More power!

That is the mantra often repeated by Shawn Lawless and his EV racing crew, and it looks like they got enough of the stuff last Friday to propel his Rocket drag bike down Virginia Motorsports Park's quarter-mile strip in 6.94 seconds at an impressive 201.37 miles per hour. That's quick, son! And fast!

As with past record-settings, Larry "Spiderman" McBride was in the saddle when the fuse was lit. After nailing the throttle, he doesn't let up, and as the bike goes down the track you can see him throwing his weight around, trying to keep it going straight. The guy is fearless. Or crazy. Or both.

The Rocket is the same OCC-built machine we met (and loved) back in 2010, though it's received a few tweaks since then. It still has its 13-inch Dennis Berube-prepared DC motor, but instead of relying on two separate Zilla controllers, it now sports one custom Zilla box capable of dishing out 4,000 amps from the battery. Speaking of which, that is another area that's seen vast improvement.

Still able to produce more than a megawatt of tire-crinkling energy, the 14.2-kWh battery in the beast this go round was 150 pounds lighter than the original magic box, also built by Derek Barger of High Tech Systems.

Scroll below for the record-setting video along with bonus footage of the seven-second backup and an earlier run. To read a more lengthy account of all the goings on, check out Chip Gribben's write up over at NEDRA's Yahoo group.







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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      skierpage
      • 2 Years Ago
      1 Megawatt is 1,340 horsepower. From a 14.2 kW·h battery! Even if you reduce that by 75% for regular street use, that's 335 hp! It seems to me that EV and PHEV cars will be able to use their motor for monstrous acceleration when they're not using it to drive around the city cheaply and efficiently all-electric. The BMW i8 and new Acura NSX are the future for anything less than crazy-insane 600+ horsepower sports cars.
        Timo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @skierpage
        It still takes around 300Wh/mile for cars, so something like 300 mile range requires 90kWh battery. With that power density that kind of battery pack could deliver 6338kW of power. That's 8493HP Remember how it was big news that Bugatti Veyron has a bit over 1000 HP? Ordinary family BEV with decent battery pack for longer road trips could have nearly ten times that. More than that when couple of recent advances in nanotech gets to mass production. It then becomes question about motor and motor controller just how much power you actually want the car have. No more "golf carts"....unless you want it to be golf cart.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @skierpage
        Did you notice that he was able to creep along at ~1mph? You can program a throttle for fine control or response, however you like.. it's not like a gas engine where you can pull some tricks with drive by wire, but you are still stick with a motor that has an odd response curve. Here's the fantastic part about really flipping huge electric drivetrains - you can putz along on them and expect excellent efficiency all day. It is not like a gasoline engine which has worse and worse pumping losses and higher drivetrain friction, the larger you size it. You could stretch 24kWh as far as you could on a Nissan Leaf could if you had the same aerodynamics and weight - in a car with a thousand horsepower. Electric is truly 'have your cake and eat it too'.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      that's bordering on fast : ) we need that speed in a car to humiliate veyrons
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Your beloved Veyrons are next, Davemart. Nothing is sacred. 4 turbochargers on a v16 isn't going to be enough soon. The limit of electric power is that of the rubber and metal connected to it only.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        You leave veyrons alone! It's a nice planet!
      porosavuporo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let me fix that "Quickest EV Ever!!" headline for you: There are currently (as of 2005) two versions of the Eliica: a Speed model and an Acceleration model. The Speed model is made to challenge gasoline-based records and has a top speed of 370 km/h (230 mph) with a range of 200 km (120 mi).
        Domenick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @porosavuporo
        I am certainly aware of both the Eliica and the Buckeye Bullet. While they are both fast, and the acceleration version of the Eliica pretty quick, neither would approach what the Rocket does in the quarter mile.
          bajohn3
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Domenick
          Not to mention that it could probably beat 230mph if given more room than a 1/4 mile, so it's better than the Eliica in both respects.
        porosavuporo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @porosavuporo
        Or, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckeye_Bullet
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      2wherl approved...
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have a karman ghia that would love this technology...looking forward to it...
      HVH20
      • 2 Years Ago
      Damn
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      UH HUH. These guys finally got smart and started using RC Lipo like all the garage hobbyists have been doing for years. Of course they overspent 2-3x for them and got some which are behind the curve ( 50c flightmax ). But look at the result so far. These big $ teams are still behind hobbyists. They have not even dove into modifying the controllers with better FETs and thick copper for traces yet. They have not even started custom winding motors or optimizing the gear ratio for best torque / efficiency. They are only starting to figure out that the battery needs to be basically butted up against the front wheel. The best is yet to come. This attempt is pretty damn good, but electric's potential is yet to be tapped. It will not only shatter gas records, but it will go so far as to humiliate them. Oh and on a positive non-critical note, that motor sounds amazing!! who said electric was silent? you dump 8000 amps into a motor and it's gonna be DAMN loud. I am pumping 8kW into my electric bike and now people finally hear me coming and turn their heads like 'what the hell is that?!!'. That's how it should be done, fellas!!
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Yes, you can just replace the transistors in a Zilla. There are various IGBTs and MOSFETs that can be used. All they are in a 3 phase controller is a device that switches power on and off at a high frequency. They are one of the most basic and dumb components in any controller. You got another thing wrong. They're running two 4000A ( stock ) controllers. Go build some high power electric vehicle, buddy
          bajohn3
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          It's series DC motor if it's running stock Zilla's, not three phase.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Ok you win. Same controller tweaking tricks apply. But on a brushed motor it is easier to do :)
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        2WM, some things you say are right but sometimes you get carried away. according to the text it's a custom zilla controller setup. zilla's use IGBTs, not FETs. and it's delivering 4000A. this is not an RC plane dude. you don't just replace the transistors in a zilla.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        P.S. The zillas are wonderful controllers but there are many improvements that can be made for producing even better power. I haven't seen anyone toy with them yet. You should see what we are doing in the eBike world with cheap 24 and 36FET controllers.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, the launch force of that bike is amazing. The wide power band of electric motors gives them a huge advantage on the drag strip.
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