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.