Re: Is winning an overall race with an EV vehicle even possible?
All I can say is that $50,000 is very motivating...
Right up to the point of actually doing it. I'm very happy to see so many pulling out their crayons, sharpies, and napkins. But as someone who's actually done this -- and we've done the same napkin-math, everyone is off by at least an order of magnitude...
#1: don't bother even trying to recharge anything. It takes WAY too long. And I've only been to one (two counting COTA) track with the power infrastructure to even begin trying. (and we fried every one of our poorly-designed-for-cars RC chargers trying)
#2: everyone's power budget is laughably too small. Even in the shitty 80HP 007, full acceleration is 75kW -- seventy five thousand watts. Our current cluster of BMW i3's, can sustain that for less than 15min. The motor can't sustain that for more than 60s. The controller can't sustain that for more than a few seconds.
#3: the capacity stamped on a battery is the "total capacity", not the amount you can use (more than once.) While there may be 40% of the capacity left at 3.2vpc, the amount of current available will be significantly less. (that's when you see us limping back to the pits (CMP) or parked next to a corner working waiting to be towed up a hill (barber))
#4: HEAT. Everything you do will generate massive amounts of heat. We can overload the AC-51 in the 007 in less than 3min with repeated aggressive acceleration followed by heavy regen braking. I turned accel to 80% and regen down to 30% to help, but the driver can still put it in limp mode in minutes.
Swapping packs should be a whole load faster than glugging in gallons of gas through a standard filler pipe.
Not even remotely. With very little work, one can dump 5gal in under 30s. You won't be able to unbolt (latch -- tools aren't allowed) your tray in under 30s. And rushing a battery swap is an explosion waiting to happen. Best case, you destroy your battery interconnectors -- that's game over. Worst case... tesla fire.
I think this is just getting hung up on schematics. Swapping a battery pack is roughly equivalent to refilling a gas tank.
I really don't think winning with an all-EV car is physically possible right now, and I think HQ agrees. but they're throwing the carrot out there to get people thinking and trying (with the HUGE caveat that not all are trusted to try, you must work with them through the whole process to ensure safety).
Perhaps. But a battery swap is more like a gas tank swap than not. And, sadly, it comes with a similar long list of safety issues.
I think it is, but it will be far more expensive than the prize. The drive systems are there -- Tesla Model S, AM Racing, Yasa. Power systems are still the expensive roadblock. The typical 2 day / 16 hour Lemons race would take dozens of battery packs. Assuming 50kWhr average -- and I'm not sure that's plausible or a winning pace, using 100kW telsa assemblies at an estimated 33kW usable, you'd need 2 per hour. So that's 32 (plus some extra.) That's 51 THOUSAND pounds of batteries, at over 250k$. (the 007 would need 154k$ worth of model S sub-modules) Plus the ~11k$ for the motor, controller, wiring, etc. And then you have to come up with a way to safely rapidly replace the battery assembly with absolutely zero possibility of it "falling out" on track, under any circumstances. Without. Tools.
(Unless Jay relaxes that rule, your battery swap must be tool-less. We were never allowed to hot-pit swap because it takes tools to unbolt and lift our assembly. Rolling out onto pit road with an engine lift and impact driver was an absolute "no" from Jay, and every other team. As VK has already said, no one else even gets to wipe down the windshield.)
1981 Jet Electrica 007 [Plymouth Horizon TC3] (#128) -- Mk.1 - Index of Effluency Eco (IOEe) @ 2016 Lemons South Fall, Mk.2 - Judges' Choice @ 2017 'Shine Country Classic, Mk.3 - Index of Effluency @ 2017 Southern Discomfort