By on May 15, 2020

If you have a chip on your shoulder about electric vehicles, this ought to help brush a little closer to the sleeve.

For the first time in history, and EV (that isn’t a motorcycle) posted a quarter-mile trap speed above 200 mph, setting a new world record. Built by Huff Motorsports, the all electric dragster recently zipped down Tucson Dragway in Arizona, posting a speed of 201 mph and destroying the previous record set by racing legend Don Garlits last year. 

Garlits managed a respectable 7.235 seconds at 189 mph when he streaked across Palm Beach International Raceway, but Steve Huff felt confident he could surpass that if he continued adding power to his car. Contentment came when the dragster, appropriately named “Current Technology,” had its brushless A/C motor producing well over 1,950 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque.

According to InsideEVs, Huff spent the winter months working on the car, patiently waiting for an opportunity to run it for the explicit purpose of breaking 200 mph. And break it he did, despite not making it down the track any sooner than Garlits had managed — but that wasn’t really the point.

At the track, tech wizards from AEM helped boost power even further between runs and optimized the car to pick up the maximum amount of speed possible once the tires hooked up. Footage of the event was shared by CycleDrag, an outlet that’s covered Huff’s drag bikes in the past, which offered a little more insight into the record-winning run in its description:

It was a historic night at Tucson Dragway as Steve Huff became the first four-wheel electric dragster racer to record a 200 mph pass, beating his childhood hero and rival “Big Daddy” Don Garlits to the mark. The electric drag racing milestone was achieved on Huff’s second full pass after doubling the power of his electric drag car over the winter and getting some help from the electronics experts at AEM.

While a far cry from the 300+ mph trap speeds provided by top fuel dragsters, this is a major leap forward for EVs. It may also offer Mr. Huff more than just glory, as he eventually wants to “redefine the NHRA by creating safe, economical, and low maintenance dragsters” based loosely off the car he’s running now. Those rear-engined rails are supposed to cost around $60,000, utilize a turbocharged, 2.0-liter crate engine, and be marketed toward those who are just starting to take drag racing seriously.

 

[Image: CycleDrag/YouTube]

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23 Comments on “EV Makes History, Breaks 200 MPH in the Quarter Mile...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Regardless of the motor voltage they’re running, they’re switching a phenomenal amount of current in that motor drive.

    That track is eerily quiet. A silent car and no crowd is pretty weird.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I feel as though they intentionally turned down the volume for the track vs the announcer. Even if the motor were silent (it’s not), I would have expected a lot more tire noise. My electric leaf blower makes more noise and is a tad less powerful.
      Electric motors make less noise than gas motors, but they’re far from silent. I wear ear protection when using an electric chainsaw.

      • 0 avatar
        Polka King

        “My electric leaf blower makes more noise and is a tad less powerful.
        Electric motors make less noise than gas motors, but they’re far from silent. I wear ear protection when using an electric chainsaw.”

        Well, that’s silly. You think that an electric motor is going to make a blower or a chainsaw quieter? Their noise doesn’t come from the motor.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          @polka,

          I think the noise does come from their motors. At least I know it comes from the motor of my portable table saw. The table saw is direct drive so no whiny gears, and I know it isn’t the blade rotating in air that makes the 90 db-ish cacophony it puts off. (I’ve heard plenty of induction motor powered table saws, and they are almost silent by comparison.)

          This video sounds like the announcer was dubbed in after the fact.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          @Polka
          I may b e silly, but most of the noise is coming from the motor. And yes, the electric chainsaw is quieter than the gas chainsaw.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I’ve seen some electric bikes run at the strip. They aren’t so loud as uncorked drag bikes, but they were pretty far from quiet.

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      A thousand amps at a thousand volts times three phases would do it. 1.5 megawatts! But it’s less than 10 seconds and then it has to cool off… and recharge.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_grMGhW3X0 for those who listened to WLS back in the day.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Electrifying time ;)

  • avatar
    brn

    I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Not sure if this represents some kind of tipping point, but my 80-year-old dad just purchased a battery-operated lawnmower for his 1/4 acre lot. (This would have seemed ridiculous to me several years ago.)

    Based on the video above, I plan to adjust the tires on my truck to 7 psi. (Will let you know if it’s quicker.)

