Brits to Drive EV Across America for World Record

Britain's bid to crack the world record in Electric Vehicle long distance driving was given another boost when students driving an electric super car became the first to drive twice around M25 in a single charge battery. The record drive was a lead up to the team’s upcoming attempt to cross the Americas scheduled for July this year to try and establish a new world record for electric vehicle long distance driving.

The Japan Electric Vehicle Club recently claimed that they had set a new world record for electric cars driving on a single charge battery, by driving on an oval track at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour in a converted Daihatsu Mira achieving a distance of 1,003 kilometers.

The M25 motorway is a 188-kilometer oval road encircling the Greater London area in the United Kingdom.

The Racing Green Endurance (RGE) team, from Imperial College London, drove two laps around the M25 in their specially modified electric Radical SRZERO super car, breaking the record set by a team riding a Tesla electric car.

The record-breaking M25 drive is part of the RGE team’s test performance of the SRZERO before embarking on a trip this coming July across North and South America.

The team, composed of undergraduates, postgraduates and alumni from Imperial’s Faculty of Engineering, is planning to travel 26,000 kilometers along the Pan-American Highway, starting at the northern tip of Alaska and finishing at the southern tip of South America.

The journey will also assess the long distance driving performance and endurance capabilities of electrically powered vehicles.

They also hope that driving their car across two continents will raise awareness along the way about the benefits of electric vehicles and dispel the public perception of electric cars as slow and unattractive, with a limited range.

Alexander Schey, RGE Project Manager who is a fourth year undergraduate student from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London, says, “We’ll face all sorts of engineering challenges during the drive from North America to South America. There are no emergency breakdown services in the jungles of Colombia or the frozen wastes of Alaska, so we need to do as much testing as possible of the car before our Pan-American journey begins. By driving the car around the M25 twice, we’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone, further testing the SRZERO’s endurance capability while hopefully going further than any other all-electric car has managed before around the M25.”

Professor Nigel Brandon, Director of the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College London, said that the United Kingdom, now more than ever, needs to reduce carbon emissions.

“To meet current government targets by 2050, we need to refine a range of technologies including electric vehicles, which will help us move toward a low carbon economy," Professor Brandon explained.

Adding that apart from being great fun, he is hoping that the Racing Green Endurance project will show the world the advancement in electric vehicle technology and help next generation engineers in the UK to gain valuable experience for the future of British manufacturing industry.

Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracting some 14,000 students yearly.