Science & Tech

Behold how high-speed electric vehicle racing is advancing tech

The S1-X is not your average electric scooter speeding round the track at over 60 mph

The S1-X is not your average electric scooter speeding round the track at over 60 mph

An electric scooter which can go 100 kmph (62 mph)? Meet the sleek new machine that’s planned to leave the clunky scooters you see making a low, continuous humming and murmuring sound around suburban High Streets, in the dust.

“This is a race vehicle,”

says Nicola Scimeca, founder of YCOM, a motorsport technology firm.

“It’s completely different.”

The S1-X, which was conceived by his company, has tyres capable of being filled with air, a 1.5 kilowatt hour battery and a carbon fibre chassis. And as stated by Mr Scimeca, it offers an sudden steady ride.

“What was really impressive was the confidence it gives to you,”

he adds, remembering his own existing test-ride.

And, naturally, there was no noise from the exhaust, alternatively, Mr Scimeca says he could hear the squeal of the electric motor as it sped up and down, along with the thrum of the tyres as they gripped the track.

ESC
Image caption,
The S1-X racing scooter was designed by engineers at YCOM

This S1-X is a brand new racing vehicle. It will be used by all contestants at next year’s eSkootr Championship, the world’s first e-scooter championship event.

Nonetheless there are many other electric vehicle (EV) racing events materializing across the country that are exhibiting and championing significant advances in EV technology.

Formula E has been around for many years, yet a flood of newer EV racing events have recently race quickly into view.

Others comprise the Extreme E race series, which was set afloat earlier this year. In it, electric sports profitability vehicles (SUVs) take part in a series of off-road events. And in 2022, SuperCharge will bring EV racing to city streets around the world.

“We feel like we are really inventing a new sport,”

stated Mr Scimeca, considering that his team had no real precedent on which to build when they began designing their racing e-scooter. They were surprisingly uncertain as to how, precisely, riders would handle the vehicle.

ESC/FEDERICO VECCHIO
Image caption,
Racing an e-scooter is physically gruelling for riders

It proved to be a physically draining task. Riders of high-speed e-scooters have to rapidly modify their stance on nearly every corner.
Compassionately, yet, each heat in the eSkootr Championship will solely last four or five minutes – not completely since the relatively small battery embedded in the base of the scooter doesn’t last long.

Only one charge might cover just three or four heats before the juice runs out, revealed Mr Scimeca.

Battery life

For some EV racer, a flat battery means game over, therefore it’s something that the whole racing team needs to think carefully about when turning cars around between heats, Roger Griffiths, team principal at Andretti United Extreme E. declared

“All of us that came from conventional motorsport, we were very comfortable with operating internal combustion engine cars,”

he explains further.

“When we started running an electric racing car it was very much, ‘What on Earth are we doing here?’.”

ANDRETTI UNITED EXTREME E
Image caption,
Roger Griffiths, Team Principal at Andretti United Extreme E, had to adapt to electric racing challenges

He says,it can take three to four hours, to turn around a racing EV with a use up battery, versus one hour for cooling, refueling and checking over a hot Formula 1 car.

Safety and weight

Still there are totally non-identical safety careful thought, also, given the high-voltage electronics involved in running EV racing cars.

Last month, there were a number of Extreme E races in Sardinia and one of the cars, driven by Stéphane Sarrazin, was incompetently damaged in a barrel roll. in this respect, engineers must make absolutely sure there are no live electronics exposed, Mr Griffiths says.

“You have to treat it with caution until you know the thing is safe,” he further said.

EVs as well plan to be a bit heavier than traditional racing vehicles, sequel to their weighty batteries, but their weight distribution doesn’t change in the course of the race unlike their counterparts running on liquid fuel which gets used up lap-by-lap. therefore, EVs handle moderately diversely for drivers.

ANDRETTI UNITED EXTREME E Image caption, Extreme E racing is an opportunity to demonstrate the robustness of electric vehicles

One of the aims of the Extreme E events is to display the potentialities and robustness of EVs. The track in Sardinia in Italy was a extremely tough test- being so dusty to start with, subsequently more and more damp as the racing weekend progressed.

For Extreme E, all drivers strive to win with a specially-designed electric SUV called the Odyssey 21. The cars get their power from on-site generators that use either biofuel or hydrogen,

“We’re here to demonstrate that these cars can be green.” Mr Griffiths says

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The Odyssey 21’s are as well showing proof of technology that could in the end make its way to more humble consumer EVs. A key example is the silicon carbide semiconductors discovered in Formula E and Extreme E cars. These semiconductors give way for sufficiently more efficient transfer of power inside the vehicle – most likely offering dozens of miles of additional range on the same battery, says Mr Griffiths.

ANDRETTI UNITED EXTREME E
Image caption,
The new technology being road-tested in Extreme E cars may eventually become part of every day EVs for consumers

“In road cars, this technology is prohibitively expensive but it’s being developed in racing,” he adds.

That could bring silicon carbide to everyday EVs in a short time than forecast. Interest from the consumer market is become stronger all the time. Detailed examination from global accounting and consultancy firm EY suggests that EVs will become dominant on roads in Europe by 2028, five years earlier than expected

SHIRLEY GIBSON Image caption, Shirley Gibson says the five minute heats in rallycross events work well for EVs to cut down charging time

Racing EVs are becoming more and more admired at events here in the UK too. Shirley Gibson is championship organizers for the Retro Rallycross and all-electric Electro Rallycross championships. The latter set afloat in 2021.

Ms Gibson has assisted to lead the adoption of EVs in British racing events.

“The move has to be made and it has to be made now to secure a more sustainable future,” she says.

“You know, I didn’t want to be too late in getting this off the ground in the UK.”

MATT BRISTOW
Image caption,
Electro Rallycross launched this year

She describes that the short heats of five minutes approximately in rally-cross events – a mix between rallying and circuit racing- are ideal for electric cars, because they don’t need a prolong charge to participate.

Ms Gibson supports fully the development of new EV racing vehicles and the connection of famous teams and drivers to spur electric racing on.

she says “It is the future,”.

In addition while some petrol-heads will at all times grumble about the lack of exhaust noise from electric vehicles, the visual spectacle remains thrilling.

Related Topics

Electric cars

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