EV Drift Car - Is it doable ? Need advice :)
I'm Octav from Romania and together with my associate I own a small car performance related start-up. I've been toying with the idea of EV vehicles for a while now, I think they make a lot of sense however I can't say I know nearly enough about the technology to make any realistic assumptions.
Amongst other things I am a debutant drifter in our national and the european drift championships so I though an EV drift project would be really cool and a great place to start learning about the technology and get acustomed to it step by step. A very long way, I know, but if it can be feasible it's worth walking in my opinion.
Now, before I get started on doing a lot of reading a research into this I would like to share the rough concept with you so that I know if it's too far fetched or if it's doable. I will try to be short as I have a very bad tendency of writing a lot and getting people bored.
I plan on using a UZZ31 Toyota Soarer (Lexus SC400) as a base car because it's quite rare in the drifting world, it has a (comparatively) long wheelbase and wide track so it should be very stable and controllable. We plan on creating a brand new futuristic body design (concept car/electric theme, chances are nobody will know what it used to be at first glance) so the proportions of the car are very suitable to this.
The problem with this car is the weight which we hope to be able to bring down to ~2800-30000 lbs after the ev conversion, rollcage, complete weight saving process and a lot of fiberglass. Initially it was supposed to be powered by a turbocharged V8 engine (1UZFE) which would have plenty of grunt so we need something decently close to that to keep it balanced.
Here are the rest of the variables :
- I would need a clutch to be able to drift it properly and chances are a gearbox would be prefered but not essential.
- Power steering needs to be present (electric pump I guess)
- The engine should be able to produce the equivalent of between 300 and 500 whp and between 350 and 600Nm of torque of a petrol engine. Of course more is better but also more expensive and harder to obtain. Very low gearing to obtain these figures is fine with me if it helps keep the overall price low. As a demo car I don't need top speed to be over 120 km/h initially (~75mph).
- Range can be very limited as in my experience I get about 15-20 minutes of actual track time within a competition week-end and I'd love it if we could use less batteries (&weight) in hot swappable packs with a very limited range (but good power) on each pack. Not sure if this is possible with the current technology though..
- Batteries should ideally be solid state as the tech staff might not be too happy with a drift car full of acid. Worst comes to worst we can build safety containers for lead acid batteries so that might be fine with them.
- It is a competition only car so solutions can be very flexible and/or extreme, no problem
Other than this I'm confident we can then design it so that it's balanced and with the advantages of electric powerband and responsiveness it should do decently well against the regular gas powered competition.
The biggest problem as far as I can see is that the budget would be quite limited if I'm not able to get some serious sponsors onboard (and I learned not to count of this). I am not in a big rush to get this done by next season and I think most of the other bases (fabrication, expert help) could be covered if we can move forward with the project.
So, here come the EV related questions :
- What would be the cheapest way of getting there (sub 5-10k ? possible ?)
- What would you consider to be the ideal setup ? (money no object, sponsor driven)
- What are the chances of getting the ideal setup done with the help of sponsors in your experience ?
- What do you think about the project in general ? Any opinions and suggestions are welcome, this is an open project.
Other than the EV part I think we know our stuff decently well and could set the car up to be very competitive if we have the powertrain working for us, not against us.
We figured we wanted to do something really special and cool that (to the best of my knowledge) hasn't been done before. I think the closest thing would be CroDriver's drag E30 which I think is an amazing build but way out of my budget - you rock dude !
I hope I'll be able to count on the help of many people (and possibly sponsors) if we will be able to properly "sell" the concept, however I realize it's a very tough task.
Thank you so much in advance, your advice will be critical to the future of this project.
Last edited by XSW; 06-28-2011 at 12:13 PM.