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Fastest Electric Road Car EV on Nordschleife
Electric RaceAbout has claimed back the fastest Nordschleife lap time for electric road cars.
After a succesfull X Price competition during summer 2010 the RaceAbout team at Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences has focused the development efforts on improving the vehicle dynamic performance. The best possible place to test and benchmark the outcome is the Nürburgring Nordschleife track in Germany. This legendary track has worldwide reputation of being THE automotive performance benchmark.
During fall 2011 Electric RaceAbout improved the previous electric road car lap record set by Mini E by more than a minute to 8:42,72. Then in June 2012 Audi R8 e-tron improved the time to 8:09,099. In June 2013, quite exactly a year after Audi it was Mercedes' turn to claim the fastest electric road car record with the mighty SLS AMG Electric Drive, which lapped the Ring in 7:56,234.
In fall 2014 Electric RaceAbout passed the Audi lap time and finally in May 2015 Markus Palttala set a new best time 7:49,04 which is over 7 seconds faster than the Merc.
The Nordschleife demonstration was carried out in co-operation with Drako Motors, which has acquired a license to four motor Torque Vectoring control system developed for Electric RaceAbout.
With this new result Metropolia Electric RaceAbout is world's fastest electric road car on ice, road and track!
Electric RaceAbout team
Improvement of the Electric RaceAbout is proved once again
Electric RaceAbout ran the annual tests on the legendary Nordschleife track in Nürburg Germany in the end of October. On Oct. 24th, E-RA went around the 20,6 km long, so called Sport Auto lap, in 8:01,41 setting its own best time.
Last year visit in Nordschleife gave a lot of inspiration and ideas to E-RA team, how to continue improving the performance and reducing the weaknesses of the car. During the past year, the whole vehicle has been developed, but the most remarkable things were the active rear wing control, suspension and ABS brake system. The Torque Vectoring control system of the motors has also been improved since last year.
This time E-RA was driven by Jesse Krohn, a young Finnish VLN- series professional driver and his comments concerning the performance and strengths of E-RA are similar with our teams earlier testdrivers. “The drivability of the vehicle was good regarding its weight and the acceleration from 100 to 200 km/h was very convincing”, says Jesse, who drove the vehicle for the first time.
The testing period in the end of October lead to the second fastest lap around the Nordschleife track in the street legal electric vehicle group. The unpredictable Eifel mountain range climate did not help the testing and E-RA was on the track only three times in four days.
“The low amount of laps did not help me get accustomed to the vehicle”, says Jesse and continues: “Also, we had to start every lap with cold tires and brakes”.
During the fastest lap, the battery of the vehicle heated up more than the team anticipated and the battery output power had to be limited from halfway of the track to the end. Additional laps would have helped to optimize the vehicle setup - there is still potential for a faster lap-time.
The best time of the EV's on Nordschleife still remains with Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS Electric Drive 7:56,2.
Photos are available on Flickrs. Link to album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/electricraceabout/sets/72157648690795787/
Metropolia Electric RaceAbout has reached new top speed record
Today June 28th 2014 Janne Latinen the chief test driver at Nokian Tyres took E-RA to a new street legal EV top speed record at Ultimate Racing Speed, Motor and Music festival at Lappeenranta airport.
Janne and E-RA achieved 277,40 km/h when racing down the 2500m long runway with moderate headwind. After just turning the four motor equiped E-RA around at the end of the runway Janne rushed back setting even more impressive top speed of 285,31 km/h! This results an average top speed of 281,36 km/h (174,86 mph) for two directions.
The acceleration numbers from the record runs clearly demonstrate the strength of the E-RA direct drive concept. Picking up the first 100 km/h is not very fast for a sports car but adding the next 200 km/h takes only a little longer! The results are:
0-100 km/h 6,3s
100-200 km/h 8,3s
0-100 mph 10,6s
80-120 km/h 2,6s
Lappeenranta as a venue has special meaning in the E-RA story. The traction motors for the car were designed at Lappeenranta University of Technology in 2009 and built at local motor manufacturer AXCO Motors. Also the four inverters controlling these impressive 150 kW peak power motors come from another Lappeenranta based company called VISEDO. The fact that such a great amount of key technology comes from this city right next to the Eastern border of Finland cannot be just a coincidence, but merely reflects the true level of high-tech research and industry finding home here.
