Could the First Production Car to Hit 300 MPH Be Electric?
Sep 27, 2017 Bob Sorokanich
Why Has No Production Car Hit 300 MPH? Electric Cars
Electric cars are much more efficient at turning energy into speed. Does
that mean the world's fastest production car might someday be battery
An internal combustion engine turns nearly two thirds of the energy in its
fuel into wasted heat—half of it jettisoned through the exhaust, half
handled by the engine's cooling system. Electric cars are much less
wasteful, with fewer moving parts to generate friction and none of the
byproducts of combustion.
So does that mean an electric car might be the perfect platform to break 300
That's the question Jason Fenske concerns himself with in this week's
Engineering Explained. From the outset, it seems like a simple thing to
answer. Electric cars (like the NIO EP9 shown above, which lapped the
Nurburgring in a blistering 6:45) don't need the huge, heavy, un-aerodynamic
cooling systems required by internal combustion engines. Better aerodynamics
means it takes less power to go fast, which means it's theoretically easier
to break 300mph. Right?
Not quite. As Fenske explains, electric cars still need a cooling system,
even if they're not managing the outrageous heat caused by burning fossil
fuels. And while electric car drivetrain components run at much lower
operating temperatures than those of internal combustion cars, that actually
makes it harder to keep things cool, because the temperature difference
between ambient air and an electric car drivetrain is often very small.
It's complicated, but it's a fascinating hypothetical to consider. The
bottom line: As far as Fenske can tell, it's likely that the realm of
production car top speed will stay dominated by internal combustion for the
[© 2017 Hearst Communications]
Jaguar unveils world's first championship for production-based electric cars
2017-09-27 Unsurprisingly, the featured car will be the I-PACE, an
innovative five-seat battery electric sports car, which is being built by
Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle ...
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