can it even turn?

    Now it can run the quarter-mile in 9.87 seconds

    The only piece of speed data provided. For reference the Tesla P90D can do a quarter mile in 10.9 seconds. (And it can go around a corner too) So basically they've built a purpose built dragster and not a real car. It's not hard to build a dragster that can outrun a Bugatti Veyron in a quarter mile but I wouldn't call one faster than a Veyron until it beat it around a track with corners.

    boosted the car from 370v to 400v and the range from about 30 miles (48km) to about 50 miles (80km).

    Wow, a whole 50 miles. That's... damn near useless.

    • by bjorniac ( 836863 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2016 @07:05AM (#52546309)

      I would hope one of the requirements to be a "street-legal" car is that it can turn, at the very least...

      If we make a horrendous assumption of constant acceleration we can get a maximum on it's 0-60 time:

      s=1/2 at^2, t=9.87s, s=400m gives a=8.21 m/s^2

      60mph = 60*1600/3600 m/s= 26.67 m/s

      t60 = 26.67/8.21 = 3.25 seconds.

      So we can conservatively conclude this vehicle does 0-60 in under 3.25 seconds.

      Someone with better knowledge of the acceleration/velocity curves of cars can probably correct me on this, but I'm assuming that acceleration reduces with velocity rather than increases, due to wind resistance etc. If this is right 3.25 should be considered a maximum - if the acceleration reduces above 60mph, say, then the car must accelerate to this velocity in even less time to get a quarter mile in 9.87s.

      From the data given we can only conclude that its top speed is somewhat higher than 400m/9.87s = about 40m/s or 90mph, but of course that would assume instant acceleration to 90, in all likelihood its top speed is far higher.

      • by sjbe ( 173966 )

        I would hope one of the requirements to be a "street-legal" car is that it can turn, at the very least...

        I'm sure it can turn but very doubtful it can turn very well. Clearly it is built with straight line performance in mind if it is doing sub 10 second quarter mile runs.

        So we can conservatively conclude this vehicle does 0-60 in under 3.25 seconds.

        If it can do a quarter mile in 9.8 seconds it's almost certainly faster than 3.25s 0-60. Wind resistance isn't linear. A Tesla P90D gets to 60mph in 2.8 seconds and it is a full second slower in the quarter mile than this thing with better aerodynamics. Just guessing but I'd estimate this car is probably somewhere close to 2.5 seconds (m

        • Re:0-60 (Score:4, Interesting)

          by bjorniac ( 836863 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2016 @08:15AM (#52546551)

          I agree - that's why I said throughout that my estimate was conservative. Assuming constant acceleration gives the slowest possible 0-60, hence the max time from these figures is 3.25 seconds.

          Interestingly if you look through the pictures in TFA you see that the speed has just about topped out at the 1/8 mile mark. If you run the numbers there, you get an acceleration around the 10.5 m/s^2 mark, which indeed gives about 2.5s for the 0-60 time.

          And yes, clearly the car is not designed with cornering in mind.

      • Brilliant, just what i was asking for. You, sir, are a mathematical genius!
    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      So basically they've built a purpose built dragster and not a real car.

      No. They took a real 1970s electric vehicle, replaced the major parts that make it go with modern equipment, and took it to a dragstrip. It's the electric equivalent of hot rods, muscle cars, tuners, or whatever generation you choose souping up a vehicle beyond what it could do from the factory.

      • They took a real 1970s electric vehicle, replaced the major parts that make it go with modern equipment, and took it to a dragstrip.

        Which is called a dragster. Pretty much no car that can do a sub-10 second quarter mile is good for much else besides fast runs down a drag strip or laps around a racetrack. Not what I would call a real car in the sense that you'd drive it around the city streets routinely. Still cool but call it what it is.

        It's the electric equivalent of hot rods, muscle cars, tuners, or whatever generation you choose souping up a vehicle beyond what it could do from the factory.

        This isn't souping up the car. This is a wholesale rebuild where the only thing left is the outer shell. That's not tuning, that's something quite different. Anyway you seem to have missed the poin

        • Cool project too. But "world's fastest street-legal electric car"? Going to have to back that claim up with some actual evidence.

          The slip is in TFA, so you can compare its time.

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )

      Wow, a whole 50 miles. That's... damn near useless.

