Former UK Minister Of Science Sets Electric Land Speed Record

Illustration for article titled Former UK Minister Of Science Sets Electric Land Speed Record

Lord Paul Drayson, former Labour-party Minister of Science, drove an electric car based on a Lola B12 to a top speed of 204.2 MPH, breaking the old speed record set way back in 1974, and possibly setting a land speed record for any member of the House of Lords.


The car is known as the Lola B12 69/EV, and is the product of Drayson's company, Drayson Racing Technologies. The car started life as a Lola LeMans Prototype (LMP) car, powered by a 5.5L Judd engine, and now has a 20 Kw/h battery and a YASA electric motor that makes 850 BHP, which makes the car good for a 0-60 time of 3 seconds flat.

To comply with the record attempt rules, the car weighs less than 2204 lbs, driverless. The chassis has also been modified with recycled carbon fiber (from aftermarket spoilers and tennis rackets, I bet) to help aerodynamics.


Interestingly, one of the first speed records, beating a mile-a-minute, was set by another electric car way back in 1899, the pleasingly torpedo-looking Jamais Contente.

Illustration for article titled Former UK Minister Of Science Sets Electric Land Speed Record

Now that Drayson has wrested the old speed record (which was 175 MPH) from Battery Box General Electric, the next step is to focus on Formula E racing, FIA's electric racing series set to start in 2014. While making an electric car go fast is pretty well-understood, a full-on racing series gets tricky, as issues like range, recharging/battery swapping, and energy conservation all become important.

Hopefully someone's working on how to make these new electric racecars nice and loud and figuring out some spark-shooting mechanisms.

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Fred Smith

Three serious comments on this:

1. This is both significantly more real and significantly faster than the ZEOD. It's also significantly more electric. This won't ever stop Nissan from pretending that the Zeod is real, electric (even though the name clearly implies it's going to be a Volt-style system) and faster than any other electric car.

2. There's no way in hell Formula E happens. If it does, every podium will be "1. Johnny Cocker 2. Paul Drayson 3. not entered". The DW12 makes for fun racing though, so even the somehow uglier DW12 that Dallara designed would be fun to watch if this ever came to fruition and a second team ever signed up. Currently, there are about 5 more partners than there are teams.

3. Drayson followed me on twitter on Monday. I've still no idea why. I'm not particularly a fan, but this beast of a P1 car is badass enough that I'm not going to let him know that. He's said they hope to get it on track for an ALMS race later in the year, here's to hoping it goes to the sight of it's lone triumph in it's previous life, Road America where this car won as a Judd powered car in 2010.