Eva Håkansson - with passion for electric drive

Eva Håkansson - with passion for electric drive

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104 mph down the strip in a Tesla!

Blog - in EnglishPosted by Eva Håkansson 28 Jul, 2009 20:03:24

I have made the ride of my life! 104 mph down the strip in a Tesla Roadster! Nothing can wipe that EV grin off my face!

Picture: The largest EV Grin on the planet.

Bill and I just got back home after an exiting and exhausting trip to Portland, Oregon. 1,200 miles one-way means 4 days of driving for two days of racing. But it was worth it - the Wayland Invitational at Portland International Raceway was a great event! John Wayland had worked hard to get many exciting EVs to the track. His powerful White Zombie was there of course. The White Zombie is a street car that runs in the 11’s! That is something! The big attraction was a bunch of Tesla Roadsters (5 or 6 I think). A smoking fast Tango Commuter Car torn up the strip by running in the 12’s. And of course Michael “T-Rex” Kadie was there with his beautiful Daytona. And many more EVs.

The plan was to race the KillaCycle head-to-head against the Shredder X 1/10 scale model of the KillaCycle and I planned to race the ElectroCat. All of that became somewhat of an anti-climax. But an awesome ride behind the steering wheel in a Tesla Roadster made up more than well for the rest!

On-track surgery of the KillaCycle
First a small damage report. KillaCycle burned up a motor during the very first run and we had to spend the first night changing it to a new one. The motor got burnt in Las Vegas a month ago, but we didn’t discover it. One more run was all it could take. Luckily, Jim “The Motor Magician” Husted at Hi-Torque electric had brought a brand new motor to the track and delivered it to one of the EVers there. I never caught the name of him, but he was very, very kind and did let us get the motor instead. Otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to make any more runs with the KillaCycle.

Picuture: Jim "The Motor Magician" Husted to the left working on the new motor for KillaCycle. The owner of the motor is in the middle, but I didn't catch his name.

The motor ran great, as they always do when Jim Husted has put his hands on them, but we ran in to more problems – the KillaCycle suddenly refused to make the series-parallel shift. The first half of the track the motors are connected in series and both motors get the full current and thus give the full torque. About half way down the track the motors need more voltage to continue to accelerate and it shifts electrically so that the motors are in parallel and get the full voltage to reach higher speed. After we replaced the motor this didn’t work anymore. It is probably some wire in the low-voltage systems that has came loose. We will have to check everything when we get back home. :-( Nevertheless, KillaCycle made runs in the 8’s in “first gear” only and gave the show that the audience was there to watch. With the shift working, it is highly possible that we would have got a new record.

Picture: Despite shift problems, KillaCycle and Scotty Pollacheck gave a good show as always.

Picture: Something that ran flawless the entire weekend was our new power system from CumminsOnan (to the right in the picture). The absolutely awesome CumminsOnan HQD Hybrid Quiet Diesel gives up to 10 kW power - enough to recharge both the KillaCycle and other EVs. Power is always a scare resource at EV events and we let other people use our "juice". The generator runs on BioDiesel to make the carbon footprint as low as possible. The HQD systems gives seamless power and is the perfect green off-grid power!

A mini-KillaCycle on the drag strip
The Shredder X is the world’s quickest electric radio controlled drag bike. It usually tears up the drag strip. It make the 1/10 scale drag strip (132 ft) in 2 seconds @ 65 mph. That means that it comes out of hall quicker than the KillaCycle! Robb Millard, the builder of Shredder X, had painted up a model like the KillaCycle and Bill had built an extremely powerful little battery pack with the new A123Systems Formula 1 cells that soon will go in the real KillaCycle. We were expecting a tough race between the two bikes.

Picture: The Shredder X KillaCycle 1/10 RC scale model.

Unfortunately the scale model didn’t tear the strip as we hoped. The Shredder X usually sets better 60 ft times than the real KillaCycle, but the track surface didn’t agree with it. (It also was too low to trigger the 60 ft beam). The RC people usually run on normal pavement, but on the track surface it didn’t launch good at all. On the first run it crashed and the little rider lost an arm. Robb managed to repair the bike and rider, but he never got to run straight. It was very unfortunate because Discovery Channel was there to film the race between the real KillaCycle and the scale KillaCycle. However, Robb Millard had made a wonderful job with the model and it was one of the large attractions at the race anyway. If you want your own extremely fast and powerful RC KillaCycle, they are $700 for a turn-key model (with radio) and $200 for a rolling chassis.

Picture: Shredder X and Robb Millard being filmed by Discovery Channel.

ElectroCat and the Cinderella syndrome

I have been so insanely busy with my summer Calculus class and with getting KillaCycle and our “new” race trailer ready, that I didn’t get ElectroCat race ready before we left for Portland. ElectroCat is geared for 72 V, but the pack voltage is at the moment 53 V. It makes the top speed embarrassing low 55 mph. To boost the top speed I built a little pack with six 40 Ah cells that I planned to simply put in series with the present pack. With 40 Ah instead of 90 Ah this extra little pack has less than half the capacity, but it would be more than enough to down the strip. But ambition was apparently too high (which isn’t unusual for me). I got the battery pack and battery holder ready and installed before we left, as well as the required disconnect that shut down the bike if the rider gets separated from the bike. When we got to the track, I had about 1.5 hour of wiring work to do to hook up the new little pack and the bike would be ready to race with a projected top speed of 75 mph or so. But because I was far too busy with the KillaCycle, I never got the 1.5 hour of time that I would have needed. I have to admit that I felt like Cinderella that didn’t get her own dress ready for the royal ball because she had been making the dresses for her step sisters…. :-*( I will race ElectroCat at the NEDRA event at Bandimere September 27th instead.

