EV Makes History, Breaks 200 MPH in the Quarter Mile

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ev makes history breaks 200 mph in the quarter mile

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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  • Conundrum Conundrum on May 18, 2020

    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.

  • MKizzy MKizzy on May 18, 2020

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

  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.