How does electric car racing help advance technology?

  • Chris Baraniok
  • Journalist

4 hours ago


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Amazing speed for these little buggies

An electric scooter has a speed of 100 kilometers per hour. It is a nimble vehicle designed to replace the traditional scooters we are used to seeing on the streets.

“This is an early vehicle,” says Nikola Simica, founder of sports bike technology company Ycom. “It’s completely different.”

His company’s S1X model has pneumatic wheels, a 1.5-kilowatt battery and a carbon-fiber chassis, and provides a stable ride, says Simica.

What is so impressive about his leadership is the ‘trust he gives you’.

Of course you don’t hear her coming out of the exhaust. Instead, says Simica, you can hear the electric motor whirring up and down, and the wheels rubbing against the track floor.

This is a new type of racing car. It is used by all competitors in the electric scooter championship next year, which is the first global championship of its kind.


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The S1M scooter was designed by Ycom

But there are a lot of races in the country, highlighting the development of electric vehicle technology.

Formula electric racing has been around for years, but a large number of new races for electric vehicles have gained attention in the recent period.

Among them is the Serious Electric Racing Series, which was launched earlier this year. All-wheel drive off-road electric vehicles compete in these races. In 2022, these races will be held on the streets of cities across the world.

“We feel like we’ve invented a new sport,” says Simica, noting that his team did not rely on anything before when they set out to design the electric scooter. The team members weren’t even sure how to drive the scooter.

In the end, it turned out that the task was physically exhausting. The scooter driver has to adjust his position in almost every corner.

Fortunately, one lap in electric scooter races does not exceed 5 minutes, because the battery in it does not last long.

A single charge covers 3 to 4 turns, says Simica, before the power runs out.

Battery life

“For every electric charioteer, a battery drain means the race is over,” says Andretti United Extreme Team Leader Roger Greaves. “It’s something everyone on the team should consider, as they prepare the car between laps.”

“All those who came to us from traditional mechanical racing are good at cars with internal combustion engines. But when we started dealing with electric cars, it was completely different.”


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Driving an electric racing scooter is different from driving a traditional scooter

Charging an empty battery for an electric car takes 3 to 4 hours, while it takes 1 hour to cool down and fill up the fuel for a conventional Formula One car.

Safety and weight

But the safety procedures to be observed are also quite different due to the large capacity of the electrical equipment used in electric chariot racing.

Last month, a series of dangerous electric buggy races took place in Sardinia, during which a car driven by Stefan Sarrazan was damaged in a somersault. In such a case, engineers must ensure that there are no exposed electronic parts.

“You have to be careful with it to make sure that everything is in order,” Griffis says.

Electric cars are usually heavier than conventional racing cars because of the heavy battery. But the distribution of weight in them does not change during the race like the fuel cars that change from one lap to another, and therefore the driver is required to deal with them in a slightly different way.

One of the goals of serious electric buggy racing is to highlight the capabilities and toughness of electric buggies. The Sardinian track was a very difficult test, as it is a dirt track that gets wet as the race progresses.

In serious electric races, all competitors use one model of a purpose-built electric SUV called the Odyssey 21. The racing car’s batteries are charged by on-site generators running on either organic fuel or hydrogen.

“We’re here to prove that these cars can go green,” Greaves says.



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extreme car racing

The Odyssey 21 demonstrated a technology that could find its way into mass consumption in regular electric vehicles. The most prominent example is the silicon carbide semiconductor found in electric formula racing cars, and in serious racing cars.

These connectors allow energy to be transferred more efficiently in the car, as they can save dozens of additional miles per charge of the same battery, according to Greaves.

“In road cars, this technology is very expensive, but it is being developed in the racing world.”

This may make the use of silicon carbide connectors in regular SUVs faster than expected. Consumer interest is constantly growing. Consulting firm EY expects electric vehicles to be dominant in Europe by 2028, five years earlier than previously expected.

Electric racing cars are becoming increasingly popular in Britain as well. Shirley Gibson oversees the Retro Rallycross and Electro Rallycross championships for electric cars.

Ms. Gibson helped spread electric car racing in Britain.


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Shirley Gibson

“We had to act, and we must act now, to ensure a more sustainable future,” she says.

“I did not want to delay the launch of this project in Britain.”

She considers that the short laps of 5 minutes in rallycross races and the combination of road and track is perfectly suited to electric cars because they do not need long charges to compete.

Ms. Gibson supports the development of new electric racing cars, engaging famous teams and top drivers to stimulate electric racing.”

“It’s the future,” she says.

She adds that some fuel-obsessed will always blame electric cars for the absence of exhaust noise in them, but the excitement in racing is present.

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