We are very pleased to be able to demonstrate that the E-RA story continues strong as ever now four years after the car was first shown to public and finished second in the Automotive X PRIZE competition.
Improved Nürburgring Nordschleife Lap Time for Electric RaceAbout
During the recent Nürburgring expedition the Metropolia Electric RaceAbout team set a new, greatly improved, lap time.
While testing the latest powertrain improvements and the new Nordschleife Aero-kit Micke Bergman stopped the timing at 8:23.56.
Due to the limited possibilities for only three complete laps this time there is still room for significant improvement. During the two test days Micke and E-RA reached a top speed of 256 km on the track.
To give some perspective, the Audi R8 e-tron lapped the Nordschleife in time of 8:09.099 about a year after E-RA set the first record with Ralf Kelleners behind the steering wheel. The current production EV lap record of 7:56.234 was set by Mercedes SLS E-Cell during summer 2013. Audi and Mercedes were presumably running on semi-scliks.
According to Micke the new Nokian Hakka Black tyres, the Torque Vectoring control and Aero-kit combined with the lighter and more powerful battery take the E-RA to a completely new level of performance.
The almost unlimited new potential unleashed by the torque vectoring both improve the car's agility and stability. This was not previously possible with traditional powertrain technologies and together with the team we'll continue to explore the possibilities and improve the technology.
Please enjoy the video demonstrating this technology below. We'll publish also the on-board data record very soon.
Your E-RA team
Racelogic VBOX data file on the lap (use Save Link As command to store the file locally) Unfortunately there is a lengthy GPS dropout in this file. The CAN data including wheel speeds and torque commands is valid.
Electric RaceAbout 2013 improvements
Metropolia Electric RaceAbout team is proud to present many major improvements for the 2013 season including:
New 2-phase brake pedal
Audi R8 Ceramic brakes
New suspension geometry and shock absorbers
Nokian Hakka Black tyres (245/35ZR19 and 295/30ZR19)
TireCom Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Aero kit including wing, diffusor and dive plates
Lighweight bonnet and rear roof
CHAdeMO fast charging capability
Traction control, ABS, Torque Vectoring and Stability Control
New instrument panel and infotainment
The car will also receive a new lighter high performance 44 kWh, 410 V battery pack using Kokam cells and a modular Battery Management System which is our own development.
Please have a look at the car in the new outfit in the video below.
Electric RaceAbout is the world's fastest EV on ice
The pure-blooded electric sports car built by Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences continues setting new records!
On Saturday March 17th 2012 Janne Laitinen, test driver for Nokian Tyres, did an incredibly fast return trip with Electric RaceAbout on the frozen Lake Ukonjärvi in north of Finland (68.776014,27.445682). Laitinen and E-RA achieved an average speed of 252.09 km/h (156.67 mph) for one kilometer driven in both directions within just under 6 minutes. The recorded top speed during this record run was 260.06 km/h (161.63 mph). The GPS based speed measurement was performed with VBOX from Racelogic and the speed log can be downloaded from this site.
At top speed Electric RaceAbout consumed around 1250 Wh/km measured as energy required from grid to recharge the battery.
The record run was performed on an extremely slippery and hard ice during early morning hours after a warm day which had already melted the track surface. The air temperature was -4 deg C and there was very little wind. Before blasting these high speeds E-RA had spent the night outside, which further proves that an EV can be operated in freezing conditions.
E-RA was fitted with Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 studded tyres of size 225/40R18, which together with this high performance electric vehicle and the world’s fastest driver on ice made an unbeatable combination and set most likely a long lasting record.
During past winter E-RA has been upgraded with new inverters from Semikron GmbH / Visedo Oy, electric power steering and improved aerodynamics including diffusor. After the improvements the total motor power of 282 kW was measured on the dyno at Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The motors designed by Lappeenranta University of Technology and the Altairnano Lithium-Titanate batteries of the car continue providing outstanding EV performance without modifications since the car was introduced in 2010.
Again Electric RaceAbout team wants to thank all the supporters who continue enabling our work.
