In writing about and discussing electric cars, we often, and rightfully so, focus on consumer models. Will the Chevy Volt save GM? Will other models like the Nissan Leaf be able to maintain a charge long enough to have a useful range? How will we reduce the size and weight of batteries without lessening their capacity?
These are all useful and important questions, the answers to which just might move us on a path towards an emissions-free future. But neither the Chevy Volt nor the Nissan Leaf can go three hundred and twenty freaking miles per hour.
Ohio State University has been working on a few models of its Buckeye Bullet electric car, and the latest, called the VBB2.5, just broke the world speed record. Not just broke, destroyed--the Buckeye Bullet beat the previous record-holder's time by a whopping 60mph.
Tested in the Bonneville Salt Flats, the new Buckeye Bullet is equipped with lithium-ion batteries from A123 Systems. This model of the Bullet is actually the product of a collaboration between OSU and Venturi, a Monaco-based maker of electric cars. In the past, OSU has broken speed records with fuel-cell-powered Bullets, but this 320mph marker is its fastest yet.
The record isn't yet official--it still needs FIA certification--but nobody seems to have any doubt that it'll secure an official spot as the fastest electric car in the world.