The idea of electric cars has been occupying the minds of more and more people lately. Production Tesla and MiEV models are becoming really popular, global environmental movement spreads by leaps and bounds. Sports car manufacturing is not left aside either. The idea of building something fast and fitted with electric motor has been heating the imagination of both factory carmakers and various handy hands since the beginning of the 20th century. However, at that time technologies did not allow building something compact and safe. But progress forges ahead and new ultra-compact devices came along with compact batteries which could be used in different spheres.
Brothers Sam and Ollie Young built their first electric-powered VW Beetle Black Current in the beginning of the 2000s. At first it was a real milksop fitted with an electric motor formerly used by delivery truck made somewhere in the 60s or 70s. It could reach the “stunning” speed of 88 km/h and completed quartermile in 21 seconds. The next variant was much faster and could even hit 15 seconds. And finally, by the year 2010, the brothers built the fastest electric-powered dragster.
Not much was left from the original Beetle, mainly the appearance. It’s a traditional recipe — take fibreglass panels mounted on space frame, simplified suspension system, and drag wheels applying 1,600 Nm of torque to the ground delivered by two electric motors borrowed from a forklift loader. These electric motors are powered by 450 cells hidden under the nose cone. Sam and Ollie often take their creation out for a ride to drag racing competitions for vehicles powered by alternative sources of energy. Right now their car is the quartermile record-holder — 9.51 sec and 215 km/h when crossing the finish line. The next goal set by the brothers is outrunning cars fitted with traditional engines.
Body: VW Beetle (supposedly produced in 1965) mounted on space frame
Engine: two electric motors borrowed from a forklift loader (exact data unavailable)
Batteries: 450 Lithium Cobalt Oxide Cells, controller 680 kW 440V Z2K-HV
Transmission: Ford differential, 2-speed gearbox
Wheels: 8"x15" wheels with M&H tyres