Racelogic VBOX data file on the lap (use Save Link As command to store the file locally)
New Nordschleife lap record for Metropolia Electric RaceAbout
While testing on Nürburgring Nordschleife in September Metropolia Electric RaceAbout has made a new road legal electric vehicle lap record. German race driver Ralf Kelleners needed only 8 minutes and 42,72 seconds on Electric RaceAbout (E-RA) to complete a full lap of 20,832 km (12.944 mi). This world famous, curvy and hilly track with long fast sections is also known as “Grüne Hölle” - Green Hell - and widely used to benchmark the automotive top performance.
The average speed for the lap was 142 km/h (88 mph) and the top speed at Döttinger Höhe 238 km/h (148 mph). Later on during testing Kelleners reached even more impressive 244 km/h (152 mph). For the complete record lap E-RA consumed 25,6 kWh, measured as energy taken from grid to recharge the battery. This results to energy consumption of 1230 Wh/km or 123 kWh/100km for the lap.
Even if E-RA powertrain produced approximately 300 kW peak and 160 kW average power throughout the lap, there was no sign of overheating problems in motors or batteries typical to electric vehicles in such a heavy use. The weather was close to perfect with dry and sunny but still not too warm conditions at around 15 degrees C ambient temperature. E-RA was equipped with Nokian Z G2 high performance road tyres - 225/40 ZR 18 in front and 245/40 ZR 18 in rear.
Electric RaceAbout is built by Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Approximately 25 engineering students and 2 faculty members have designed and buit the vehicle starting from a clean desk. Exterior and interior styling was created by students from Institute of Design at Lahti University of Applied Sciences.
E-RA has four motors – one per each wheel – designed jointly with Lappeenranta University of Technology and produced by AXCO Motors. The motor controllers come from Vacon a leading Finnish electric drive manufacturer. E-RA has full carbon fibre composite body to save weight for the powerful and efficient 33kWh lithium-titanate battery pack.
On Nordschleife and in various events like Michelin Challenge Bibendum, Automotive X-Prize and e-miglia, Metropolia team has demonstrated with the road legal and registered prototype vehicle E-RA, that using electric powertrain it is possible to construct both efficient and high performance car which can also be used in regular traffic. On normal roads the average energy consumption for E-RA is only 145 Wh/km and on racetrack it can achieve 244 km top speed still with modest consumption and minimal losses.
Electric RaceAbout team wants to thank all the supporters who have made our work possible.
Racelogic VBOX data file on the lap (use Save Link As command to store the file locally)
Metropolia Electric RaceAbout targeting Nürburgring Nordschleife road legal electric vehicle lap record
BMW, Peugeot and Toyota Motorsport have set recently fast electric vehicle lap times on Nordschleife and raised public interest in the performance the electric vehicles can deliver today. In the past Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences has demonstrated successfully electric vehicle efficiency with the Electric RaceAbout (E-RA) prototype.
Now the E-RA team wants to demonstrate with the very same vehicle - that using battery electric powertrain, the high efficiency and high performance can meet in one single driving machine, which is also suitable for everyday use on public roads. Team plans to set a new EV lap record on the famous Nordschleife with the road-legal Electric RaceAbout registered in Finland under plates ERA-10 and using Nokian Z G2 regular production tyres from Nokian Tyres in Finland. E-RA will be driven by Ralf Kelleners (D) and the team aims for under 9 minute time.
E-RA has four motors – one per each wheel – designed jointly with Lappeenranta University of Technology and produced by AXCO Motors. The motor controllers come from Vacon a leading Finnish electric drive manufacturer. E-RA has full carbon fibre composite body to save weight for the powerful and efficient lithium-titanate battery pack.
Electric RaceAbout results and disappointment in e-miglia 2011 EV rally on the Alps
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences participated in e-miglia 2011 rally with Electric RaceAbout sportscar on August 2-52011. The car worked very well and finished easily all the stages of the competition. The powertrain, battery and chassis of this unique vehicle demonstrated again that electric vehicles are not only efficient but can also be powerful and fast at the same time.
In this competition the Metropolia RaceAbout team achieved 9th place in a group of 31 vehicles starting the rally. This was clearly below expectations and was mainly caused by traffic jam in a German village of Schliersee during the first day of the competition. Due to this “stau” the team arrived to time control 4 minutes late and received a penalty of 40 minutes. This sizeable 40 minutes penalty was so much that there was no possibility to compensate for it during the last 3 competition days. The Traffic jam could have been avoided by better knowledge of the local traffic conditions, more skilled team or alternatively using information from outside the race vehicle, but without these assets available RaceAbout team decided to follow the road book.