      That depends on how much a person needs to drive doesn't it? Lots of people in urban settings might only drive 10 or 20 miles in a day and it would suit them fine for a vehicle which only does 50 miles. I'm not referring to this specific car but the sort of market that commercial vehicles like the Twizy already serve. Urban dwellers who want a car for short commutes, one that avoids the costs and whatever congestion charges, road taxes or other fees that another vehicle might attract. Obviously range anxiet

      • That depends on how much a person needs to drive doesn't it? Lots of people in urban settings might only drive 10 or 20 miles in a day and it would suit them fine for a vehicle which only does 50 miles

        You're making the classic mistake of only considering averages. Most people drive less than 50 miles in a normal day. But virtually all of them drive farther than 50 miles on a substantial number of days. The range of a car needs to cover something like 2-3 standard deviations of the daily average at minimum to be a sane choice even if they never take long trips which describes very few people I know. My daily commute is about 45 miles round trip but I drive over 100 miles at least 5-10 days a month. I

    • "Street Legal" means not only can it turn (have you ever even been to a drag strip, even custom built dragsters can turn) but it can brake, has working lights, restraints, even a rear view mirror!

      Stop trying to talk shit about something you have zero knowledge of and educate yourself before you look like a fool again.

      • Drag racers have been hearing the same tired arguments for decades. It's kind of like saying sushi is better than ice cream.
        • Drag racers have been hearing the same tired arguments for decades. It's kind of like saying sushi is better than ice cream.

          Sushi is better than ice cream. If you live on sushi you can be fit, depending on how much rice and fatty fish you put together. If you live on ice cream, you're going to be fat.

          • Well I wasn't talking about health, it is about which one is the better dessert. Which goes back to my point that comparing the two is kind of stupid. :-)
            • Well I wasn't talking about health, it is about which one is the better dessert. Which goes back to my point that comparing the two is kind of stupid. :-)

              Everyone always says you can't compare apples and oranges, but I just showed that you can compare sushi and ice cream, especially if you forget to mention what your basis of comparison was supposed to be :)

              I think that what is a better street car is a valid point to raise if part of the point of the vehicle is that it is street legal.

    • You sound like butthurt tesla owner. Why do you care so much?
    • but I wouldn't call one faster than a Veyron until it beat it around a track with corners.

      Ahhh the no true racetrack fallacy.

    • It's not hard to build a dragster that can outrun a Bugatti Veyron in a quarter mile but I wouldn't call one faster than a Veyron until it beat it around a track with corners.

      A Veryon did the 1/4 mile in 9.7 seconds, if you go to any drag strip there are very few street legal cars that are going that fast. It's not as easy a putting a turbo or nitrous on a stock car and ripping out the extra weight.

    • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

      You took the time to post all this BS w/o reading the article...yes, I know, it's /. And no, it's not a vehicle that's useful to the public, but as I posted just above, many improvements to normal vehicles have come from racing. They didn't claim it was something you'd want to run out and buy. Now that the stick out of your rump.

  • .. with some strengthening bars up front, because 1970s cars weren't exactly known for their crash resistance and limited run small manufacturer cars barely had any especially if they were licensed as quadricycles, not cars.

    • They probably had to add a roll cage just to give the vehicle sufficient rigidity not to twist into a pretzel when giving it the beans.

  • From the quoted article:

    Okay, so if my maths and guesses are right...

    400V/188 cells = 2.12766 V / cell

    * 188 cells * 3C = 1200 A discharge

    1200A*400V = 480000W =

    It ought to be 88 jiga (not giga) watts. What happened to the remaining 86.xx jiga watts?

    • < filtered out in the quote.

      Okay, so if my maths and guesses are right...

      400V/188 cells = 2.12766 V / cell

      * 188 cells * 3C = 1200 A discharge

      1200A*400V = 480000W = <<< 1.21 GW

    • Looking back I see it should 480 kW, not 480 GW. Works out to some 600 HP. Not unusual.
      • Still, amazing that little soap box had the suspension and the chassis to take 600 HP.
        • Still, amazing that little soap box had the suspension and the chassis to take 600 HP.

          I'd be fairly sure that it has a huge amount of reinforcement underneath if not a full space frame. You are quite correct that it wasn't designed to handle that much power straight from the factory.

