Venturi Automobiles and Ohio State University (the "BB" in VBB stands for Buckeye Bullet) have been collaborating on the high-speed EV project since 2009, and had brought the car to Utah to do some FIA-sanctioned high-speed runs at the nearby Bonneville Salt Flats. They claim the VBB-3 is "most powerful, fully electric car ever built," but all that power can't make a safe speed run when the ground is wet. Unfriendly weather conditions didn't stop the team from hosting the Prince at the car's world premiere, though. The sleek needle is nicknamed Jamais Contente, French for either "never satisfied" or "completely nuts," and it harkens back to a speed demon of yesteryear.
Until halted by the rain, Venturi and OSU had been hoping to break the 600-kilometer per hour (373-miles per hour) barrier with the battery-powered electric vehicle, well above their own 2010 record of 291 mph. Their visions of hitting 373 mph will have to wait until next year, though, as will the ultimate target of getting above 400 mph. The team broke the 300-mph barrier back in 2009 when the car was powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Check out the videos and press release below.
WENDOVER, Utah, 25th September, 2013, PRNewswire/ - The Venturi team Wenesday 18th received the visit of HHSSHH, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene on the runway of the Wendover airfield (Utah, USA), where the team has been operating for the past eight days.
For its world première, the Sovereign of Monaco came to unveil the Venturi VBB-3, a brand new Venturi electric car with more than 3000 CV.
After two years of development, the land speed record vehicle was supposed to run on the salt flats of Bonneville over the past few days, but due to poor weather conditions the FIA had to cancel these attempts.
Prince Albert, therefore, offered his support to the entrepreneur from Monaco, Gildo Pallanca Pastor, president of Venturi Automobiles. The company is a leader in the field of high performance electric vehicles and holds since 2010, the FIA world land speed record for an electric vehicle at 495 km/h.
At this occasion, the designs and the technological innovations at the heart of the project were explained at length to the Prince and the Princess.
Real laboratory for technology, the Venturi VBB-3 is the result of an extensive collaboration started in 2009 between Venturi Automobiles and Ohio State University. This third generation of Venturi "Jamais Contente" is the most powerful, fully electric car ever built, and is striving to exceed 600 km/h by 2014.
Gildo Pallanca Pastor: "I am proud of sharing with the Prince Sovereign and the Princess the launch of this new sportive, technological and environmental challenge. It is truly thrilling to work on such a project to help tomorrow's mobility to progress."
Since 2000, VENTURI has been pursuing a sustained electric vehicle innovation policy. It is a pioneer in electric sports cars and harnesses the most advanced technology available that is just as relevant to urban vehicles as it is to very high performance cars.
CENTER FOR AUTOMOTIVE RESEARCH
The Ohio State Center for Automotive Research (OSU CAR) is the preeminent research center in sustainable and safe mobility in the United States and an interdisciplinary research center in the College of Engineering. OSU CAR research focuses on: advanced electric propulsion and energy storage systems; advanced engines and alternative fuels for reduced fuel consumption and emissions; intelligent transportation and vehicular communication systems; autonomous vehicles; noise, vibrations, and dynamics; vehicle chassis systems; and vehicle and occupant safety. OSU CAR also provides facilities and support for five automotive undergraduate student project teams and focuses its mission on worldwide dissemination of technical knowledge for and with clients and partners.