This far Electric RaceAbout has mainly been participating in efficiency focused events like Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize in 2010 and Michelin Challenge Bibendum 2011, where it has demonstrated overall efficiency of 145 Wh/km and 132 Wh/km respectively.
In e-miglia 2011 the energy consumption was also part of the competition results. The rules for the event state:
“Electric power consumption: the overall electric power consumption will be
evaluated as a separate assessment criteria..
a) the electric power consumption in kWh will be converted 1:1 into seconds
and will be incorporated into the overall standings.”
However we found out during the third competition day (when the Teslas with big batteries didn’t plug in for charging anymore) that the “overall energy consumption” for the organizer did not mean charging up the batteries in the competition end in St Moritz back to the same state of charge as we started with in Munich few days earlier. This was extremely frustrating finding as we think the “overall energy consumption” in the rules should count for all the energy consumed for the route. Now suddenly it included all the energy you used for the route minus one full battery charge. This of course gives the cars like Tesla with 56 kWh battery an important advantage over vehicles like ours with 33 kWh battery or city cars with 25 kWh battery.
We think that our car has at least the same performance in this kind of competition as Tesla roadster and maybe even better efficiency. But even with the same energy consumption and assuming the same performance in the timed events for the rally (valid assumption as now we were 2.2 seconds behind the winner) a Tesla would have beaten us with more than seconds due to the bigger battery capacity! What a frustrating moment in the middle of the competition to find out that we had even not a theoretical chance to win even if our car did fulfill the 200 km range requirement set for the rally.
This interpretation of the rules is also counterintuitive and different to the other competitions we have participated where the energy storage is always refilled after competition to the same level as it was in the start. After some lengthy discussions the organizer said there was no problem with the rules or interpretation and nothing to change. We don’t know how did some participants know about this interpretation and the others not.
From the competition results we can see that the time difference between the winning Tesla and the Jetcar on 2nd place is 20.2 seconds. It can also be seen that the Jetcar with a smaller battery has charged 18.2 kWh more which equals 18.2 seconds in total time, which explains 95% of the difference in the final results between these vehicles! We think that if the total energy consumption had been measured we would likely have celebrated Jetcar as a winner of the e-miglia 2011 as it most likely is more efficient than a Tesla roadster. Indeed in the final results the main difference comes from the not accurately measured energy consumption for the top 3 cars.
There was also a charging problem for about one third of the vehicles after the Day 1 and therefore the Day 2 results were neglected and uncontrolled or unmeasured charging was allowed. Due to this one cannot make any conclusions on the energy consumption of the different vehicles from the results by the competition organizer. The results can be found here: http://www.e-miglia.com/ergebnisse/e-miglia-2011/
Electric RaceAbout is capable of measuring it’s energy consumption within few percent accuracy and also estimating the energy required from mains to charge up the battery. We logged these values throughout the race and they would be of interest to someone. A summary of the results can be found below. The recorded distances come from in car GPS and agree with the competition roadbook with about 1% difference. Day 2 distance for RaceAbout is not the full distance (267km) for that day. We decided to stop after 234 km as we met a serious thunder storm with loads of water on the street and as the day was not counted it made sense to play safe and not to soak the vehicle.
190 Wh/km overall efficiency is very good given the facts that the speeds were fairly high for the roads used and the amount of climb along the route. Many of the uphill sections were set as special stages with considerably higher average speeds as visible in this table. This together means quite a bit higher load and losses for the powertrain which are not compensated fully in the downhill sections. It would be nice to be able to compare these figures with other vehicles.
e-miglia 2011 route selection was well done and the roadbook accurate enough. The landscape was very beautiful and the views magnificent. All the people we met in the competition were very friendly and nice to compete with. We just cannot help us thinking of not returning unless the playground is set more evenly. This event is a real good one to promote electromobility, but unfortunately gives a distorted picture of the performance of the participating vehicles.
Metropolia Electric RaceAbout team wants to thank for the sponsors Nokian Tyres and Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation. Again we have proven together that electric vehicles are becoming a real alternative for today’s individual mobility needs.