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World record bid grinds to a halt in Nevada

01 May, 2005

World record bid grinds to a halt in Nevada

The British team hoping to set a new world land speed record for electric vehicles is deciding its next move following the failure of its latest bid in the US earlier this month. The ABB e=motion team had been aiming to smash the existing record of 394km/h and to break through the 300mph (482km/h) barrier, but their attempt had to be abandoned after the vehicle failed to start on three separate occasions.

After a successful trial run on an isolated highway near Wendover in Nevada, the e=motion vehicle suffered a series of false starts, blamed on problems with the battery and the control circuitry. The team`s insurance, and its permission to use an 11km stretch of highway, expired before the problems could be fully diagnosed and solved.

An attempt to break the record in Tunisia last year was thwarted by unusual weather conditions which turned normally dry salt flats into a marsh.

The e=motion`s driver Mark Newby and designer Colin Fallows have been working on the project since 2001. "It`s been one of the most difficult weeks that we`ve had," Fallows (shown above with the car) said after the bid was called off.

The 10m-long e=motion is driven by two 37kW motors, powered by four packs of 52 lead-acid car batteries. An ABB regenerative drive converts the 600V DC output to AC power, avoiding the need for gears.

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