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E=Motion Land Speed Record Attempt Halted (Updated)

The attempt by the ABB e=motion car to break the electrical car land speed record in Nevada, U.S. (earlier post), was halted today after two days of glitches. ABB will provide more details later.


On Friday, the day of the second attempt, on power-up a flame arced across a resister on the variable-speed drive. (Picture at right.) The attempt was immediately scrubbed.

The car made a trouble-free warm-up run Wednesday.  But Thursday’s attempt was cancelled when auxiliary batteries were too low to operate the e=motion’s on-board computer.

Tension was palpable on the tarmac after Friday’s flame out. When asked for a diagnosis, Fallows blurted, “It’s broken.” (Salt Lake Tribune)

The 32-foot (10 meter) long, mustard-yellow ABB e=motion car was trying to beat the current official FIA (Fédération Internationale d’Automobile) electric land speed record of 245 mph (394 kph) and become the first-ever electrically powered vehicle to break the 300 mph (483 kph) barrier, under FIA rules.

An earlier ABB e=motion attempt to break the record in 2004 on salt flats in Tunisia had to be abandoned due to poor surface conditions caused by unusual weather.

ABB e=motion has abandoned its attempt to break the world electric land speed record. The e=motion team has not yet announced whether it will attempt to break the record in the future.

Technical problems arose in the car’s control circuits today, preventing it from starting. A detailed investigation to find the exact nature of the fault will be done when ABB e=motion returns to the UK.

“It’s been one of the most difficult weeks that we’ve had,” said ABB e=motion designer, Colin Fallows. He said there is a problem affecting the car’s throttle control system, but at this point, “we’re not quite sure what it is”.

AP Photo slideshow of the e=motion attempts available here.


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