I feel a little bad for my and KillaCycle’s very kind sponsor Riders Discount that has supplied me with a full set of state-of-art riding gear. Riders Discount had been looking forward to see me race ElectroCat. If you are thinking of buying motorcycle gear – do us a favor and take a look at www.ridersdiscount.com first. They have very competitive prices. If you decide to order – please let them know that you heard about them from us.

The largest EV grin on the planet – 104 mph down the strip in a Tesla!
Thanks to Dave Denhart, I soon forgot everything about Cinderella, burnt up motors and crashed scale models – I got to drive his beautiful yellow Tesla Roadster down the strip. And I really mean DRIVE, I was behind the steering wheel! Not only one time, but four times down the strip. It was the ride of my life! He told me to give it full throttle, and I did. That was worse than a roller-coaster ride. I had my heart in my mouth (or in my throat as we say in Swedish). I had to back off before the finishing line to swallow my heart again. I crossed the finishing line at an embarrassing 68 mph (109 km/h) and the owner Dave immediately sent me out on strip again. The Teslas had constantly run 104 mph, and I had to get up to at least 100 mph to not be embarrassing.

The second run I gave it more, but this time I wasn’t sure where the end of the track was so I backed off too early. It was after 10 PM at night and the end of the track was dark. I crossed the finishing line at decent 97 mph (155 km/h). After making sure that there was still enough juice in the Tesla’s giant lithium-ion battery, Dave sent me out for a third run. I crossed the finishing line after 13.06 seconds @ 104.07 mph (166 km/h). (They guy in the other lane with an Audi RS4 had no chance on me). My run was both quicker and faster than the Tesla owner Dave got himself, but the difference is simply because I am smaller and lighter. After a fourth run, I was done. The car still had much more juice left in the battery, but my batteries were at more than 100 % DOD (Depth of Discharge). I had got the ride of my life!

Picture: The largest EV grin on the planet! The beautiful yellow Tesla Roadster belongs to the very kind Dave Denhart.

Ferrari or Tesla – the choice is easy!
A couple of years ago I got the opportunity to drive a $300,000 Ferrari 620 with over 600 horse power. That was an amazing car. The $100,000 and 250 horse power Tesla makes the same 0-60 mph (about 4 seconds) and handles as well as the three times more expensive Ferrari. On top of this, the Tesla is completely silent! The engineers at Tesla Motors have made a marvelous work on making the Tesla silent. It was an awesome experience to get shot out of silent cannon down the strip! (The fantastic Arai Corsair helmet from Riders Discount made it even better). If somebody made me choose between a brand new million dollar Ferrari and a Tesla – the choice would be easy! There is no more amazing car than the Tesla on this planet! The Tesla Roadster is now also available in the Sport model that has a little more horse power. The Tesla is definitely a piece of history! If I had the money, I would be standing in the line with all the Hollywood stars waiting to get my own…

Thanks Dave for the ride of my life! Hope to see you and your yellow beauty soon again!

Scotty beat the Tesla factory drivers!
I wasn’t the only one having a wonderful Tesla time at Portland International Raceway. Scotty Pollacheck, the rider of KillaCycle, set a new world record in the very first Tesla Roadster Sport that was delivered to customer. With the time 12.645 seconds @102.89 mph he beat Tesla Motors’ own factory drivers! Scotty is an awesome rider and driver, and that is why he rides the KillaCycle. He also has the size of a jockey, which definitely doesn’t hurt on the drag strip.

Scotty also drove Dave Denhart’s yellow Tesla, and he beat me with 0.03 seconds. Taken into consideration that it was my very first time on the drag strip, I feel that it was a pretty good achievement from my side.

See you at Bandimere September 27!
Bill and I are hosting the year’s fastest NEDRA event at Bandimere Speedway September 27. Bandimere is documented as the stickiest track on the planet. The first 250 first ft is temperature controlled for maximum traction and the all-concrete track is flat as a pool table. It is also the track in the nation at the highest altitude, which means significantly less air to push out of the way. The air resistance is about 20 % less than at sea level. The present world record for electrics was set at Bandimere by KillaCycle.
If you want to set a record – this is the event to come to! It is a mixed event with gas guzzlers too, so there will be many opportunities to kick ass. There will also be bracket racing for those who really want to compete.
See you there!

// Eva - the EV Princess smiley

More picures and stories from the Portland event at the Tesla owners club http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/news-articles-events/2381-wayland-invitational-iv-electric-drag-races-4.html

YouTube - Scotty Pollacheck sets a new world record of 12.64 seconds in a 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b7P8pjHpgM

YouTube - Scotty Pollacheck backs up his new world record of 12.64 seconds with a 12.71 back up run http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBrGXdgKCKQ