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bennelson 05-25-2010 02:56 PM

AutoCrossing an Electric Car
Hey Everyone,

This weekend, I was invited by some new friends to come out to an "Auto-Cross" event.

I really wasn't familiar at all with Autocross, but it sounded interesting.

Basically, it's racing a car (just about any car, doesn't have to be fancy!) around a track made of cones. Racing is based on time, usually somewhere around a minute.

Everything from Honda Civics, to pure custom cars can compete. I even saw a Gen 1 Honda Insight there!

Since my Electro-Metro was going to be in town that day anyways, I took it over to the event. I was wondering what it would take to compete with MY humble little EV.

After talking with one of the guys there, it looks like the main thing would be to make sure every single darn power connection was covered, and bolt down the cover over the rear battery box. Another guy recommended adding a steel strap to the battery box cover. Not that it really would be needed, but it would be very reassuring to race officials.

After looking at the speeds and a few of the corners that those guys take, I decided the car would need to run at higher voltage, while keeping the center of gravity low. The car is currently running at 72V. When I have run it at higher voltages, it has been with additional batteries in the trunk space on a steel frame. This works great in terms of space, but raises the center of gravity and adds weight to the back; BAD for high-speed cornering!!!

My friend Tom has some small Hawker batteries that have good amperage ratings on them. 12 of those would easily fit in my rear battery box. Perhaps I could borrow them for racing.....

texanidiot25 05-25-2010 05:35 PM

How did it go?

Auto-x is great fun, even with average cars. A good set of tires and smooth driving are all one basically needs to get out and start. An electric car, if CoG kept low and suspension and tires well sorted, would be an excellent choice for the low speed courses.

I plan to make the CRX a little Auto-xer on the side, they tend to do very well.

bennelson 05-25-2010 06:00 PM

I didn't actually race the car that day.

I was working until very late, out of town the night before and didn't even get to the event until well after it started. More than anything, I just wanted to see what the sport involves, and what it takes to get into.

It looks like lots of fun, and not tough to get an amatuer car going in it.

texanidiot25 05-25-2010 06:41 PM

Go for it, think of the impression (and the word of mouth) you would get from beating even a handful of cars... In an electric Metro

robbiewt 05-25-2010 07:28 PM

Here's a link to an event that EVA/DC puts on every year that is all about electric car racing.

2010 Power of DC - Welcome

I haven't been able to make it out there yet. But it looks quite interesting.

vpoppv 05-25-2010 11:29 PM

Speaking of racing, lookie what I found on eBay:

Electric Car Dragster Electric Vehicle EV: eBay Motors (item 140405626136 end time May-27-10 15:11:49 PDT)

dremd 05-26-2010 12:21 AM

Thread title WIN.
Do it!
And BTW: best thing is run it as is, then upgrade if you get in to it big.
If you could borrow some sticky tires that would be brilliant.

bennelson 05-26-2010 12:28 AM

Sticky 13-inchers?

Do they even make those?

dremd 05-26-2010 12:31 AM

Not sure about sticky 13", but I bet you can clear some 15's . . .

dremd 05-26-2010 12:32 AM

maybe? (C35) USDRRT Hoosier used race tire/slick 2- 20.5x7-13 : eBay Motors (item 260539166093 end time Jun-16-10 06:37:40 PDT)

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