Electric race cars are making major progress in terms of speed and longevity, and one of the leaders in this field is Kleenspeed. This past weekend at the ReFuel SportElectric TT event, the Kleenspeed team beat their previous speed record by four seconds.
The Kleenspeed EV-X11 racer turned a hot lap of 1 minute 38.8 seconds, which is four seconds faster than last year’s time. Four seconds? That’s it? Doesn’t sound like a lot, until you consider that many motor sports events are determined by a matter of tenths of seconds. Also, the fastest lap ever recorded by a production car around Laguna Seca was 1 minute 33 seconds, attained by the Dodge Viper ACR-X, which is essentially a street legal race car. The next-closest competitor was the electric motorcycle from Mission Motors, which was about five seconds behind the pace set by the EV-X11.
Lopping off four seconds from their lap time around Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca is a huge accomplishment. The Kleenspeed team attributes the improvement to their new UQM PowerPhase 145 motor. This new electric motor provides 200 horsepower and 300 ft-lbs of torque and features a liquid cooled permanent magnet motor. Other improvements include a lighter 15.4 kWh lithium polymer battery from GP batteries, and as we all know less weight = more speed. Kleenspeed estimates that the EV-X11 racer has a top speed of about 140 mph. That’s fast, no matter what way you cut it.
Kleenspeed is headed by Tim Collins, a mining magnate and hockey team owner, who also drove the EV-X11 to its new record. Thanks to people like Tim, every day we get a little closer to serious electric car competition, and I expect to see Kleenspeed at the fore front of this movement for years to come.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.