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Electric dragster that hits 60mph in 1.5s heads for NEC

14 March, 2014

A world-record-beating electric dragster, that can accelerate from 0–60mph (96.5km/h) in 1.5 seconds, will be a star of the upcoming Drives & Controls Show, taking place in Birmingham, UK, in April. The dragster, called Black Current, will be on display on the Amtecs stand, whose engineers designed, built and race the vehicle.

In what is claimed to be a world first, the car has completed the standing quarter-mile at the Santa Pod drag raceway in the UK in 9.51 seconds. The dragster’s terminal speed at the finish line was more than 135mph (217.3km/h).

Black Current was the first full-bodied electric car to complete the quarter-mile drag race in less 10.0s and further development work is currently underway with the aim of completing the quarter mile in less than 9s. (For comparison, the Bugatti Veyron’s official quarter-mile time is 10.2s.)

The dragster has completed two back-to-back runs of 9.64s, setting a new official world record, which has been ratified by the MSA and NEDRA organisations.

The Black Current is powered by a custom-built twinned series-wound DC motor, capable of producing more than 680kW (900hp). Its 378V high-power battery pack consists of 540 lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO₄) batteries. The main DC controller is capable of controlling bursts of up to 2kA at 400V.

The Black Current electric dragster is powered by a 680kW DC motor

The FIA-approved chassis was designed and built by AmTecs using chrome-moly steel. The body is a modified 1965 VW Beetle with lightweight carbon fibre bonnet and wings helping to lower its total weight to 740kg (1,631lb).

In 2011, the Black Current competed against petrol-powered cars in the UK VW drag racing championship and finished first on many occasions.

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