An electrical curiosity...


40-weight Ball Bearings
So, I've been thinking, like many others here I'm sure, when will we see the first pure electric race car show up somewhere...I don't think it's an 'if' question, but more of a 'when' fact, you know?

Where would something like that fit into the class structure? Is there an allowance for such an animal?

This is purely curiosity; I've got nothing in mind (although I think it's pretty cool) and just would like to hear from this motley bunch what others are thinking - if at all??

I figure with the Tesla now hitting the streets and other technology catching up, it's just a matter of time...

So, let 'er rip! Pros? Cons? NIMBY? Working on it now??


Well-known member
I welcome the addition of electric race cars. I think the biggest hurdle might be ensuring the safety of rescue workers in the event of a crash (e.g., high-voltage shock). But I imagine this can be solved using methods similar to what's used on the Tesla, Prius and other hybrid and/or electric vehicles.

It'll be weird having race cars so quiet.


Well-known member
Hybrid/electric cars

At the PRI this year it was reported that there was a electric/battery powered Sports racer. I believe built by West Race Cars now in Atlanta. As I recall the specs. it's performance was not that far from a regular internal combustion engined car but heavier. I believe it was strictly a show car.


Well-known member
So, I've been thinking, like many others here I'm sure, when will we see the first pure electric race car show up somewhere...I don't think it's an 'if' question, but more of a 'when' fact, you know?

I was talking to an retired business associate (in the electrical maintenance and testing business) of mine in Portland recently, and he was picking my brain on this topic. Since the pickings were kinda thin, he then pointed me to Plasma Boy Racing (, which he knew/had been following for some time. Granted, it's range is 'at least a 1/4 mile", but still kinda interesting, and "right next door".

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Richard Broadhead

Flag & Com
The West:

The Wrightspeed:

236 HP motor (motor not engine) and 182 ft. lb. torque in 1500 Lb car. Electronically limited to 112 MPH. Without the limiter I'm sure in excess of 150 is possible.

700 HP Lightning:

The P1-E:

The Liv Inizio with Tesla 'like' specs:

One would assume initial placement would be based on the rated HP/Torque of the electric motor and vehicle weight. All the above have the range to do a day of racing. Need lotsa elecrical outlets in the paddock :)

But there's one huge cob. If the sports car is intended for the road and they limit the top speed to some value (like 115 or 130) that presents a problem in classification. Unless of course it's a specifically designed electric for racing or, you can turn the limiter off.

I see a conspiracy! Once we all have to go electric, to GOVERNMENT will set the max speed of all electric cars to 50 MPH :(
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Well-known member
Okay Broadhead, you are starting to piss me off. You now have approx. 10 more posts than me, which raises my kinetic energy to a dangerous level!
Seriously, electric cars have no drag from internal friction, so they accelerate like raped apes. Is that politically correct? Well, it is now 7:04 am GMT, so it's probably okay.
The point is, uh, let's see, what was the point? .... Oh, if we could introduce engine sounds to these whisper cars then we'd have something. Otherwise it would be a real bore in my opinion, unless you were behind the wheel holding on. But I really can not imagine racing a car that sounds like a microwave.


NCW #322
I wonder if "hearing" the car, tires, suspension more would change the driver experience or serve as any sort of advantage? Hmmm.


Well-known member
I wonder if "hearing" the car, tires, suspension more would change the driver experience or serve as any sort of advantage? Hmmm.

Probably better for driver but worse for the fans. Maybe we need to add a V-8 sound generator to each car. Make a Tesla sound like a 426 Hemi :cool:


Well-known member

Is that kinetic energy or potential energy?

One of the reasons that electric vehicles are so awesome is that they develop maximum torque at zero rpm. So, they accelerate much better than an internal combustion engined vehicle. The extreme additional weight of the stotage batteries is the real downfall of electric vehicles. Think of a Formula Ford equivalent powered vehicle only it weighs close to 3000 lbs. It will accelerate faster but can you imagine cornering with that much weight on the same tires?

Anyway, the competitive electric vehicle is a ways off and I think that they'll be incredibly expensive. That would be initial purchase/build cost. The recharge would be a whole lot cheaper than a weekends fuel bill is now.

As for me, I love the smell of high octane fuel burning in the morning!

Richard Broadhead

Flag & Com
There's a fellow that comes out to Proformance Lapping Days with a car that looks almost identical to that Wrightspeed in the link above. Of course it's gas powered but does good lap times. Of all the above, I suspect it could be the first to show up somewhere in electric form looking for a race.

It shocked me. Notice the Wrightspeed. 286 HP with 182 ft. lbs. torque in 1500 pound car. ALL of the above cars are coming in at weights lower then I would have thought and have at least a 100 mile range.

Last post by "Broadhead" (barring an emergancy) until Wes gets his allergies under control and can ketchup with my 114.

ALSO. I can't find the link to it but Peugeot or Citroen or somebody like that has an electric sports car similar to the Tesla. But I couldn't find a link. It has similar performance with massive acceleration and the lighter weight.
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40-weight Ball Bearings
Good discussion! Thanks for the links Mr. Broadhead...

The lithiom ion battery technology appears to be the next best step for these cars. It's a lighter battery that stores more juice for also happens to be rather pricey.

But like most motorsport technology, it hits the big dogs first and then trickles down to us club racers later in one form or another.

I wonder if it's like my cordless drill - does it just go slower as the race progresses? Or is there some kind of storage device that regulates the power evenly for the duration of the race? It's beyond my limited comprehension of such things. (I'm more along the lines of understanding that fuel+air+spark = power...very neanderthal you know? Fire, explosions, power...that's cool!)

The sound, or lack thereof, would be a downer in my mind. That's part of the thrill of watching racing. But then if you had a bunch of electrics racing close together, maybe the lack of sound and would actually increase the visual excitement of the racing action?

Behind the wheel would be a different story. I'd love to try it though.

Lance Richert

Well-known member
You'll probably see some greenish pro race series work though the bugs of running an electric car before it ever trickles down to our level. There's certainly some positive PR for a sponsor who puts their name on the side of an electric race car.

How about a Prius spec series based in the San Fran area?
I am excited about the possibility of electric cars racing too. I got a taste of it at K1 Speed, the indoor karting place. Their karts are electric, with about 20 h.p. As noted above, the power is available "right now". If you are imagining a Prius going through a grocery store parking lot, you are in for a pleasant surprise. The whine of the electric motor makes a pleasing, high-rpm pitch, not too unlike a F1 car if you use a bit of imagination. It's not quiet. Good fun, too.
Right now, the problem of capacity is still a limit-
30 minutes of juice at full throttle is really expensive.
Or heavy.
Or both.

Racing fuel has a LOT of energy per pound in it.

Top Gear got to play with a couple of Tesla cars. Tesla is suppose to be good for 200 miles on the road; 55 miles on the TG track. If you average about 100 mph you're done in half an hour with several hours recharging.