The recently broken Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record by Toyota Motorsport has been beaten again. While German race driver Ralf Kelleners was testing on this circuit, he succeeded to sharpen the record for road legal electric vehicles to 8 minutes and 42,72 seconds with the Metropolia Electric RaceAbout. This 20,832 km world famous, curvy and hilly track with long fast sections is also known as “Grüne Hölle” – Green Hell – and widely used to benchmark the automotive top performance.
The average speed for the lap was 142 km/h and the top speed at Döttinger Höhe 238 km/h. Later on during testing Kelleners reached even more impressive 244 km/h. For the complete record lap E-RA consumed 25,6 kWh, measured as energy taken from grid to recharge the battery. This results to energy consumption of 1230 Wh/km or 123 kWh/100km for the lap.
Even if E-RA powertrain produced approximately 300 kW peak power throughout the lap, there was no sign of overheating problems in motors or batteries typical to electric vehicles. The weather was close to perfect with dry and sunny but still not too warm conditions at around 15 degrees C ambient temperature. E-RA was equipped with Nokian Z G2 high performance road tyres - 225/40 ZR 18 in front and 245/40 ZR 18 in rear.
Electric RaceAbout is built by Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Approximately 25 engineering students and 2 faculty members have designed and buit the vehicle starting from a clean desk. Exterior and interior styling was created by students from Institute of Design at Lahti University of Applied Sciences.
E-RA has four motors – one per each wheel – designed jointly with Lappeenranta University of Technology and produced by AXCO Motors. The motor controllers come from Vacon a leading Finnish electric drive manufacturer. E-RA has full carbon fibre composite body to save weight for the powerful and efficient 33kWh lithium-titanate battery pack.
On Nordschleife and in various events like Michelin Challenge Bibendum, Automotive X-Prize and e-miglia, Metropolia team has demonstrated with the road legal and registered prototype vehicle E-RA, that using electric powertrain it is possible to construct both efficient and high performance car which can also be used in regular traffic. On normal roads the average energy consumption for E-RA is only 145 Wh/km and on racetrack it can achieve 244 km top speed still with modest consumption and minimal losses.