As fast as lightning?

As fast as lightning?

The electrically powered “Nemesis” car sets a new speed record

Who would think that a battery-powered car could travel at more than 150 miles per hour?

It sounds impossible, but a team of motorsport engineers from Norfolk did just that with an electric car called "Nemesis".

They broke the UK electric vehicle land-speed record in September 2012 at the Elvington Airfield near York.  The builders used a Lotus Exige, which they bought on ebay, and modified it to increase the downward push caused by air flowing over the top of the car as it moves (downforce).

To find out more about downforce, check out the video below:

 

Electric cars are very different to those powered by petrol or diesel , which have "internal combustion engines" that use the explosive power of the fuel to push pistons which then drive the wheels.

 

2-Stroke_Engine_ani

Internal combustion engine (c) cc Agster

The Nemesis doesn't have a fuel tank and it's engine is actually an electric motor similar to one in a Scalextric or remote control car.  Power from batteries is used to make an electromagnetic field which spins the axle and turns the wheels.

 

Ejs_Open_Source_Direct_Current_Electrical_Motor_Model_Java_Applet_(_DC_Motor_)_80_degree_split_ring

Direct current electric motor (c) cc Lookang

The Nemesis team used electricity from wind turbines to power the car, aiming to make it as green as possible.  They say that it can accelerate from 0-100mph in 8.5 seconds and could reach speeds of 170mph.

The Nemesis set out to destroy the old image of electric cars as slow and boring.  It seems to Planet Science that they've done a pretty good job of that!

To watch the car in action, click here...

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