  • With a 50 mile range this would suit Meatloaf

    There's nothin' wrong with goin' nowhere baby
    But we should be goin' nowhere fast
    It's so much better goin' nowhere fast

    • Just a guess but this car's range is probably better than the original, so you get negative points for your ignorance about the history of EVs.....
  • it has NO wing mirrors
    • by b0bby ( 201198 )

      It's from the early 70s, it's possible that they weren't required. I have a 1970 motorcycle and it has no turn signals, legally.

  • I couldn't find anything in that article, but I'm guessing for the sake of weight and simplicity, it does not have a regenerative braking system.

    The end of the run might be as exciting as the start.
    • I couldn't find anything in that article, but I'm guessing for the sake of weight and simplicity, it does not have a regenerative braking system.

      Regen doesn't really require any notable additional weight. It does require more expensive and complex control electronics, though, which is why controllers without regen are cheaper.

  • As far as do it yourself electric dragster type vehicles that have been called "street legal" there are motorcycles that can do the 1/4 mile in the 6 second range. Really you can make any impractical vehicle "street legal" at least in the US as the requirements are fairly minimal. Also a fast 1/4 mile time dosent mean it really is the fastest on the streets or even is a good single measure of a performance vehicle.
  • So Tesla doesn't count?
    http://gas2.org/2014/10/09/tes... [gas2.org]

    • by Ecuador ( 740021 )

      What do you mean? We are talking here about the fastest in the quarter mile, which it does at 9.87 sec. The Tesla P85D does it in 10.9 sec, so this is faster than the Tesla in that respect (and others, e.g. 0-100kph is 3s vs Tesla's 3.2).
      Of course the Tesla is a production car and not some modified for drag racing awkward vehicle, which make its feats impressive, but it doesn't mean the summary is wrong.

  • It's about time.

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2016 @11:50AM (#52547621) Journal

    As someone who is a bit of a car enthusiast (always join the forums or car clubs for whatever vehicle I own, etc.) -- the fastest quarter mile results I ever see posted for vehicles taken to the drag strip is 9.x seconds. In most cases, you have people modding various sports or sporty cars to get down into the 12-13 second quarter mile range from wherever they start out at from the factory. Anyone running 11 seconds or under is considered "up there" in performance/speed.

    So I'm starting to wonder .... is there pretty much a "hard limit" on how fast a quarter mile you can turn out based on the limitations of physics (tires can only provide so much grip, etc.)? Can you say at some point, "By getting my car to run a 9 second quarter mile, I've optimized it as much as is physically possible for a vehicle that's moving with rolling wheels on the ground?"

    • Umm try sub 4 seconds 300 + mph? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    • So I'm starting to wonder .... is there pretty much a "hard limit" on how fast a quarter mile you can turn out based on the limitations of physics (tires can only provide so much grip, etc.)? Can you say at some point, "By getting my car to run a 9 second quarter mile, I've optimized it as much as is physically possible for a vehicle that's moving with rolling wheels on the ground?"

      The fastest street-legal dragster so far has run a 6.05. But there's probably still room for improvement...

    • As someone who is a bit of a car enthusiast (always join the forums or car clubs for whatever vehicle I own, etc.) -- the fastest quarter mile results I ever see posted for vehicles taken to the drag strip is 9.x seconds. In most cases, you have people modding various sports or sporty cars to get down into the 12-13 second quarter mile range from wherever they start out at from the factory. Anyone running 11 seconds or under is considered "up there" in performance/speed.

      So I'm starting to wonder .... is there pretty much a "hard limit" on how fast a quarter mile you can turn out based on the limitations of physics (tires can only provide so much grip, etc.)? Can you say at some point, "By getting my car to run a 9 second quarter mile, I've optimized it as much as is physically possible for a vehicle that's moving with rolling wheels on the ground?"

      Top Fuel dragsters do the quarter mile in 4.x seconds.

      http://www.draglist.com/draglist/category.php?VIEW=Extended&CATEGORY%5B%5D=TOPFUEL&x=dragsters&SORTBY=ET%2CYEAR%2CMPH+DESC

      The fastest quarter mile ever (according to a Google search) was 3.22 seconds, but that was a rocket car. It had wheels rolling on the ground, but didn't drive them to accelerate.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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