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @ToolGuy: Those lithium battery mowers have some nice torque. Tall or wet grass that would kill a gas mower aren’t a problem. 1/4 acre should be fine. My son has one for his yard and it works great. Less hassle. Just make sure that in the winter the batteries are stored in the house if he lives in a cold climate outside of their temperature range.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I finally got an 80V lithium ion mower last year (Lowe’s Kobalt) . I got sick of fighting gas engine issues every year, especially as the mower ages. For my small lawn, the rechargeable mower is perfect.

      Plus, the battery fits in the leaf blower and snow blower. My new favorite tool is their 24V impact wrench. It’s way easier than the air impact.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Exiting ground pounding sound that is drag racing….not.

    Moving it back up onto my shoulder, this changed nothing.

  • avatar
    subuclayton

    Was surpassing 200 MPH some insurmountable obstacle that represents a new dawn of greatness for EV’s”? So what if it was an electric motor? You could light the Las Vegas strip with the amount juice packed into that thing. You could strap the car to a hypersonic missile and go even faster. There are lots of ways to go more than 200 mph, if that is the only thing you’re trying to do.

    • 0 avatar
      Stanley Steamer

      Since dragsters on nitromethane frequently run over 300 mph, this is an EV specific achievement.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      It was 200 mph in a 1/4 mile. The Rimac Concept 2 is a road car and has a 258-mile per hour top speed. The land speed record for an EV is 341.8 MPH.

      https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1106278_venturi-vbb-3-sets-new-electric-car-speed-record-pending-certification

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    @MattPosky, 17 Comments (counting mine) a couple of days in about something very interested actually related to cars. Clearly you needed to relate this vehicle to the virus or the Donald in order to get all of the “car enthusiasts” to talk.

    Anyway, you have to wonder if the EV’s will catch up to the top fuel cars. I wonder how much weight is involved with the battery and what has to be very heavy wiring to move that sort of power. Interesting times.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @Art: “heavy wiring to move that sort of power” I wonder if you could use those water-cooled cables they are using for some of the higher-powered chargers? If I was attempting this, I try a second set of wheels in back with motors optimized for higher speeds. I’d love to try it, but no time for it and could never justify spending the money. Another idea – maybe a really big supercapacitor instead of batteries.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Yeah I really have zero clue as to the logistics of getting that much power from the battery to the motors that quickly. I was imagining wiring akin to getting the lightning bolt to the flux capacitor in Back to the Future, but I have no clue

        Again, in my limited knowledge the ultracapacitor concept seems promising due to the limited time and distance and the need to, assuming you were running this competitively against ICE powered dragsters recharge between rounds.

        Either way, crazy how much power is being moved in a short time here

  • avatar
    el scotto

    So don’t lick the battery terminals?

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Don’t know why they bothered. Just put a Tesla AWD Model S in Super Paranoid Plaid mode, turn on the A/C and do 210 mph quarters all day long. Ahem.

    First time I saw AA Fuelie dragsters was at the opening of our new dragway in Nova Scotia in the summer of ’69. The guys got three owner/drivers up from New England as a promotion. The fellow who ran fastest was interviewed over the PA and all he could talk about was our local beer! He was way off what you’d read about in Hot Rod Magazine at 7.83 seconds and 189 mph – still got the old program i wrote on. But the sound was hellacious — in those days they claimed 12 to 15 hundred horsepower. The Winter Nats in California earlier that year were at 6.9 seconds and 220 mph with Front Engine dragsters. Those old bricks and ancient tire technology would shut down this EV no problemo. The national ET record itself was 6.43 seconds and speed 229 mph, not at the same time.

    A big yawn on the electric drag racing front from me, I’m afraid. I worked at an electric utility for most of my life and the problem you’re going to have in any fast EV is the size (ampacity) of the wiring (conductors) and the voltage. You need scads of both to get real power. To get anywhere to actually impress anyone, you’d need a three phase 5 kilovolt battery, a few thousand amps capability and insulation in the wiring and three phase motor(s) to actually handle it. The electronic controller design would be “fun”. Not easy or practical. And not much reason to do it because the idea presumably of drag racing, is SPECTACLE. A whirring motor and tortured tires doesn’t raise the excitement level of anyone but a nerd.

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    Somewhere in EV blogland,there are dudes poo-pooing this dragster because it’s not a Tesla.

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