After a groundbreaking run resulting in speeds near 300 mph on Monday, Ohio State’s “Buckeye Bullet 2.5” EV has now claimed a new, even higher, battery-powered land speed record at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats, averaging 307.7 miles per hour for two runs on lithium-ion power.
The team was prepared to take the vehicle to even greater speeds, but a completely blown out and broken clutch kept them away from that attempt.
Engineering students from Ohio State made the long trip out to Bonneville earlier to see how fast their battery-powered Buckeye Bullet 2.5 could go. With batteries provided by A123 Systems and engineering back-up from Venturi in Europe, the OSU team was ready to hit the salt.
The OSU team was frustrated early on, however, by several aborted runs and days of heavy wind—finally completing just two clean passes this past Monday afternoon. During those two runs the Bullet blitzed across the measured mile at 286 and 297 mph (respectively) for a two-way average of 291 mph—already a new battery-powered record (the previous, 245.5 mph, was set in 1999 by a vehicle using nickel metal hydride batteries).
But on Tuesday, the team made another two runs resulting in a new record: 307.7 mph. Their top recorded speed for one of the runs was 320 mph, providing a hint of what this vehicle is actually capable of. During a second attempt at higher speeds later that day, the team destroyed their clutch because of the incredible torque their motor generates. Although any further attempts were foiled, they plan to come back to Bonneville next year with another version of the Buckeye Bullet and fully expect to shatter even the 307.7 mph record.